His Dark Materials returns to BBC One: What happened in series one? Recap!
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His Dark Materials returns to BBC One: What happened in series one? Recap!

The BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman's trilogy of novels returns

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His Dark Materials returns later tonight with a second series on BBC One  and you can remind yourself what exactly happened in the series one with this easy-to-understand recap.

The adaptation of Philip Pullman’s trilogy of novels follows the coming of age of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry.

James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda all star, alongside relative newcomers Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson.

But what exactly happened in the first series? Here’s our easy-to-understand recap.

***Warning: spoilers from series one ahead***

The cast of His Dark Materials on BBC One.
The cast of His Dark Materials on BBC One (Credit: BBC One)

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What happened in series one of His Dark Materials?

His Dark Materials season one was an eight-part series which aired at the end of 2019.

The first series is set in a parallel universe where human souls exist in daemons.

TV viewers were introduced to a young orphan named Lyra (played by Dafne Keen) who has been raised in the sanctuary of Oxford’s Jordan College.

Little does she know, she was placed there to protect her as she’s the subject of a world-changing prophecy.

Lyra is desperate to explore the North with her exciting Uncle Asriel, until ‘fate’ intervenes and she ends up the owner of the alethiometer – an instrument that can tell the truth.

She seems to have the ability to interpret the extraordinary device.

Who is Mrs Coulter?

Lyra meets Mrs Coulter, who offers Lyra adventure and travel – but she has an ulterior motive.

Lyra learns that her elusive uncle is, in fact, her real father. And Mrs Coulter is her mum.

Explorer Asriel is tracking a substance called Dust, which surrounds adults but not children.

Mrs Coulter is a villainous character, who is part of the religious sect The Magisterium.

She has been stealing children – including Lyra’s friend Roger – and carrying out experiments trying to sever children from their daemons.

Lyra saves the children and herself from the evil Mrs Coulter – with the help of armoured polar bear Iorek, water travellers The Gyptians, aeronaut-for-hire Lee Scoresby and witch Serafina.

Mrs Coulter in His Dark Materials
Ruth Wilson plays Mrs Coulter in His Dark Materials (Credit: BBC One)

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How did series one of His Dark Materials end?

Lyra went to her father’s laboratory with Roger.

Lord Asriel kills Roger by cutting away his daemon to create an energy surge to open a window to another world, which Asriel walks through.

Lyra follows after him alone, seeking revenge for the death of her friend.

Meanwhile, teenager Will (Amir Wilson) was seen living on Earth, the son of Colonel Parry.

He accidentally kills Lord Boreal trying to protect his family, and escapes through a portal into the realm of His Dark Materials.

What is the The Magisterium?

The Magisterium is a religious sect which sees Dust as a manifestation of original sin and seeks to eliminate it.

Mrs Coulter works for The Magisterium and leads secret, cruel experiments in the Far North that sever children from their daemons in an attempt to rid them of Dust.

She kills many in the process, until Lyra manages to free those remaining.

Dafne Keen plays Lyra in His Dark Materials
Logan actress Dafne Keen plays Lyra in His Dark Materials (Credit: BBC One)

Who is Lyra Belacqua?

Lyra Belacqua is also known as Lyra Silvertongue.

She’s the heroine of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

Her parents are Lord Asriel and Marisa Coulter.

She has the ability to read the magical alethiometer, which makes her both powerful and dangerous to The Magisterium.

What is Dust?

In Lyra’s parallel universe, Dust is a source of great anxiety to The Magisterium church.

Dust, it believes, is the physical evidence of original sin.

Dust comes to us when we grow up and become corrupted by the wickedness of the world, of knowledge.

Who is Lyra’s daemon?

Lyra’s beloved daemon is called Pan.

Like all daemons belonging to children, he can take any animal form he pleases.

He usually appears as a white ferret, but first appears in the story as a dark brown moth.

He will settle as one animal when Lyra gets older.

Andrew Scott plays Colonel John Parry in His Dark Materials
Fleabag’s ‘Hot Priest’ Andrew Scott plays Colonel John Parry in His Dark Materials (Credit: BBC)

What is His Dark Materials based on?

His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman.

The trilogy consists of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

The story follows the coming of age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes.

What happens in series two of His Dark Materials?

Lyra journeys through the worlds, including our own, and meets Will, a determined and courageous boy.

Together they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living – and the dead – in their hands.

His Dark Materials starts on BBC One on Sunday November 8 2020 at 8.10pm.

Are you looking forward to seeing series two of His Dark Materials on BBC One? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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