Author Topic: His Dark Materials (BBC)  (Read 13079 times)

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #60 on: November 04, 2019, 08:30:10 PM »
it's going to get cancelled after this series, mark my words!

It's already been renewed for a second series.

chveik

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #61 on: November 04, 2019, 08:36:52 PM »
the next one then

purlieu

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #62 on: November 04, 2019, 08:37:24 PM »
The amount of time and money that's gone into this, there's no way it would get this far unless the entire thing was guaranteed, outside of it being a catastrophic flop.

I actually cheered when I saw Lee Scorseby in the series teaser at the end. I love him.

touchingcloth

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #63 on: November 04, 2019, 10:39:42 PM »
I've not read the book, and after watching the first episode last night I was totally confused about the talking animals.
Everyone has to have a talking animal accompany them?   Or people turn into an animal when they're older, or something?  Not a clue mate.  That totally baffled me and just made the whole thing seem silly.  (I'm guessing the sneery monkey is going to be trouble in future episodes.)

That bit was the biggest miss as far as adapting the books was concerned. As I said in a previous post, the daemons were just kind of there rather than it being made clear that they are part of the humans. In the books they share thoughts with the humans and so are offering advice and warnings, and when people meet one another their daemons will acknowledge and speak to one another as well. They were too much like witches’ familiars in this adaptation.

touchingcloth

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #64 on: November 04, 2019, 10:47:35 PM »
So excited for the mulefa, though. A weird horse thing with wheels made of seeds? Yes please.

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #65 on: November 04, 2019, 10:54:19 PM »
That bit was the biggest miss as far as adapting the books was concerned. As I said in a previous post, the daemons were just kind of there rather than it being made clear that they are part of the humans. In the books they share thoughts with the humans and so are offering advice and warnings, and when people meet one another their daemons will acknowledge and speak to one another as well. They were too much like witches’ familiars in this adaptation.

I watched the first episode on HBO and it began with three lines of text, one of which clearly stated that the daemons were the humans’ souls in the form of animals. No real room for confusion there.

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #66 on: November 04, 2019, 10:59:20 PM »
A bit underwhelmed by the premiere overall. It felt expositionally rushed and dramatically flat: ideas and characters didn’t have time to settle or develop, and key moments flashed by leaving little impression.
It looked handsome but bland: an overfamiliar BBC sterility to it all which will hopefully disappear when they move into stranger territory.
Solid rather than charismatic acting but one benefit of that is that the adult stars didn’t overshadow Dafne Keen, who was good as Lyra.

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #67 on: November 04, 2019, 11:16:18 PM »
Frankly I was already bored with it halfway through the first episode, and I honestly think CGI has spoiled stuff like this. Those daemons are begging to be realised by the Henson Creature Shop. Would've kept me watching in spite of its other deficiencies.

I see it was done at the National Theatre about 15 years ago, with Anna Maxwell Martin and puppets. I bet that version was miles better than this one. I mean look at it:


touchingcloth

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #68 on: November 05, 2019, 02:28:32 AM »
I watched the first episode on HBO and it began with three lines of text, one of which clearly stated that the daemons were the humans’ souls in the form of animals. No real room for confusion there.

Beyond that it didn’t show what that meant in practical terms, though, which the book does a lot of. They’ll need to start exploring it before the end of the series anyway for some of the later events to have any impact.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #69 on: November 05, 2019, 05:51:47 AM »
the next one then

As purlieu said, there's no way in Hell this won't go the distance. It's a mega-budget BBC production that won't be axed unless literally nine people tune in each week.

BlodwynPig

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #70 on: November 05, 2019, 06:58:39 AM »
Waiting for the merch
The bbc breakfast sofa love-in
The spin-off series
Dr Who - Potter - HDM red nose special

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #71 on: November 05, 2019, 07:42:59 AM »
it's going to get cancelled after this series, mark my words!

They have renewed for - and already filmed - a second series. Think with the kids, they are pressing on with production to get em while they're young.

I read them first two books ten years ago, but then lost interest in the third. I enjoyed them (the first two), but I was still surprised by the reputation they had. I can't even remember much of what happens.

That said, I enjoyed this. Took a while to get going but I thought it built something good in the hour it had. Compared to others I've got on the go at the moment - Watchmen (which is a book I did really enjoy), Temple and Mindhunter - I'm more interested. I like a Christmas run-up too.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #72 on: November 05, 2019, 07:50:45 AM »
Waiting for the merch
The bbc breakfast sofa love-in
The spin-off series
Dr Who - Potter - HDM red nose special

Drip, drip, drip...

