His Dark Materials is REALLY, REALLY GOOD

I read all three HDM books in high school, but it’s been such a long time that I’ve forgotten a lot of the most memorable moments. Well, no more! This adaptation is amazing. It’s beautiful and horrific and stunningly well-acted. The episode that just aired had a scene between Ruth Wilson and Dafne Keen where they just scream at each other from opposite sides of a door, that’s it, and it sent chills down my spine. The best way I can think of to describe both their performances is “animalistic,” which works for HDM for obvious reasons if you’ve seen it.

Ruth Wilson has blown my mind in this. Her Mrs Coutler is a horrifying, unpredictable, vicious snake (except, monkey) of a woman and she’s amazing to watch, even though honestly I’m watching most of her scenes from behind my fingers now.

Also, the Golden Monkey, damn that creature. Rarely have I seen a CGI creation exude such malice before. I hate it, I hate the jumpscares it brings with it, and also I forgot the book explanations for all the weird things about it so I hate it even more for that.

Heh, I saw lots of people complain about this on Twitter, but I actually like the fact that the show just flat-out didn’t bother to hide that Mrs Coulter and Lyra are mother and daughter, or that the father is Asriel. I mean, LOOK:

Not only do Ruth Wilson and Dafne Keen LOOK EXACTLY ALIKE, on the poster Lyra is wearing a combination of the clothes her parents are wearing! So I kinda feel even if I hadn’t read the books I would’ve guessed quite easily. Again, EXACTLY ALIKE! The hair, the faces, everything!

So yeah, this show is frickin’ amazing and so far I’m impressed at the adaptation choices they’ve made (bringing in Will and The Subtle Knife in only the second episode, that bowled me over, also killing off Billy, sorry Billy.) There’s one thing that prevents me from loving this series as much as I want to, though, and that’s the sidelining of the daemons! They’re one of the most important parts of the story but apart from the aforementioned horrifying monkey none of them have made an impact. And we’re not seeing them, which is worse! There are whole scenes where people are standing around and their daemons should be there, and they’re not. (Budget issues, I know, but…) Daemons aren’t pets, they’re part of a person’s soul, but the show hasn’t really gotten that across. And that’s really disappointing, but the only reason it’s disappointing is because everything else is so damn good.

Anyway, I can’t wait for this show to develop even more. Definitely can’t wait to see some of the things I remember from The Amber Spyglass. One more thing: I saw this tweet from one of the writers –

I was a child carer as well, to some extent, so I really appreciate that. So far, the show’s been really good at showing the realities of it, and I guess that is actually quite a bit more important than the daemon thing really.