His Dark Materials TV series will feature material from The Book of Dust prequel novel

Could the BBC adaptation delve deeper in Lyra's origins story?

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The BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials will not only draw from the bestselling trilogy, but also delve into “the deeper mythology” explored in Pullman’s new trilogy The Book of Dust.


Executive producer Jane Tranter has revealed that the upcoming series uses a “tiny bit” drawn from the new books, while James McAvoy, who plays the intimidating Lord Asriel, also teased “extra material” deployed in season one.

“We use a tiny bit, which I can’t tell you. You’ll have to wait and see,” Tranter told Entertainment Weekly. “As far as the deeper mythology is concerned, we grab at anything we can get. As [screenwriter] Jack Thorne would say, it’s like we’ve done a PhD in the mythology of these books.

“We did have to take a very clear line and say we’re adapting His Dark Materials, and if there’s anything in The Book of Dust that suggests that — perhaps the origin story is a little bit different than how it is in the pages of His Dark Materials — we’ll either go by that or we’ll just adapt what’s in His Dark Materials.”

James McAvoy in His Dark Materials

McAvoy added: “We might have a little bit, like a minute of extra material, that comes from The Book of Dust, but that’s about it.”

His Dark Materials season one follows Lyra (Logan’s Dafne Keen), a young orphan with a talent for lying, who lives in a parallel universe where everyone’s inner-selves take on animal forms.

The first instalment of The Book of Dust trilogy, La Belle Sauvage, was published in 2017 and was set when Lyra was an infant, before the events of His Dark Materials.

Could the new adaptation incorporate Lyra’s origins, as explained in La Belle Sauvage?


We’ll have to wait until the first episode, which airs on BBC1 on Sunday 3rd November