His Dark Materials season 2: everything you need to know

His Dark Materials season 2 is arriving on our TV screens in November. Here’s everything you need to know about the adaptation of The Subtle Knife in Philip Pullman’s trilogy.

Fantasy fiction fans, hold onto your hats: season two of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is coming to BBC One soon.

Northern Lights sequel The Subtle Knife will be bringing a welcome dose of dystopian adventure to our TV screens come November; just in time for a winter pick-me-up of epic thrills and escapism. 

Filmed in Wales and co-produced by the HBO and BBC, the eight-episode season will be just as lavish as its predecessor, written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and directed by Tom Hooper.

Here’s what we know so far about series two of the hit coming-of-age drama.

Where does His Dark Materials season 2 pick up?

The second installment of Pullman’s trilogy, The Subtle Knife, sees a grieving Lyra arrive in the mysterious city of Cittàgazze. She landed there having followed her father, the savage Lord Asriel (played by James McAvoy in season one), after he murdered her best friend Roger, in order to use his dust to from a bridge to a new world.

Still reeling from Roger’s death, Lyra comes across Will Parry, a boy first seen in the human world of season one of His Dark Materials – although not in the book – who is also on the run from a traumatic past (his father Colonel John Parry went missing while exploring the north). Here’s a recap at where we stood at the end of season one, and all our cliffhanger questions.

Who stars in His Dark Materials season 2?

Season two of His Dark Materials sees the return of Dafne Keen as the trilogy’s bereaved heroine, Lyra Belacqua, alongside Amir Wilson as Will Parry, whose friendship with Lyra forms the backbone of the new series.

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Clarke Peters reprises his role as the ephemeral Master of Jordan College, with Ruta Gedmintas as clan queen of the witches Serafina Pekkala, Joe Tandberg asking of Svalbard Iorek Byrnison and Helen McCrory as Stelmaria; the dæmon to McAvoy’s Lord Asriel. Ruth Wilson also returns as the eminently evil Mrs Coulter, alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda (Lee Scoresby). 

The new series also heralds in two other exciting newbies by way of Andrew Scott (as Will’s father, Colonel John Parry, or Jopari) and his Fleabag cohort Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Who is Phoebe Waller-Bridge in His Dark Materials season 2?

Waller-Bridge voices a dæmon called Sayan Kötör that takes the form of an osprey to Scott’s Col. Parry. 

Scott and Waller-Bridge make a welcome addition to season two’s stellar line-up, not least because the casting places them back in a dream team together. 

These two lit up our TV screens as the titular name and the hot priest in Fleabag: and so we can expect equally great (if slightly less sexually charged) chemistry from them this time around.

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“I’m really thrilled about [the casting] because it’s all about companionship and friendship and loyalty, and that’s what I feel about Phoebe in real life,” Scott previously said.

Is there a trailer for His Dark Materials season 2?     

Indeed there is: whet your appetite for a parallel universe-sized helping of suspense and drama, below.

When is His Dark Materials season 2 released?

His Dark Materials season two arrives on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK on Sunday 8 November, and on HBO Max in the US on Monday 16 November. The countdown begins right here.

Images: BBC, Getty

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