Urinal Cake

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2019, 08:08:15 AM »
A Dr Who and HDM crossover episode has to happen- the Doctor uses Dust to travel through time!

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2019, 08:56:00 AM »
Beyond that it didn’t show what that meant in practical terms, though, which the book does a lot of. They’ll need to start exploring it before the end of the series anyway for some of the later events to have any impact.

Yeah, I’d imagine given its importance to the story that it’ll get a proper examination later on. This opening was very much place-setting and I hope/expect there’ll be more depth and detail in later episodes.

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #75 on: November 05, 2019, 09:07:01 AM »
James McAvoy did a decent job as Asriel, but he's very different from the version of him in my head. I imagine him being a few years older, and being a bit more of a commanding presence; more of an Eccleston Doctor than a Smith Doctor, to use an analogy that works for me.

Agree with that: he was better than I expected, but he’s still not quite what I imagined. Asriel should be scholarly and serious, but also a passionate and charismatic man of action. A Heathcliff type. And a bit older than McAvoy too - late 40s maybe. Who could play that? Fassbender? Tennant? Owen? Nick Frost? Danny Dyer? Paul Chuckle?

Blue Jam

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #76 on: November 05, 2019, 01:17:00 PM »
I read the original trilogy as an adult. Really enjoyed the first two. Thought the atheism stuff in the third was heavy-handed to a Gervasian level. Gave The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ a wide berth as a result. Not bothered with The Book Of Dust yet, how's that one? I'm saying all this as someone with no interest in Harry fucking Potter incidentally- I'm generally not into fantasy but Pullman seemed a cut above so I took a friend's recommendations to give His Dark Materials a try.

I like McAvoy (what have some of you got against him, eh? Try watching him impersonating Frank Sidebottom in Filth) so I'll give this a go tonight. Like others here I avoided the film because of the casting- I like Frodsham Bond but he seemed totally wrong as Asriel, I pictured someone like Peter Capaldi or Ian McKellen in that role. If the film is on Netflix or something I may give it a chance...

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #77 on: November 05, 2019, 01:33:11 PM »
I was disappointed with the first Book of Dust, it was too episodic in its plot and the world seemed to contradict and undermine the one he’d put together in the original trilogy, not to mention rather overegging the whole ”chosen one” theme with Lyra.
I just picked up the second part and after 150 pages it’s more promising, with more sense of mystery and more direct relevance to the originals, though too heavy on ”previously on...” exposition and coincidence.
I can’t help feeling that the original trilogy was a perfect enough statement and the new ones seem superfluous and less significant, but as I said this second volume is moving in the right direction.

JesusAndYourBush

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2019, 02:12:50 PM »
I watched the first episode on HBO and it began with three lines of text, one of which clearly stated that the daemons were the humans’ souls in the form of animals. No real room for confusion there.

Yes I read the caption but as I'd not seen any of the episode yet I had no reference points, nothing, and I forgot what I'd read almost immediately.

The end of episode teaser was annoying.  A few minutes earlier the girl had been told to keep that magic box thingy secret, so the teaser shows her literally showing it to every man and his dog.

it's going to get cancelled after this series, mark my words!

My thoughts exactly.  It should have been on BBC2.  Look at the ratings for the first few episodes when they come out, ratings will plummet and the Beeb will have to decide what to do about it.

touchingcloth

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2019, 02:42:06 PM »
I was disappointed with the first Book of Dust, it was too episodic in its plot and the world seemed to contradict and undermine the one he’d put together in the original trilogy, not to mention rather overegging the whole ”chosen one” theme with Lyra.
I just picked up the second part and after 150 pages it’s more promising, with more sense of mystery and more direct relevance to the originals, though too heavy on ”previously on...” exposition and coincidence.
I can’t help feeling that the original trilogy was a perfect enough statement and the new ones seem superfluous and less significant, but as I said this second volume is moving in the right direction.

I enjoyed the first book - the extended chase sequence was great - and I'm enjoying the second one at around the half way mark so far. Like you, I don't think they're strictly necessary, but I like the stuff with the roses as a continuation on the concept of dust, and I really hope that the books reintroduce us to Will. It does feel more like an appendix that can be read for interest, though, and nothing has affected me in the way that the original books did. I can't imagine that the ending of book 3 will be anything as like as profound as the way the original Lyra and Will stories wrapped up.

From the original trilogy, you're right about the "chosen one" stuff. I don't remember that featuring in the books at all, so if it was present it was underplayed.

Ja'moke

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #80 on: November 05, 2019, 05:37:59 PM »
My full recap of the premiere is now out, for those that care: https://www.tvinsider.com/828513/his-dark-materials-premiere-episode-1-recap-lyras-jordan/

I do agree with the consensus here that the first episode was kind of slow and plodding, but I do think it showed just enough potential to continue sticking with.

Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #81 on: November 05, 2019, 05:45:38 PM »
Yes I read the caption but as I'd not seen any of the episode yet I had no reference points, nothing, and I forgot what I'd read almost immediately.

It must have been especially confusing for anyone who hadn't noticed "daemon" spelled out in the captions, as without that bit of context I'd imagine most people would assume they were hearing the animals being described as demons.

Blue Jam

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #82 on: November 05, 2019, 05:57:00 PM »
Are daemons really supposed to represent people's souls? I would have thought professional atheist Philip Pullman wouldn't have been keen on the idea of souls, at least not by that name... Reading the books I got the impression they were more like familiars- yes, another supernatural concept, but not one that comes from organised religion (as far as I know).

Sad to see the daemons don't feature too heavily- that was one of the most fun ideas of the book and it really added to the characters (servants all have faithful hounds as daemons, Asriel has a majestic snow leopard, Mrs Coulter has a monkey who is a bit of a dick etc) and one that could have been a lot of fun to play with in a visual adaptation.

Zetetic

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #83 on: November 05, 2019, 06:22:18 PM »
Are daemons really supposed to represent people's souls?
No, they are people's souls, although Pullman might fudge this with consciousness and inner-self and so on. (But the relationships between these things and the physical world aren't the same across all worlds, in HDM.)

Quote
I would have thought professional atheist Philip Pullman wouldn't have been keen on the idea of souls, at least not by that name... Reading the books I got the impression they were more like familiars- yes, another supernatural concept, but not one that comes from organised religion (as far as I know).
I think this undermines the relationships between daemons, dust and sin. They have to be an essential part of the human self (in Lyra's world) - losing them is to lose something that makes your a proper person (for want of a better way to put it).



Blue Jam

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #84 on: November 05, 2019, 06:51:52 PM »
Very nicely explained- it has been a while since I read the books, thanks Z.

Blue Jam

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #85 on: November 05, 2019, 07:04:51 PM »
Enjoying this so far. McAvoy works as Asriel and I'm loving the costume design. Lyra is suitably defiant. Pantalaimon is adorable.

touchingcloth

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #86 on: November 05, 2019, 07:12:28 PM »
I enjoyed the costume and makeup between Lyra and Coulter. When the first met they both had shoulder length hair and knee length dresses/smocks, with Lycra’s being just that bit shabbier. Lyra was Coulter seen in a glass darkly, it seemed to me. Or Coulter was Lyra seen that way.

Zetetic

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #87 on: November 06, 2019, 11:26:44 PM »
Asriel and Coulter are played very well, I thought. Captured the right level of cold drive about both of them.

Didn't think much of Carne/Master(/Clarke Peters) - came across as as a bit anxious rather than a man juggling the weight of his own conscience, his relationship with the Magisterium, and his commitments to those around him.

And that feeds a bit into the wider problem of the Magisterium never being very well represented. Here, we're shown that the the headquarters (?) are a slightly-Brutalist megaproject conference centre, or something. (Why? Isn't part of the point that in Lyra's world that Hyper-Calvinism wins out and doctrinal development is fairly explicitly ended at that point? Don't need much room for big meetings after that.)

From what I can remember, we're not really shown much what living under the Magisterium is like. They don't seem to give a shit about how the Gyptians live, and we don't spend enough time in their domain with anyone else. We do see the actions of the GOB, which seems to be endorsed at the highest levels - but these don't really seem to be typical, hidden away as they are in the North. (And then Asriel, um, undercuts this with his bastardry.)

touchingcloth

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #88 on: November 06, 2019, 11:36:32 PM »
In my memory the Magisterium were omnipresent but discreet. As with the ministries in 1984 I have the impression that most citizens knew what was expected of them without really examining it much unless they were bolder or more reckless. I think the idea of a giant but empty brutalist meeting chamber is a good depiction of that kind of quiet totalitarianism - no one knows where the buck stops, and that’s kind of the point.

Zetetic

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Re: His Dark Materials (BBC)
« Reply #89 on: November 07, 2019, 01:24:16 AM »
I might be more sold on the idea if there were more than two blokes around at all (and they both didn't seem to also be from Oxford).

(Although I couldn't work out how to make them not-British without evoking distracting kinds of totalitarianism. They should probably have been speaking Latin, I guess? Assuming that we are seeing a building in Geneva.)

In fairness, I can't remember enough of La Belle Sauvage but I do remember we see the Magisterium intrusion into children's daily lives in that.