Television His Dark Materials

OohAahMartial

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I don't why, but that last trailer feels more like a BBC production than a HBO one. I got Dr. Who vibes from it.
Nothing HBO about the productions values of this, very disappointing. Look and feel of standard BBC children's TV, blatant green screen crisp edges to people, woeful acting, low budget so removed the Daemons from all but the main cast, no soundtrack to mention or remember, poor enunciation, dire lighting, I could go on. Think I will just read the books.
 

AltiUn

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Was a decent start, nothing groundbreaking but I enjoyed it. I do think it might take a few episodes to really get going, I remember feeling the same when I first read the books. I did notice a lack of background daemons, wonder if that's anything to do with budgeting.
 

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Nothing HBO about the productions values of this, very disappointing. Look and feel of standard BBC children's TV, blatant green screen crisp edges to people, woeful acting, low budget so removed the Daemons from all but the main cast, no soundtrack to mention or remember, poor enunciation, dire lighting, I could go on. Think I will just read the books.
I think it looks BBC, yes, but I cannot agree with any of the other points. It looks fabulous to me and the acting was certainly not woeful.
 

robinamicrowave

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Gave this a go last night. Realised about halfway through that there's just too much TV out there that's far better than this for me to commit to it - the cliffhanger did nothing to convince me either. Looked like a nice show to watch but the production values were pretty shoddy, quite a lot of the acting was so-so, I feel like the dialogue was almost entirely exposition. I'm comfortable with giving this a miss.
 

dumbo

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I sort of loved it, despite its flaws. The main cast are uncannily fit for their roles, and the supporting cast are excellent. Every new character that appears on screen seems to knock it out the park. Roger, Tony and Ma are proper acting.

The daemons are bloody great. I don't mind that you can sometimes see the CGI joins because the way they move and emote and act, makes them come to life as believable characters. Stelmaria and Mrs Coulter's monkey were a joy. Pan morphing was neat too.

It zips along, possibly too fast(?) if you're not familiar with the plot. A lot of the relationships have to be implied rather than demonstrated, but that's TV for you I suppose. There wasn't enough Pan-Lyra stuff - I could have watched a whole episode of that relationship. But again I'm sure that has something to do with the effects workload. Most of the little problems can probably be attributed to production limitations, technical and time wise.

Something like Game of Thrones looks better in terms of being slicker with more elaborate sets and expensive effects, but this show already looks better in terms of coherent visual storytelling. I thought the internals were lit and shot beautifully.

I have no problem with the BBC drama aesthetic . It can look cheap and tacky but it doesn't have to. The Little Drummer Girl and Gunpowder both looked stunning and unique despite clearly being British television productions. I'm so over everything needing to look glossy and cinematic. I'd much rather have something that looks visually interesting made within the shooting limitations.

I'm not a massive Pullman fan though, I tend to pick and choose the bits that I like, so this type of retelling might be more suited to a casual like me, rather than the book die hards.
 
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Sanche7

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Although movies have become mostly shite, TV shows have been so frigging good for the past few years. The only problem now is that there's way too much to watch.
 

Player Red

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I sort of loved it, despite its flaws. The main cast are uncannily fit for their roles, and the supporting cast are excellent. Every new character that appears on screen seems to knock it out the park. Roger, Tony and Ma are proper acting.

The daemons are bloody great. I don't mind that you can sometimes see the CGI joins because the way they move and emote and act, makes them come to life as believable characters. Stelmaria and Mrs Coulter's monkey were a joy. Pan morphing was neat too.

It zips along, possibly too fast(?) if you're not familiar with the plot. A lot of the relationships have to be implied rather than demonstrated, but that's TV for you I suppose. There wasn't enough Pan-Lyra stuff - I could have watched a whole episode of that relationship. But again I'm sure that has something to do with the effects workload. Most of the little problems can probably be attributed to production limitations, technical and time wise.

Something like Game of Thrones looks better in terms of being slicker with more elaborate sets and expensive effects, but this show already looks better in terms of coherent visual storytelling. I thought the internals were lit and shot beautifully.

I have no problem with the BBC drama aesthetic . It can look cheap and tacky but it doesn't have to. The Little Drummer Girl and Gunpowder both looked stunning and unique despite clearly being British television productions. I'm so over everything needing to look glossy and cinematic. I'd much rather have something that looks visually interesting made within the shooting limitations.

I'm not a massive Pullman fan though, I tend to pick and choose the bits that I like, so this type of retelling might be more suited to a casual like me, rather than the book die hards.
I think with Pan-Lyra, they will hope that time will develop that relationship and the viewers understanding of the link between human/daemon. There is a lot of get through and I can see why the film would have struggled. However, with a TV show they can dedicate 8 hours to this one book and build the relationships over time.

It was interesting that there was so much included in the "next week" trailer. Perhaps they understood the first episode was action light and hoped to rope viewers in through the preview.
 

Redlambs

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Is this watchable without reading the books?
I haven't read the books either.

To be honest, I was looking forward to watching this but it was very...dull. I get there's a lot to set up, but daemons/dust/religious conspiracy all just seems like it's been done hundreds of times before and I'm betting occasionally in more interesting ways.

But, I will try the next one.
 

Fingeredmouse

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I haven't read the books either.

To be honest, I was looking forward to watching this but it was very...dull. I get there's a lot to set up, but daemons/dust/religious conspiracy all just seems like it's been done hundreds of times before and I'm betting occasionally in more interesting ways.

But, I will try the next one.
The daemons/dust/religious conspiracy things seems like it's been done hundreds of times?
 

Raees

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I liked it - much better than the film at this point so will give it a chance. McAvoy was excellent.
 

Redlambs

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The daemons/dust/religious conspiracy things seems like it's been done hundreds of times?
Various forms of them, yes.

