His Dark Materials (BBC serial)

AlexH

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The BBC has had other fantasy and sci-fi programmes in recent years. Merlin was my favourite of them and had a great ending too. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan were almost cast as Merlin and Guinevere (2 years previous to them joining Doctor Who)! Colin Morgan and Matt Smith are both similar actors, so it doesn't surprise me they were the final two for Merlin. I wonder if Colin Morgan would've ended up as The Doctor if Smith had got the Merlin part...
 

Vareor

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Yep. Haven't watched Doctor Who, but Merlin was good. Among other BBC shows, I liked Patrick Melrose too.
 

REBerg

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I fell asleep during the first episode. Glad I recorded it. Will try again tonight...
Me too.
It wasn't that I was bored by the story. I just overestimated my ability to remain conscious for the day.
Reinforced by caffeine, I'll take another shot this morning. :)
 

CupofJoe

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Me too.
It wasn't that I was bored by the story. I just overestimated my ability to remain conscious for the day.
Reinforced by caffeine, I'll take another shot this morning. :)
If it helps, I was pleasantly surprised when I got to watch it all they way through. Lots of world building but the beginnings of a plot too.
 

Khuratokh

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Probably, merely because it is Fantasy and has cost a lot of money to produce, nothing more complicated than that.

They may be expecting it to be as popular as Game of Thrones. The BBC will be crossing-fingers and hoping it is, but you cannot predict that will be the case. The BBC is already making Season 2, and has War of the Worlds and Runestaff lined up, so they obviously are heavily invested in SFF now. While I loved wobbly scenery and shaky lines in the old Blake's Seven and Dr Who, I wished for a day when they would spend the same amount on SFF as they did on say, I, Claudius or The Onedin Line. SFF was always seen as less literary and cheaper to make, and the Director-General didn't like it. Even their most recent attempts, like Outcasts was pretty grim stuff. I think that the popularity of Game of Thrones has been a game-changer and become a bench mark. Which has to be good news.
Outcasts was pretty dire, Not helped by the smug creators who boasted about hating sci-fi, as if their writing would therefore be superior by default.
Que a cliché ridden soap, uninspired dialogue, an evil corporation, a secretly evil priest, etc. etc.
 

REBerg

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I don't yet know if I'll be drawn into the plot, but I'm fascinated by the human/animal, dæmon/soul thing.
The special effects are amazing, especially the animals. Coming in a close second are the airships, which look like the love children of zeppelins and Airstream travel trailers.
 

Stephen Palmer

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I really enjoyed it. I love the first two books.
Visually it was excellent ,and it rattled along. They missed a lot out, but that was inevitable.
Overall - much promise. Looking forward to tomorrow's episode.
 

HareBrain

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I thought it was generally well done. Some of the expository dialogue was a bit clunky, but that would be hard to get around. My main problem was the daemons. I liked them in the books, but they just didn't work for me in this. My suspension of disbelief wasn't strong enough to cope with the concept in an otherwise quite realistic visual setting, and the terribly mismatched voices didn't help. Also, once I'd noticed it, the fact that most people lacked the CGI daemons became a bit jarring.

Lyra was played extremely well, though, and the overall look was very good.
 

ctg

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What is deal with the Egyptians? I know they are a faction, but who they are really representing?
 

Dave

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What is deal with the Egyptians? I know they are a faction, but who they are really representing?
It is decades since I read the book, so a very hazy memory, but they just represent barge people - their world transports goods by barges and airships - and people working barges are a tight close-knit community. However, since they travel around a lot, and they are on the lower rungs of society, a few missing children aren't a great problem for anyone else. As @Mouse mentioned there was a little bit more in the book before Billy Costa disappeared, where you got to know them better. I also think they are "Gyptians" rather than Egyptians, so alluding to them being "Gypsies" without actually calling them that, or being accused of using a racial stereotype. They are willing to do a bit of smuggling (think Peaky Blinders ) and they can keep secrets. This will be important for Lyra soon.

Ruth Wilson especially good.
I knew she would be. The part is made for her. Her daemon is even more menacing than I remember in the book. When it was hitting Pan it was quite brutal.
 

Phyrebrat

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and the terribly mismatched voices didn't help

I really agree with this. I think this and your point below was the only thing that I really grumbled about. I was told 'imagine their daemons are ants, flies and caterpillars' which just made me think of even more questions (such as accidental daemon-swatting :D )

Also, once I'd noticed it, the fact that most people lacked the CGI daemons became a bit jarring


What is deal with the Egyptians? I know they are a faction, but who they are really representing?

As Dave says. I think also they're meant to represent a slice of society that is so far removed from The Authority/Magesterium and the Scholars. I liked that they have erred towards the darker looks of the Romany for the Gyptians in many of the characters.

pH
 
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ctg

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There is Dust.

So pseudo magic. It feels kind of strange that in the beginning they explained that there's two worlds, theirs and ours. Our being the normal world, while theirs is closer to steampunk than reality. But the Dust, before I see it really in action, I assume it's some kind of material that is left in the lines where ours connect to theirs.
 

Phyrebrat

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I think to try and define Dust and its importance/implications so early on would be very very hard to do without spoiling the entire premise - okay maybe not the entire premise, but a large part of the concept.

Also, I'm not sure there is just two universes - the opening credits seem to imply many.

A spoiler-lite version is

I'd link dust, daemons and all that jazz to puberty/innocence.

pH
 

ctg

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Does it annoy anybody else that the lead character familiar keeps changing shape all of the time? Nobody else does it.
 

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