His Dark Materials Season 1, Episode 1 Review

New TV season; New Show! The optimist in me is choosing to label it promising, mostly because I’m still on the fence about certain elements. Also, I should mention that I’ve read the first book, but that was nearly two decades ago, meaning I know a couple of plot twists but very little else. This, therefore, is not a review that will ever get into book to screen comparisons and I will not be making any deliberate spoilers. Calling me out on spoiling something especially in the recaps is most likely to spoil me, dear reader.

Chrys Watches HDM Season 1, Episode 1

(here’s a link for anyone having a problem with the embed)

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-I love the casting so far. Almost everyone is a known face I’m happy to see in a new role. Ruth Wilson in particular is someone I can never get enough of… Though her choices in characters are always delightfully terrifying, which makes me think that her presence onscreen is as much a spoiler as Sean Bean’s.

-I’m unsure about certain production choices…

-Almost everyone in the main cast is dressed distinctively and appropriately with most pieces looking both original and something that isn’t necessarily a costume. The Gyptians give me pause, since they are thankfully dressed in clean, interesting clothes, yet all look like a congregation of hipsters in the light of day.

-I have no idea if it’s because of the child actors, the CGI daemons, or simply a directing quirk, but there were too many scenes when characters who were speaking were not actually onscreen. It was odd enough and happened often enough that I noticed, and it rubs me the wrong way in a very strange manner.

-Both Asriel and Mrs. Coulter have a very feral and charming yet suspicious way about them and I absolutely love it. They’re sexy in a very unwholesome though not obvious way. Whether hero, anti-hero or just plain evil it remains to be seen, but I’m glad they’ll be gracing my screen regardless of moral alignment. (And I am weak for the explorer’s look, what can I say.)

-The setup was good if not great, peppering little bits of information without being too exposition heavy. In that regard it’s a stellar introduction into the world. I could have used more scenes between the Costa boys and Lyra instead of just a postcard referencing hijinks, since I suspect it will soon become plot-relevant.

-I absolutely hated the season preview. Not what I saw, but the fact that I saw way too much of what’s coming up. If you somehow haven’t seen the episode I’d skip the preview, especially if you haven’t read the book.

Apologies for any and all typos (just caught an instance of plot-relevant having been written as pot-relevant)… This has been a week and as per usual my sleep schedule is a nightmare.

So. What’d you think of the pilot?

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