Spirit animals, aura, zealot control. It's all been done over and over. That's not to say it's worse here, I'm holding out hope. Just that so far it's nothing new or that interesting. But maybe as someone who hasn't read the books, I've things to come to change my mind, so I'm willing to wait and see.
 

Fingeredmouse

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Various forms of them, yes.

Spirit animals, aura, zealot control. It's all been done over and over. That's not to say it's worse here, I'm holding out hope. Just that so far it's nothing new or that interesting. But maybe as someone who hasn't read the books, I've things to come to change my mind, so I'm willing to wait and see.
I've never read anything like it (and I have read an awful lot by this age) and it's not really like an aura as such but I'll say no more if you've not read the book.
 

Redlambs

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I've never read anything like it (and I have read an awful lot by this age) and it's not really like an aura as such but I'll say no more if you've not read the book.
Fair enough, thanks for that mate.

I get the message, I'll keep watching and see where it goes ;)
 

sullydnl

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As someone who read the books I'm quite happy to spend time with this show.
 

Revan

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I haven't read the books either.

To be honest, I was looking forward to watching this but it was very...dull. I get there's a lot to set up, but daemons/dust/religious conspiracy all just seems like it's been done hundreds of times before and I'm betting occasionally in more interesting ways.

But, I will try the next one.
The religious stuff is very mature, deep and kind of unique in the books, despite that the books are young adult genre.
 

shaggy

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I didnt really like the girl who played Lyra or Roger either, they were annoying. Loved the books so hopefully she will grow on me. Gypsies were a bit shit as well. Felt a little rushed but all good, only the first episode so had to set the scene, characters etc and it's a big story to tell.
 

dumbo

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Well I really enjoyed the second episode. The daemons are killing it.
 

Sanche7

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Agreed - nice to have some Sunday evening telly to watch for a change.
Way too much TV to watch on Sundays. Rick and morty, Mr robot, last week tonight with john oliver, watchmen, this one, Bob's burgers, the simpsons, silicon valley all coming out on the same day
 

dumbo

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Agreed - nice to have some Sunday evening telly to watch for a change.
Right.

This episode had just what I wanted: more Pan and Lyra and daemons duffing each other up. Now I want to see some bears, Serafina and Charon. Give.
 

dumbo

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Hey, don't go confusing the ability to sound off pompously and excessively about stuff, with actual taste.

Daemons woop!
 

Rooney in Paris

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Nah just so happens that I usually agree with your take on things. Plus I really liked the books when I read them all that time ago, so I should give this a go.
 

Ubik

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Well I really enjoyed the second episode. The daemons are killing it.
Yeah I liked that one a lot more, although I dislike the scenes they've added with the Magisterium and the Gyptians. I get why they've done it, it just feels very by the numbers when it happens.

Spoiler for the future
Also didn't like bringing in the windows this early, in my opinion it kind of undermines the climax of this book/series. Didn't like how obvious the windows looked either, but again it's understandable why they've done it.
 

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Although movies have become mostly shite, TV shows have been so frigging good for the past few years. The only problem now is that there's way too much to watch.
I think we've hit the golden age of television (or maybe surpassed a few years ago).
 

Raees

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Enjoyed it yet again.. feels right and faithful to the book so far.
 

AltiUn

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Episode 1 was fine but episode 2 was much better, pacing felt better and the actress who plays Mrs Coulter is killing it. Surprised they're bringing other worlds into the story so early, although from a storytelling perspective I think it'll work very well with setting up future storylines.
 

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Episode 1 was fine but episode 2 was much better, pacing felt better and the actress who plays Mrs Coulter is killing it. Surprised they're bringing other worlds into the story so early, although from a storytelling perspective I think it'll work very well with setting up future storylines.
They're building up Boreal for the same reason. I'm ok with it as the shock of the ending of the first book/series (which I won't mention here out of courtesy for non book readers) is still massive and, to be fair, you know the other Worlds are there, even if you don't see them, in chapter 1.
 

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Episode 1 was fine but episode 2 was much better, pacing felt better and the actress who plays Mrs Coulter is killing it. Surprised they're bringing other worlds into the story so early, although from a storytelling perspective I think it'll work very well with setting up future storylines.
Aye. The book is able to largely stick to just Lyra's POV, which makes it easier to hide large elements of the story from the reader. The TV show can't do that (for various reasons) so structurally it makes sense not to even try but instead to engage that aspect of the story from the start. Even with that I've seen a couple of reviews from non-reader critics saying the show plays its cards close to its chest over the opening episodes, which suggests the writers made the right call.
 

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To me it was a Harrry Potter type of watered down children story. Stopped watching after 5 minutes.
 

Fingeredmouse

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To me it was a Harrry Potter type of watered down children story. Stopped watching after 5 minutes.
It is significantly broader in scope, more profound and more adult than Potter (which I have no issue with as an aside) and becomes progressively more so as it progresses.
 

dumbo

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Is dope.

That hallway scrap was beautifully composed. Whoever is dressing the show has a real painterly eye, looks amazing. And it has a great score.

Some of the plotting is a little lumpen and some of the expository dialogue a tad awkward ( although I thought that about the books too to an extent), but it has a bunch of super compelling scenes and overall it's lovely.
 

Ubik

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Yup, getting better every ep. Extra Boreal stuff making more sense now. Now for the bear.
 

Bilbo

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Yeah I liked that one a lot more, although I dislike the scenes they've added with the Magisterium and the Gyptians. I get why they've done it, it just feels very by the numbers when it happens.

Spoiler for the future
Really enjoying the series so far after the sh!tstain that was the movie, but I agree strongly with your spoilered point. There was no need to bring that in for the first series, and it will diminish (if they go with it) the brilliant ending to the first book.