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His Dark Materials won’t be the next Game of Thrones for one special reason

The executive producer of the new Philip Pullman BBC series has pointed out a key way the two fantasy shows differ

Published: Saturday, 26th October 2019 at 1:03 pm

Ever since Game of Thrones ended after eight seasons, fantasy fans have been wondering which series could become its successor. The answer: not His Dark Materials.


Although the much-awaited adaptation of Philip Pullman’s book trilogy of the same name will delve into the same genre – as well as being partly produced by Thrones makers HBO (alongside the BBC) – His Dark Materials will by no means be the heir to the Emilia Clarke Westeros-set series.

That’s according to His Dark Materials executive producer Jane Tranter, who has suggested that the upcoming series will be much more family-friendly than Thrones.

Sizing up the two fantasy shows, Tranter told and other publications: “Game of Thrones was the key in a way, that unlocked television of a certain scale. And I think we benefited from that. We are grateful to Game of Thrones rather than being in its shadow.

“I would not want personally to be making an adult male fantasy, action-adventure-y type. Then I would feel daunted, and in [Game of Thrones'] shadow. But Dark Materials is so distinctly and uniquely its own piece.

She added: “Game of Thrones is not something, as Philip Pullman would say, that adults will watch – [something] that is made for adults. But children should and could watch [His Dark Materials]. It's in a totally different place in the Venn diagram of television.”

The first series of His Dark Materials, to air on BBC1 on Sunday 3rd November at 8.00pm, will explore the events of novel Northern Lights.

It will follow 12-year-old Lyra (played by Wolverine’s Dafne Keen) in an alternate pre-industrial universe Oxford where people are constantly accompanied by ‘daemons’ – a physical manifestation of a person’s soul.

Alongside Keen, the drama will also star James McAvoy as Lord Asriel and Luther’s Ruth Wilson as the not-to-be-trusted Mrs Coulter.


His Dark Materials begins at 8pm on Sunday 3rd November on BBC1


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