The long-awaited trailer for His Dark Materials season two has finally arrived via online convention Comic-Con@Home, teasing all sorts of excitement for the new episodes as well as introducing us to some key new characters within the Philip Pullman adaptation.
In the words of Ruth Wilson’s Mrs Coulter, these are indeed “strange new times” – but what will Lyra and Will be getting up to in the new season, and what other clues can we glean from the footage?
“This knife could cut between worlds.”
— BBC One (@BBCOne) July 23, 2020
We break down the biggest moments below…
Cittàgazze – a new world
After a little bit of world-hopping in season one season two looks set to continue the trend in earnest, with Lyra (Dafne Keen) and Will (Amir Wilson) bumping into each other in the parallel world of Cittàgazze, a beautiful city with a deadly secret that becomes a key location in Philip Pullman’s original novel The Subtle Knife.
In the new footage we also get a quick look at The Torre degli Angeli, aka the Tower of Angels, a landmark within Cittàgazze that serves as a key location for some scenes from the books featuring Terence Stamp’s character Giacomo Paradisi.
The rise of the Spectres
Oh, and that “deadly secret” in Cittàgazze? We get a glimpse at that later in the trailer as what appears to be one of the soul-eating Spectres (which only target adults, not children) bursts through the corridors of a submarine (it’s a bit blurry, but it’s there almost exactly a minute in).
Hopefully (or less hopefully if you’re of a nervous disposition) we’ll get a clearer look at the terrifying creatures as we get closer to the series’ release later this year…
Andrew Scott as John Parry
After appearing as a photo in season one we finally get to see Scott’s John Parry in action within the new trailer, explaining the power of the all-important Subtle Knife and flying with Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda) as the pair try to track down Lyra and Will.
And yes, his woven sort-of-denim jacket is rather fabulous.
Simone Kirby as Mary Malone
A scientist from “our” world, Mary Malone is an expert in dark matter who finds herself caught up in Lyra and Will’s adventures in the Subtle Knife, before becoming an even more important character in sequel The Amber Spyglass.
In the trailer, we see Simone Kirby’s Mary first meeting with Lyra, and also get a glimpse of the supercomputer she’s using to examine Dust – though it looks like it’s had a bit of a modern upgrade compared to the version described in Pullman’s books…
A new witch
After a few appearances from Serafina Pekkala (Ruta Gedmintas) in season one, it looks like we’re about to meet a whole host of new witches in the new season, with the powerful magical figures vowing war against the Magisterium in the new trailer.
Most notable among them? Witch-queen Ruta Skadi, who is played by Jade Anouka and who RadioTimes.com understands will have an extended storyline compared to her relatively minor role in Pullman’s books.
“The time has come to act – I believe we have no choice,” she says to her fellow witches as they gather for a conclave. Time for war…
Lee Scoresby in trouble
Speaking of that war with the church, it looks like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Lee Scoresby is one of its first victims, with the character getting pretty bashed up after what looks like a pitched battle. But will he be able to track down Lyra anyway?
Villains on the march
“These troubled times call for the Magisterium to take control,” Will Keen’s Father MacPhail says during the new footage – and with Ariyon Bakare’s Lord Boreal also on the hunt for Lyra (pictured) there are all sorts of dark forces looking to get their hands on her.
“There are multiple worlds out there, and people will be looking for her – not all of them good,” Ruth Wilson’s Mrs Coulter says in the trailer.
In other words, Lyra and her new friend Will are going to brave dangers in season two that make facing an army of armoured bears look like a tiptoe through the tulips. And all the magical knives and truth-telling alethiometers in the world(s) might not be enough to save them.
His Dark Materials season two comes to BBC One in autumn 2020