‘The Golden Compass’ gets another shot as a TV series


If you were one of the many folks disappointed by the movie adaptation of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” titled “The Golden Compass,” you’re in luck. The whole fantasy series is getting a do-over on BBC One.

Back in 2007, New Line Cinema translated the first book of the highly regarded “His Dark Materials” book trilogy into the big budget film “The Golden Compass.” Despite its collection of big name stars (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig) the movie was regarded by fans as a visually stunning but watered-down take on the source material. And the movie-adaptation halted after the first film. But now the books are getting another shot.

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BBC One announced that Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema will be jointly producing a “His Dark Materials” TV series.

“His Dark Materials” is set in a fantasy world that freely mixes theology, philosophy and string theory with a touch of magic (or dust). For example, each character born into this parallel universe is forever linked with their own “daemons,” a representation of the character’s inner self or soul. The daemon manifests itself as an animal, and stays by the human’s side until death.

The three books in the trilogy are “Northern Lights” (reprinted in the United States as “The Golden Compass”), “The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass.” Details on the proposed TV series are scarce. However, the official description from BBC One does include a synopsis of all three books, leading us to believe that they’re committed to translating each novel:

“‘Northern Lights’ introduces Lyra, an orphan, who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. In ‘The Subtle Knife’ she is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between worlds. As Lyra learns the truth about her parents and her prophesied destiny, the two young people are caught up in a war against celestial powers that ranges across many worlds and leads to a thrilling conclusion in ‘The Amber Spyglass.’”

All signs point to this being an all-encompassing translation after all. No doubt “His Dark Materials” will fit in nicely with the current crop of fantasy television.

Twitter: @MdellW