HBO, BBC drama ‘His Dark Materials’ cuts episode amid Covid impact

His Dark Materials

The second season of BBC and HBO drama His Dark Materials is on track to make it to screens later this year, but execs have been forced to cut the show’s length after lockdown forced production to be shut down.

The adaptation of the Philip Pullman novels – The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass – is produced by Jane Tranter’s Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema.

Footage of the second season was revealed yesterday via virtual festival ComicCon@Home, where exec producer Tranter confirmed that the adaptation of The Subtle Knife was all but completed.

However, the show will now run to seven episodes rather than the planned eight after restrictions forced a planned standalone episode focusing on James McAvoy’s Lord Asriel character to be axed.

Tranter said the episode had always been “separate” because it had not been in the original novel, although it had been “written with the blessing and input” of Pullman.

The decision allowed post-production to move ahead, Tranter said, adding that the standalone episode could be revisited in later seasons. “Essentially our adaptation of The Subtle Knife has been completed,” she said.

BBC commissioned His Dark Materials in 2017, with HBO later joining for the first and second season as co-producer. BBC Studios handles global sales outside of North America, where Endeavor represents.

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