Actors Ruth Wilson and Clarke Peters took the dais at CCXP to talk about HBO fantasy drama His Dark Materials, based on the best-selling novels by Philip Pullman. The two went into detail about their characters and how it has been like working on such an ambitious story about Dafne Keen’s Lyra, who, after searching for her kidnapped friend, uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.
Keen wasn’t able to attend the panel and sent a message of thanks via a video before the actors talked about the show, which tackles intense and heavy topics and themes is just as relevant to children as it is to adults. “We shouldn’t underestimate children,” said Peters. He references a quote that says “Out of the mouths of babes comes truth.”
He adds, “With [His Dark Materials], there are mature themes. If discussed in front of children, they may find an easier way to understand them.”
Wilson, who plays the villainous Mrs. Coulter, says that Lyra is a lot like environment activist Greta Thunberg. They both aren’t afraid to call out adults. “She has the courage to speak to power,” she adds. “That’s relevant now.
As Lyra journeys through the worlds in the first season, including our own, Lyra meets a determined and courageous boy called Will (Amir Wilson). Together they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living — and the dead — in their hands.
The cast of the drama also includes Anne-Marie Duff, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen, Ian Gelder, Georgina Campbell, Lucian Msamati, James Cosmo, Ruta Gedmintas, Mat Fraser, Geoff Bell, Simon Manyonda as well as young actors Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson and Tyler Howitt.
Executive Producing the series are Dan McCulloch, Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf, Philip Pullman, Jack Thorne, Tom Hooper, Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema, and Ben Irving and Piers Wenger – BBC One. Jack Thorne adapted the series while Tom Hooper is lead director helmed the first two episodes. The remaining directors of Season two are Dawn Shadforth (Episode 3), Otto Bathhurst (Episodes 4 & 5), Euros Lyn (Episode 6) and Jamie Childs (Episodes 7 & 8).