Twelve years after the release of the unfortunate film adaptation of "The Golden Compass", the epic story taken from the books of the English writer Philip Pullman arrives on the small screen, trying to revive the fame of one of the much loved fantasy trilogies by young and old.
We are obviously talking about These Dark Matters (His Dark Materials, ), a story that sees as the protagonist of the very young boys who cultivate a symbiotic relationship with very special creatures: the daemons, animals with intelligence that represent the physical manifestation of the soul of humans.
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Leaving behind the failed cinematic experiment, HBO and the BBC have created a collaboration under the banner of good intentions, which has already resulted in a second season (regardless of the results of the first release), which aims to give continuity and fidelity to the world of fiction. created by Pullman.
That of These Dark Matters is a fascinating fantasy world, centered on the figure of the little girl Lyra Belaqua (Dafne Keen), one of the many students studying at Jordan College, endowed without her knowledge of extraordinary power.
His uncle Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) is an important scholar and explorer, frowned upon by the scientific community as he is obsessed with his studies on "dust", a substance of enormous importance for the development of history, and on the presence of parallel universes.
The entire narrative of the first episode, a bit like a natural evolution of the context, serves precisely to introduce us to a small part of the fundamental characters, indicating in the second instance the presence of a strong ecclesiastical institution called Magisterium, in stark contrast to Asriel's theories and ready to do anything to prevent anyone from becoming aware of his theories.
The latter will visit the college with the intention of obtaining new funds for his umpteenth expedition, also setting in motion the mechanisms of fate that see Lyra as protagonist, entrusted towards the end of the episode in the care of Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson), a mysterious woman who hides terrible secrets.
A character certainly known to lovers of the original trilogy, or to viewers of its film version. The episodes that we have had the opportunity to watch testify to the excellent work done precisely in being able to divide the narration of events in a coherent and rhythmic way, being able to grant the luxury of a minute that is certainly more important than just 117 minutes than what was seen at the cinema in 2007. .
On the contrary, the series avoids the summary "explanations" of the last and wisely doses a much more orderly proposal, therefore capable of being able to give the right weight to each element before revealing its use. Thanks to the writing of Jack Thorne, which proved to be perfect in the role, These Dark Materials acquires a deserved start to the season, assisted in this juncture by the interpretation of the very young Dafne Keen, who leaves the role of the mutant X-23 (impossible to forget her in Logan) to become a perfect Lyra Belaqua.
Even McAvoy, in his brief initial appearance, manages to attract attention thanks to his ability to interpret Lord Asriel excellently, followed with an impeccable pace even by Wilson, who however already reveals a lot of his character to the public thanks to a facial expression that we could define it as "innocently diabolical".
At the moment the information available to the viewer leaves the right veil of mystery on the activities of the Magisterum and on the members that compose it, among which Carlo Boreal (Clarke Peters), but surely there will be many other revelations that will be able to fill the doubts, leaving room for several pleasant surprises. We are honestly waiting for the arrival of the armored bears, elements of the narrative that will surely make their appearance sooner or later in the episodes to come.
As a last mention, even if there would be much more to write, we just have to face the visual part of this magical tale, which in this case manages to rely on a use of CGI that is not at all trivial, in short, able to bring to the small screen an engaging and satisfying show not only as regards the daemons, but also for the entire way in which the different settings between the college, the Arctic and the streets of an "alternative" London were shown compared to our plan of the reality.
In short, it is difficult to stay away from this television series if you are passionate about the fantasy genre, which we also recommend watching in the company of small family members, since both (spectators) will find bread for their teeth on several levels. of interpretation. On the other hand, Pullman has managed to do an excellent job with his original trilogy, which will soon be accompanied by an additional trilogy in the writing phase (the last book was published in October 2019).