Warning : review contains spoilers.
His Dark Materials returned with its second season on Sunday, and oh, what a beautiful start. Season one left us with Lyra discovering and going through the opening between worlds that her father Lord Asriel opened. Having gone through a shattering experience with her friend Rogers death at the hands of her father.
The episode seamlessly eased the audience back into the story, it was able to quickly allow the audience to reconnect with the characters and their journeys. Lyra, still processing the heartbreak that she went through, was insistent on her journey to find answers on dust, refusing to use the Alethiometer to guide her way through this new world. Her decision ultimately resulted in her struggling to reach to The City in the Sky.
This is where she finally meets Will Parry who similarly made his own journey from his world. Their chemistry and connection instantly translates to the audience. Their partnership was struck instantly and the banter between them and lyra’s daemon Pan, was a delight to watch. The way they tried to bridge the differences between their separate worlds and her explanation of what a daemon is added to their new found comradery. However, you’re still reminded through their efforts to find a home that they are indeed still children, vulnerable and trying their best to adapt In this new city, new characters and rules were introduced; Angelica played by the “Game of Thrones” star Bella Ramsey was an interesting addition to the story which will surely be of importance in episodes to come.
The City in the Sky gave a genuine feel of an elseworld. Its deserted but shows plenty of life was once present, but also keeps us wondering of what certain buildings, symbols and structures signify.
Ms Coulter’s ruthlessness in season one has in no way softened in this episode, perhaps more amplified with her rage of losing lyra once more. Ruth Wilson once gain does a brilliant job in portraying this extremely layered and to a degree terrifying character. She finds herself having to prove her worth to the magisterium after her failure to apprehend Lord Asriel, doing so by torturing one of the witches that the magisterium captured. Coulter proves that her cruelty and mercilessness is still very much alive.
Another brilliant addition to the season is our introduction to the witches when Lee Scorsby seeks aid from them to find and help Lyra, it truly was amazing to see the magical element of the show shine.
This episode sets the groundwork for the rest of the season exceptionally well, allowing the audience to get hooked on to what’s to come especially with that cliff-hanger. There are plenty of elements to look forward to in the story, and what it holds for the characters that we dearly love. It also doesn’t shy away from the frightening and spine-chilling things that are yet to come. The return of this show is truly a blessing in this time of lockdown and has given me the joy to write again!