Spoilers His Dark Materials TV series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Nth Doctor, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Yes that perturbed me. Is he performing the same experiments as Coulter? I really enjoyed this week, just lost its way a bit every time it flicked back to our Earth. The polar bear fight was awesome, and I like Lyra's lies, it seemed pretty thin but given he's a polar bear I'm willing to let that slide.
     
  2. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've only seen the first episode, which was rushed and overly bombastic, but an armored bear mortal combat without armor?!

    [​IMG]

    For me, when we're talking HDM, a "fairly okay" adaptation (filled with glaring, inexplicable missteps) is a complete failure. I'm done with this failed show.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  3. danellis

    danellis Commander Red Shirt

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    The reason for the bear not having it's armour is explained in a later episode.

    I've not read any of the books, but may well do once the series, which I'm thoroughly enjoying, finishes.

    dJE
     
  4. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What? I'm talking about the episode that just aired. When Lyra first meets Iorek, his armor has been stolen and hidden from him. By the time of the Iorek/Iofur fight, he should have it back, and why would Iofur not be wearing his?
     
  5. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Is it a macho thing? "Let's finish this like men...er...I mean like bears!"
     
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  6. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The bear fight was actually better in the film. This version was very tame and not particularly well done.

    I have to say though, overall I'm enjoying the series more than I did the book. Still not exactly a fan, but...
     
  7. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that seemed a bit odd. It reminded me somewhat ludicrously of the nude fight scene between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates in the movie version of Women in Love. I'll handwave that as a bear honour tradition to eliminate possible advantage or concealed weapons. I can't remember much detail of the fight from the book.

    Also, how did Lyra, Roger and Iorek all survive falling from the balloon? That's some powerful plot armour right there. I have speculated that Mrs Coulter might have some witch blood as her daemon can separate from her by an enhanced distance (again, I don't recall if there's a book explanation) so maybe Lyra inherited some degree of power to levitate.

    That doesn't explain Roger and Iorek. Perhaps it could be handwaved by the balloon being near the ground at the time and the removal of Iorek's large weight making it shoot upwards again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  8. danellis

    danellis Commander Red Shirt

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    I was responding to you saying you'd only watched the first episode.

    Like others, I took it that they'd removed their armour (both were shown wearing it beforehand) as part of the ritual of one-on-one combat.

    dJE
     
  9. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If so, it's a direct contradiction from the book, in which the armored bears embrace wearing armor precisely to differentiate themselves from non-speaking bears, IIRC. They consider their armor to be almost as core to their spirit as daemons, which is another reason Iofur's desire for an animal daemon is so unbecoming.

    So not only did they make a direct and glaring change from the book, they did so in a way that disadvantages viewers by making the combatants harder to tell apart... I can't imagine why.

    Aaaand now it hits me: like making the alethiometer square, it's very probably to differentiate their version from the movie's. But again, this change is an obvious poor decision, and another reason for me to skip this fan-disrespecting series. :brickwall:
     
  10. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, I watched the Iorek/Iofur fight. Terrible! Inside, no armor for no reason, Lyra stumbling into the fighting area because the viewers can't be trusted to care about the fight itself, no blood, no eating of Iofur's beating heart... and it even cuts away before Lyra realizes who won?! Pathetic! And Keen's performance in the previous scene is utterly timid compared to Dakota Blue Richards', which is seriously odd given how fierce Keen was in Logan. There's simply no explanation for it other than awful, horrible direction.

    [​IMG]

    The movie, while imperfect (too many swooping camera moves to make up for the lack of gore), at least got the basics right:



    Finally, I just checked, and yep, just like the movie, they omitted my favorite scene: when Lyra runs away from Coulter's place, goes that cafe at night, and tells the random guy who tries to chat her up, in a wonderful bit of character work and grimly hilarious harsher in hindsight foreshadowing, that her father's a professional murderer! Damnit! Eight hours, and they invent numerous scenes of Boreal alone, but cut that out! Nope nope nope nope nope nope, nope.

    [​IMG]

    FAIL. :mad:
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  11. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The image of a miserable, near-death severed child numbly holding a dead fish en lieu of his lost daemon is so simple, elegant, and visual, it's impossible to screw up on film. The only conceivable reason to omit it is rank cowardice of the lowest order.

    [​IMG]

    I also read that when Lyra approaches Iofur in his palace, they omitted his rag doll prop daemon?! How inept can one possibly be?! :brickwall:

    ETA: Confirmed the above. FAIL.

    [​IMG]

    Also note that movie Iofur (renamed Ragnar) is sitting without armor on a human-like throne, as befits his character. It's as if the series was determined to make their version different from the movie, artistic costs be damned.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  12. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    For a show that was often in a hurry to get through one moment to the next, the season finale was surprisingly quiet and reflective. The pacing of this episode is how I wish the whole series had been, to properly allow the story to properly breath. The season could have afforded (creatively, anyways) to have been a couple episodes longer, but I'm not surprised it wasn't considering just how expensive just these eight episodes were.

    That said, I'm still not a fan of the timeline of how Will discovered the opening to CittĂ gazze, whereas in the book, he went back and forth between the worlds for a considerable amount of time while trying to deal with the issues of his mother and the men stalking his home. Question now is how long will season two go before he and Lyra meet or will they take their time? They've already changed one major element of this particular storyline (i.e. Boreal directly and deliberately tracking Will to get to the Subtle Knife), so I don't know...

    Overall, I enjoyed the season, but I hate to make this comparison with the film: The visuals and the performances have been magnificent, but the adaptation is considerably weaker. The issues with the adaptation between the two is much different and, while the show improved on the problems of the film, it has created a number of its own problems, namely the pacing, the odd and blatant absences of many daemons, the almost complete sidestepping of the Witches, and quickly doing away with almost every mystery. Considering the next two books expand the cast and storylines twofold (each time), I'm somewhat nervous about how the show will take tackle all of it.
     
  13. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So, for those who've seen the whole season, what would you say Lyra's strongest moment(s) were? Because I was deeply frustrated by the way in which Keen plays Lyra as she's lying to Iofur about being a daemon: stuttering and with darting eyes, classic signs of a poor liar. (For all the movie's many, many faults, Dakota Blue Richards was definitely playing the book Lyra, and lied with gusto and confidence in the equivalent scene and others.) I can forgive a lot, but a non-total-badass Lyra is a deal-breaker. :p
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In retrospect and in comparison with TV Lyra, film Lyra comes across as something of a manipulative psychopath like her parents.
     
  15. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ While hyperbolic and exaggerated, yeah, that's kinda the whole point of the character: having been raised by a caring community but without parents or parent figures to speak of, she's (in Pullman's words) "a coarse and greedy little savage," a "half-wild cat," and a lifelong brawler. The whole interest and fun of her persona, therefore, is the interplay between her innate goodness and her naive, reckless reliance on her animal instincts. To leave all this out, and to dilute her personality such that she comes across as a generic female tween Luke Skywalker, is to fundamentally fail to portray the character as Pullman created her.
     
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  16. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps Dafne Keen should have been directed to play Lyra more like she played Laura in Logan. I don't think it's her acting ability. We've seen her do badass.
     
  17. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Agreed. Given how strong Pullman's characterization on the page is, there's just no other explanation than the writers figured making Lyra blander would be an improvement. It's downright bizarre.
     
  18. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've just finished this via on-demand, so here are some comments and observations. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good adaptation. I think the series format helps in places where more exposition needs to be done where a movie would have difficulty with, so I appreciate the slower pace, but at the same time there are a lot of places where I felt they could have done so much more but were restrained.

    I didn't really like this version's Lyra. She was a kind of weak point in this for me. It's also impossible to not compare to the movie at this point, but Dakota Blue Richards had a twinkle in her eyes and had full enthusiasm in how she approached things and was very keen on seeing the world. Daphne Keen's Lyra, albeit due to direction, embodied almost none of those traits and almost looked bored most of the time, carrying a blank face wherever she went, hardly a smile. There was no sense of wonder coming from her, and she was less fun to watch.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, as much as I like him as an actor, felt like he was miscast. It's like they just gave the role to trendy actor. So much of the dialogue, at least as far as the book goes, works better with an older character than what we got with Miranda, which is why I felt the movie version of the character was so perfect. Either Jeff Bridges or Harrison Ford would have worked so much better, able to show visually that they're grizzled and well-traveled. He here looked too smooth and clean. And the other thing that disappointed me about him is that in the book he was such a strong instrumental character and his scenes with the balloon were much more important, but here it's as if they didn't quite know what to do with him. He seemed to stand around a lot and talk before getting to his balloon scenes, which leads me to my next point.

    I was really looking forward to seeing how they would undertake the balloon scenes, since they were fairly epic in the movie. What we got was fairly minimal via a single episode, and then they skipped the crash landing completely, which I gather is budget related. But in doing that, as someone pointed out, it then creates questions about how Scoresby and Roger survive. So, wasn't too impressed with that. This was one of the places where I felt they could have done much more with.

    I thought Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter was done fairly well. She even evoked a similar vibe as Nicole Kidman in the movie version, and despite their age gap, they look surprisingly alike, especially the hair and the eyes.

    I agree that the bear fight was much better done in the movie. Anyone notice how close-in the camera on this one? In the movie version, they pulled the camera back more to give it a wider more epic scope, at the same time giving us an idea of what they were fighting for, their land and freedom. The camera being close-in on this version was a disadvantage, not only because you couldn't see who was who without their armor, but that it was indoors with poor lighting.

    Overall, it was fairly good, and I look forward to the next season. One of my favourite things about The Subtle Knife was the world of the Mulafas. That should be fairly interesting and unique.

    I spotted a pretty big technical goof in Asriel's Lab. Though it's been such a common mistake in moviemaking that I find it more amusing than annoying at this point, but it's still a technical goof that had they good science advisors, they'd have been told to set things up differently.

    Basically, you have two types of telescopes, reflectors and refractors, both of them getting the images to your eyes in different ways due to the way mirrors and lenses are positioned. In a Refractor, your eyepiece is typically at the bottom end of the telescope, either at an angle or directly out from the tube, looking into the eyepiece and out to where the telescope is pointed at. In a Reflector however, the eyepiece is typically at the top of the tube at an angle, with your main mirror at the bottom of the tube where it catches all the light and the image reflecting that to a diagonal and then at your eye. What they had on the show was a Reflector, but they had it pointed in the wrong direction. Mrs Coulter wouldn't have seen the aurora like were were shown, but a highly magnified floor! :guffaw: I get the intention they were going for, though. What they really wanted if they really wanted to use it in such configuration was a Refractor.
     
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  19. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    The Comic Con at Home panel has just been released, complete with a season 2 trailer near the beginnning:



    I'm still watching the panel itself, but I just wanted to say the trailer looks great and I noticed they've...

    ...changed some more things. John Parry never possessed the Subtle Knife (unless I'm completely forgetting something).

    Edit to add: Andrew Scott just revealed that John Parry's daemon will be voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge! :eek:

    Edit again: Season two was completely filmed except one standalone episode that will show what Lord Asriel was doing during the events of The Subtle Knife (with Philip Pullman's blessing).

    Edit, one last time:

    Here's the trailer on its own:

     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Such a business-like panel compared to a lot of these. Dafne definitely looks like a teen who wants to be somewhere other than hanging with the adults. Reminds me of Thanksgiving dinner with the family lol.