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The BBC orders a second season of His Dark Materials before the first one even finishes shooting

A British stage production of His Dark Materials
Photo: Robbie Jack (Getty Images)

Having apparently failed to learn the lessons of history—and specifically the lessons of the history that happened the last last time someone tried to adapt Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series for the screen—the BBC has decided to double down on its upcoming, very expensive adaptation of the best-selling YA books. Deadline reports that the organization has just added a second eight-episode limited series run to its star-studded TV take on Pullman’s beloved books, even though the first hasn’t even finished shooting.

To be fair, this particular take on Pullman’s polar bear-battling allegory does sound like it has a much better shot at success than 2007's ill-fated The Golden Compass, which attempted to cram a pretty hefty and frequently subtle book down into a sub-2-hour running time. Switching to TV might also insulate Pullman’s story from some of the religious protests that helped sink the earlier film—which didn’t even get to the bit where people start declaring open war on God.


Plus, again, the cast on this thing is pretty hard to argue with: Dafne Keen, from Logan, stars as youthful urchin Lyra, backed up by James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and more. It doesn’t hurt that Pullman’s books sold something on the order of 15 million copies, ensuring that there’s an audience here (although that’s probably what everybody thought the last time, too).

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