It's been a truly epic journey, but His Dark Materials is coming to an end on BBC One this weekend with the final episode of season 3 – titled The Botanic Garden.


Of course, some fans will have already watched ahead as the concluding instalment in the fantasy series has been available as a box set on BBC iPlayer for just over a month.

However, others have shown a preference for the weekly viewing schedule, which allows enough time for them to mull over the major developments in each chapter.

His Dark Materials season 3 is a natural endpoint for the show as it completes an adaptation of the Philip Pullman trilogy, consisting of Northern Lights (season 1), The Subtle Knife (season 2) and The Amber Spyglass (season 3).

That said, there were once plans from those involved with the show for it to last more than three seasons.

More like this

"I wanted to split it in two, but we’re doing it in one," executive producer Jane Tranter told Deadline back in 2020. "You can’t always have what you want. The Amber Spyglass is quite right adapted into eight episodes and I will fully and humbly admit I was completely wrong."

In fact, if Tranter's initial plan had come to fruition, the series might have been even longer than four seasons – with her original idea being to make as many as nine seasons of the show.

Speaking at a panel at this year's Edinburgh International TV Festival, Tranter said: "Honestly, I would have told it across nine seasons if I could have done. There are so many stories that we weren’t able to do."

She added: "I would have slowed this [His Dark Materials] down even more. But unfortunately, that’s probably the wrong thing for an audience – some would have liked it, but it’s expensive and it’s a season-a-book and that’s that and now it’s finishing.”

While the main trilogy has now been adapted in its entirety, this does not necessarily mean there won't be further adaptations set in the same universe later down the line, with Pullman having published a prequel/sequel trilogy titled The Book of Dust.

Tranter revealed to back in 2020 that although there were currently no concrete plans in place to adapt these further books, she was very open to the idea at some point in the future.

“La Belle Sauvage has got Lyra as a baby, and gives some of Asriel and Coulter’s backstory, and some of Lyra’s origin story,” she explained. "And The Secret Commonwealth is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I just don’t think there is a better study of depression, in some ways, in a fantasy landscape."

She added: “It’s the most exciting story but, like everything Philip does, it has many levels to it. And it’s an extraordinary piece… so huge and ambitious. But if anyone ever gave us the opportunity to do it, we’d be there.”

So, fingers crossed that we could see a spin-off series in the future.

His Dark Materials season 3 airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 18th December. Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.

Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.