The wait is nearly over: In just a few weeks HBO viewers will be transported back to the wonderous world of “His Dark Materials.” The premium cabler released the trailer for the show’s impending sophomore season on Friday, which is slated to debut in November.
The trailer for the second installment in the fantasy series, which will air on HBO and BBC One, carries the following synopsis:
[Season 2] begins after Lord Asriel has opened a bridge to a new world, and, distraught over the death of her best friend, Lyra follows Asriel into the unknown. In a strange and mysterious abandoned city she meets Will, a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.
Season 2 series regulars include Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Amir Wilson, Ariyon Bakare, Andrew Scott, Will Keen, Ruta Gedmintas, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Joining the cast this season are Terence Stamp, Jade Anouka, and Simone Kirby.
“His Dark Materials” Season 1 centered on the events from “Northern Lights” (aka “The Golden Compass”), author Philip Pullman’s first book in the “His Dark Materials” young adult novel series. Though the novel trilogy was primarily marketed to younger audiences, Pullman’s novels boasted plenty of cerebral themes, including contemplations on theology and philosophy.
Friday’s trailer marked HBO’s second glimpse of the upcoming season. The premium cabler released a trailer for the show’s sophomore season during Comic-Con in July, though that trailer only offered brief teases of the world that the show’s characters inhabit.
The first season of “His Dark Materials” was well-received by critics, including IndieWire’s Libby Hill, who referred to the show as a “promising, but imperfect” adaptation. Though she noted that HBO had attempted to adapt a franchise that was notoriously difficult to portray on screen, she offered particular praise for the show’s deft use of puppets.
“If you could see your soul, would you like what you see? And would you want to? The connection between human and daemon is central to the success of the series and for the most part, “His Dark Materials” makes it work,” Hill said in her review. “The use of puppets during filming allowed the actors to form real connections with creatures typically inserted after the fact. It’s necessary and it works to great effect.”
Though most of “His Dark Materials” Season 2 was filmed before the coronavirus pandemic began impacting television productions, the health crisis forced the show’s team to scrap a standalone episode that would’ve focused on Lord Asriel (James McAvoy). The show’s sophomore season will consist of seven episodes.
Check out the trailer for “His Dark Materials” Season 2 below: