His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman on reason for changes from books – fans DON’T agree

Following The Golden Compass movie’s flop, His Dark Materials has finally received the screen adaptation it deserves. The whole trilogy is being made into a TV series, with the first season following the original book Northern Lights.

However, it’s not quite as pure an adaptation as that, with some scenes and references alluding to The Book of Dust and The Subtle Knife.

Fans asked Pullman about the changes to His Dark Materials on Twitter.

After being congratulated by one fan, the 73-year-old tweeted: “Thank you.

“The most difficult thing is the pacing, the rhythm of the storytelling, and I think they’ve got that just right.”

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Another fan replied: “@PhilipPullman is this TV adaptation (which is excellent by the way) of just Northern Lights or a combination of Northern Lights and The Subtle Knife?

“A query after last night’s episode.”

Pullman replied: “Mostly Northern Lights, with a few glances forwards and backwards to help the story to come through clearly.”

Defending the author on Reddit, a fan wrote: “I don’t get all the questions and concern.”

The fan continued: “This is His Dark Materials. All of these ‘changes’ are a part of the story.

“It doesn’t matter when they come in the show. It’s not like the chronology is being changed.

“These windows are there. Boreal has been using it for a long time.”

But another fan didn’t agree with all the changes.

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They wrote: “I’d disagree with this to an extent.

“Showing the windows as early as they have feels like a good change because it allows that side of the plot to kick into gear much faster which will help the flow later.

“However, I’m not sure they needed to show the diagrams of the intercision machine this early as it short changes the sense of horror we would have felt seeing it for the first time in Bolvanger.”

Fans of the books will have noticed the TV show’s opening scene, where Lyra’s a baby, was from The Book of Dust.

On this inclusion, writer Jack Thorne told Radio Times: “We discussed it with Philip Pullman who very kindly gave us permission to include this element.

“We’ve used it very carefully as readers of the Book of Dust will realise. 

“But we think it gives the series the epic beginning it deserves.”

His Dark Materials is on BBC iPlayer and on BBC One on Sunday evenings, releasing one episode a week.

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