For fans of Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ book series (which includes yours truly), there is much to be excited about with HBO/ BBC’s new show based on the bestselling novels, especially after the disappointing treatment the franchise received when Hollywood attempted to make a trilogy of films out of the novels about 12 years ago (the only movie released, ‘The Golden Compass,’ tanked with audiences and fans). Now we have a brand new television series, which seems to be the better way to adapt an expansive science fiction or fantasy series, allowing the creatives behind the show time to fully explore the world and its characters, without having to rush through everything in order to get to the main plot. Plus, this leaves time to fully ruminate on all of the philosophical points Pullman makes over the course of the novels, about things like the nature of the ‘Dust‘ element in the franchise which powers Lyra’s Golden Compass, religion in Lyra’s world and across all worlds, “The Authority” (aka God), and the strange creatures known as daemon’s in Lyra’s world who are physical manifestations of a person’s soul.
There is a lot to introduce to a new audience, hence the need for a solid opening title sequence to really draw people in, set the tone for the series and the world, and hint at some fairly big ideas and directions for the show. Which the opening titles for ‘His Dark Materials’ seems to do exceptionally well, giving a look at Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon standing in a corridor, hinting at Dust by seeing golden specs flying through a black void in the beginning of the titles, showing airships (a regular means of travel for some of the characters in ‘His Dark Materials’), and even hinting at multiple worlds existing right on top of each other at the end of the titles, giving viewers a taste of what is to come once Lyra meets Will Parry and their journey goes beyond Lyra’s world. Combined with a twisting and intriguing score by composer Lorne Balfe, and fans should be very excited about what is to come from this series.
Check out the opening titles for yourself below, and feel free to share your thoughts on the opening, the music, the series, and what you hope to see this season in the comments section!