His Dark Materials Starts Production on Its Final Season

His Dark Materials Starts Production on Its Final Season
Dafne Keen (left) and Amir Wilson welcome us back to, well, one of the worlds. (Photo: HBO)

It’s time to free the multiverse. HBO’s His Dark Materials has entered production on its third and final season, which sees Lyra (Dafne Keen) and Will (Amir Wilson) going to the ends of the earth to find each other, their friends, and eventually salvation.

In an emailed press release, HBO shared a first look behind the scenes of the eight-episode season that adapts the final book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. The third novel, The Amber Spyglass, is the longest and most-ambitious in the series, diving into Lord Asriel’s (James McAvoy) war on “The Authority,” this world’s version of God. It journeys into the highest heavens and plummets all the way down into the underworld, with plenty of borderline inexplicable stops in between. The writers and producers have their work cut out for them with this one — something executive producer Dan McCulloch said they’re ready to face.

“The moment we started season one of His Dark Materials, we had mapped out all three novels to know the direction in which where we were heading,” McCulloch said in a statement. “Every detail and character within this incredible work of fiction has been analysed and discussed for four years now, and to finally arrive in the many worlds of The Amber Spyglass is thrilling.”

The Amber Spyglass is the most gloriously complex of Philip Pullman’s novels to adapt for TV,” executive producer Jane Tranter said in a statement. “But, with our world class creative team in Cardiff, no challenge is too daunting. This season is both an epic adventure and a story about love and truth.”

In addition to Lyra, Will, and most of the others (RIP Lee Scoresby), season three sees the return of McAvoy as Lord Asriel, a character who was largely missing from season two because he’s not a character in The Subtle Knife (a planned standalone episode showcasing his travels had to be cut because of the novel coronavirus pandemic). He made a brief surprise appearance in the season two finale, “Æsahættr,” and this final season promises a major story for him and Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson).

Joining the cast this season is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad) as Commander Ogunwe, Jamie Ward as Father Gomez, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Mary Poppins Returns) and Simon Harrison as the rebel angels Balthamos and Baruch, Chipo Chung as Xaphania, and Amber Fitzgerald-Woolfe as Ama. Conspicuously missing from the cast are Chevalier Tialys and Lady Salmakia, the Gallivespian spymasters no taller than a person’s hand. Don’t you dare deny me my tiny spies, HBO.

No expected release date for the final season has been announced, but it seems likely that it’ll return sometime in 2022.