Consisting of The Golden Compass (1995), The Subtle Knife (1997), and The Amber Spyglass (2000).
In 2007, the first series of The Golden Compass was made into a feature film, but unfortunately it did not get a good response so there was never a sequel.
The entire story of His Dark Materials is set in the reality of a parallel world that is connected to the world we come from. In an alternate reality, which is one of the main settings, all human souls manifest into an animal called a daemon. The two of them became friends and protected each other.
The series follows the journey of a young girl named Lyra Belacqua, who lives with the educated people at Jordan College, Oxford. Unlike humans in general, Lyra lives in a parallel world, where all norms are governed by a religious and political body called the Magisterium.
Lyra has a daemon named Pantalaimon “Pan”, and befriends a boy her age, Roger Parslow. Lyra also greatly admires her uncle, Lord Asriel, a polar explorer who researches about a mysterious substance called Dust, and parallel worlds.
However, his research was always considered heretical by the Magisterium. One day, Lord Asriel returns to Oxford with his discovery of Dust, and a head from Dr. Stanislaus Grumman, an explorer who managed to find a parallel world portal in Alaska in the world he lives in.
The scholars of Oxford were quite surprised at what Asriel brought, and they denied all ideas from him. Some time later, the Master of Jordan College learns about a prediction about the truth of Lyra’s future through a golden compass called an alethiometer.
He also tried to kill Asriel by poisoning his drink, but his actions were thwarted by Lyra and Pan. Asriel then left Jordan College to resume his expedition at the poles.
Another explorer, Mrs Marisa Coulter, then arrives at Jordan College to guide Lyra on her polar adventure to meet Lord Asriel. Marisa also promises him that she will help find Roger, who has been missing and kidnapped by a group of child kidnappers called the Gobblers.
Shortly before Lyra left, the Master of Jordan College gave her an alethiometer as a tool she could use to search for the truth. However, Lyra still can’t use the tool properly.
Mrs. Coulter then takes Lyra to the City of London, while the Gyptian group heads to the city to find the Gobbler who has stolen their children.
At Oxford, the Master of Jordan College meets Lord Boreal, a Magisterium aristocrat and artifact thief. The two of them talk about Dust and finding the head of Dr. Grumman found by Asriel.
Boreal then travels through a portal to Oxford which is in another alternate world. He hires Thomas, a mercenary, to find out where the real Grumman is, whether he’s still alive or not.
Meanwhile, Lyra and Pan finally find out that Mrs. Coulter is the one behind Gobbler, and she intends to separate all the children from her daemons.
Very Captivating Story Material
His Dark Materials has dynamic and quite complex story material in every 8 episodes it offers. Even so, this series is still fairly good at maintaining a number of diverse story conflicts to move forward simultaneously.
In the first season of His Dark Materials, we will follow a number of stories, each of which is very interesting, ranging from Lyra’s efforts to save her best friend, Roger, from the clutches of the Magisterium, the hunt for Mrs. Coulter to find Lyra, Lord Asriel’s experiments at the poles, to exploring parallel worlds. by Lord Borel.
All these intrigues are intelligently highlighted by this series so that we are able to follow the stories one by one without any confusion at all. Because in the end, the journey they take will weave the same common thread, and everything will be connected at the end of the episode.
Through such an approach, His Dark Materials season 1 provides a really exciting storyline, and fun to follow. Moreover, the duration of each episode is quite long, about 1 hour, making us who watch it feel satisfied for 8 episodes.
This series is also arguably much better than the film adaptation of the big screen, The Golden Compass (2007), starring Daniel Craig , and Nicole Kidman . The first season of His Dark Materials runs very well, is captivating, and provides a fairly impressive parallel world fantasy story.
Charming Parallel World Concept
An alternate reality set in a parallel world where Lyra lives is set in a grand, fantasy setting.
In Lyra’s world, we can see all kinds of daemon forms that are friends with humans, then there are Dust particles that are considered heretical, witches, to lorek Byrnison, a giant talking ice bear, and the king of the Panserbjorn species in the poles.
Then, a golden compass called the aleithiometer became one of the main attractions of this series, and became an object fought over by Mrs. Coulter, and Lord Boreal.
Not only that, the first season of His Dark Materials still has many other mysteries that surround each episode, and this makes this series even more exciting, and exciting.
In addition, the world that is in the spotlight in this first season is not only where Lyra lives, but there is also a “real world” like where we live, where there are no daemons with all kinds of other fantasies. Uniquely, in this world lives a boy named Will Parry, who will later become the second protagonist in this series.
Will Parry appears in the fifth episode, “The Lost Boy”, and the world he lives in is connected to the world Lyra resides in. This could happen because Lord Boreal managed to find an inter-dimensional portal that managed to connect the two worlds.