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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

His Dark Materials 1.6: His Fast Materials

I'm not sure who the "His" is in His Dark Materials (I haven't read the books).  I'm not even clear what the "Materials" are (the Dust?  but I don't know yet exactly what that is, either).  I do get the "Dark".  And I also thought that last night's action-packed episode 1.6 moved preternaturally quickly.

In this one episode, we find out just what they're doing in that Nazi-like facility that now holds not only Roger but Lyra.  We learn from Mrs. Coulter - who we find out is indeed definitely Lyra's mother - that the facility's goal is to produce adults who no longer need, and are freed from, their daemons.  Coulter tells Lyra that daemons are fine for children, but cause problems when the kids become adults, and these problems leave the adults wanting or being vulnerable to Dust (whatever that is, some kind of drug? a DNA-altering substance?)

We have only Coulter's word for this.  She seems to genuinely love Lyra, but she could be lying or mistaken or some combination about everything else she tells Lyra.  So far, I don't think we the audience have seen any ill-effects of daemons on their adults.   (Coulter doesn't seem to much like hers, but that's neither here nor there.)  And, as I said, I have little idea what Dust is or does.

The battle scenes were great last night, including that ninja or whatever exactly she is who swoops in and saves the day.  She also seems to have some kind of relationship with Scoresby, but it's too soon to tell if it's just friendship, or more.  Now that Lyra's out of that sicko lab, we'll presumable be seeing much more of Scoresby (played by Lin-Manuel Miranda) in the story, which is good.

But, typically - you talk about cliff-hanging endings of episodes - Lyra is barely out of the lab, when she falls into some kind of vortex in the sky to who knows where.   That's part of what I mean by fast, and I look forward to seeing where Lyra lands next week.

See also His Dark Materials 1.1: Radiation Punk ...  His Dark Materials 1.3: Coulter's Daemons ... His Dark Materials 1.4: The Bears ... His Dark Materials 1.5:  Sleepers and Questions

more alternate reality - "flat-out fantastic" - Scifi and Scary

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