The highly anticipated HBO Original series HIS DARK MATERIALS premieres same time as the U.S. on Tuesday, 5 November at 10am exclusively on HBO GO and HBO, with same day encore at 10pm on HBO. New episodes premiere every Tuesday at the same time.
Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, the series follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.
The drama series explores a world in which sentient, talking animals are found in two ways: daemons and armored bears. Each human in the series is accompanied by their daemon which is the physical manifestation of a person’s soul and a reflection of their inner self and their lifelong companion through the world. Daemons take on the appearance of an animal, but with the voice and the intelligence of a human. In childhood, a daemon can change its animal form at will, but at a certain stage of adolescence a daemon ‘settles’ into its final form – forever reflecting the character of their person.
The series’ stars include:
Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua, an adventure-seeking 13-year old from a world that is both like and unlike our own. We meet Lyra as an orphan, having been raised in the sanctuary of Oxford’s illustrious Jordan College. Lyra is desperate to explore with her brilliant Uncle Asriel, until the fates intervene and she ends up on a thrilling and perilous journey of her own. A natural and adept liar, Lyra learns the value of honesty and lies when she becomes the owner of an extraordinary instrument that can tell the truth.
James McAvoy as Lord Asriel Belacqua, a brilliant scholar and a fearless explorer. Asriel is one of few who dare to undermine the powerful forces of Lyra’s world. His ambition is limitless and he will stop at nothing to achieve his ends.
Ruth Wilson as Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic woman whose origins hold many secrets, and who has gained power in a patriarchal society against the odds. Intelligent and manipulative, Mrs. Coulter always needs to be in control; but her motivations are rarely as they seem.
Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, an aeronaut-for-hire who can keep his head in a crisis, although he is often getting himself embroiled in trouble.
Anne-Marie Duff as Ma Costa, a fiercely maternal, high-ranking gyptian. The disappearance of her youngest son Billy is the latest of an increasing number of missing children, and acts as a call to action for the gyptian people to find and rescue them.
Clarke Peters as The Master of Jordan College, a man who understands politics and is Lyra’s guardian as she grows up in Oxford.
Ariyon Bakare as Carlo Boreal, an authoritative political figure who works with the Magisterium, but keeps many secrets and knows which ears to whisper into to achieve power.
Will Keen as Father MacPhail, a high-ranking member of the Magisterium whose belief is so unwavering that he will preserve its position at any cost.
Ian Gelder as Charles the Librarian, a learned man and counsel to the Master of Jordan College, who helps to care for Lyra.
Georgina Campbell as Adèle Starminster, a bright and inquisitive journalist who seeks to uncover the truth about the mysterious Mrs Coulter.
Lewin Lloyd as Roger Parslow, the 12-year-old kitchen boy of Jordan College and Lyra’s best friend. Where Lyra is a natural liar, Roger is naturally honest and kind. Roger often acts as Lyra’s moral compass.
Lucian Msamati as John Faa, a plain-speaking warrior and king of the Western gyptians, a close-knit, nomadic and honourable people. John Faa leads a band of brave fighters to action when it becomes clear that the governing forces of their world will not help them get their missing children back.
James Cosmo as Farder Coram, a gyptian and key advisor to John Faa. As an elder member of the community, Coram brings knowledge and wisdom to the gyptians. He is a brave fighter with an extraordinary past.
Daniel Frogson as Tony Costa, the eldest son of the gyptian Ma Costa. At 15 years old, Tony’s daemon has just settled, marking him as having come of age. Tony has a gruff teenage exterior as he tries to step into adult shoes, but is also brave and kind.
Tyler Howitt as Billy Costa, the youngest son of gyptian Ma Costa.
Ruta Gedmintas as Serafina Pekkala, queen of the Lake Enara clan, a 300-year-old witch with ties to the gyptians. Serafina believes that Lyra is the answer to the witch prophecy that will change the course of destiny.
Mat Fraser as Raymond van Gerrit, a gyptian who joins the fight for the missing children but knows it will push their resources and capabilities to their limits, and worries that John Faa is getting them into a fight they cannot win.
Geoff Bell as Jack Verhoeven, a gyptian who is relied upon and trusted in a fight, but who has a chip on his shoulder because of the way that gyptians are treated by the rest of society.
Simon Manyonda as Benjamin de Ruyter, a gyptian and talented spy driven to find the whereabouts of the missing children.
Voice talents include:
Helen McCrory (Harry Potter) voices Stelmaria, Lord Asriel’s (McAvoy) daemon which is a Snow Leopard.
David Suchet (Poirot) is Kaisa, gyrfalcon daemon to the witch Serafina Pekkala (played by Ruta Gedmintas).
Aeronaut Lee Scoresby’s (Miranda) daemon is an arctic hare called Hester, voiced by American comedian Cristela Alonzo and Lyra Belacqua’s (Keen) unsettled daemon, Pantalaimon, is voiced by Kit Connor (Rocketman).
Mrs Coulter’s (Wilson) mysterious daemon, a Golden Monkey, doesn’t speak or have a name but his animal noises and vocal characteristics will be created by Brian Fisher (Detective Pikachu), who also serves as the lead puppeteer and CFX Coordinator on the series.
Puppets were used on set to help the actors form a relationship with their daemon before being created in CGI by Framestore.
Iorek Byrnison, a bear who Lyra meets on her quest will be voiced by Joe Tandberg (The Innocents).
In the frozen wilderness of the North exists a race of armored bears (or panserbjørne). Both skilled metal workers and fierce warriors, they have their own culture and laws.
HIS DARK MATERIALS is produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema for HBO and BBC One. Executive producing the series are: Dan McCulloch, Jane Tranter, Joel Collins and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf; Philip Pullman, Jack Thorne, Tom Hooper, Otto Bathurst; Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema; and Ben Irving and Piers Wenger for BBC One.
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Show details and image provided by HBO in a recent press release.
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