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Thursday, December 10, 2020

His Dark Materials 2.4: Chosen by the Knife


Lots of nice touches in His Dark Materials 1.4, though maybe cuts would be a better word, since this episode was all about "the subtle knife," the title of the second book in the original Pullman trilogy.

Haven't read the books, but on TV the knife is able to cut "spirit" as well flesh, a talent that also enables the Bearer of the knife -- capitalized because that's an official title -- to cut between worlds, by cutting a slit between them, in the nearly invisible curtain which serves as a membrane between them.  You can tell, just in that description, how fine a line His Dark Materials cuts between science fiction and fantasy, as I went on about a bit more last week.

We also see a lot more of the Spectres in this episodes, and, as a character observes, I don't like them. I also feel a little bad for SPECTRE of James Bond infamy.  They're no bargain, either, to be sure, but a lot less chilling than these soul-sucking monsters.   Same for Phil Spector, while we're at it.  I didn't like what he did to the Beatles Let It Be, and he's serving time in prison now for murder, but his work with the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers was top notch, and in any case he's not in the same evil league as the Spectres in His Dark Materials.

Carlo is becoming a more interesting character.  We can understand why he wants the knife.  But if what Lyra and Will and we learned tonight is true, the knife chooses its owner, not vice versa.  And that owner now is Will, with two shortened fingers on his hand to prove it.  But Carlo is at least passingly allied now with Mrs. Coulter, and the two will make a formidable pair.

As a parting point, with the witches on their way to Cittàgazze, we may get a confrontation between them and the Spectres.   Who will survive?

See also His Dark Materials 2.1-3: Dust, Dark Matter, and Multiple Universes

And 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 ... His Dark Materials 1.6: His Fast Materials


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