With the upcoming Season 2, the BBC and HBO’s adaptation of His Dark Materials is heading where the attempted cinematic version was never able to: beyond the Northern Lights, and into the second book of Philip Pullman’s trilogy, The Subtle Knife. After the Season 1 finale – SPOILER WARNING – saw Dafne Keen’s Lyra walk through a shimmering rift in the arctic sky, Season 2 is about to take her into a whole new world: a parallel universe that plays host to the mysterious mediterranean-style city of Cittàgazze. It’s not only a key location in Lyra’s ongoing adventure – but also the place where she’s finally about to meet Amir Wilson’s Will Parry, the teen carer from our world who also fled through a hole in the air after unwittingly killing an assailant in his home.
“Cittàgazze is the ‘city of magpies’, built on greed,” the series’ lead writer Jack Thorne tells Empire in the new issue, on sale Thursday 1 October. “What Philip does beautifully is put these two very pure-hearted children in the middle of it, and allow them to wrestle with what their destiny should be. One of them has learned not to trust thanks to the events of Series 1, and the other has learned not to trust because of the events of his life. They’re brought together in this explosive combination.”
As fans of the books will know, the companionship between Lyra and Will becomes a central tenet of the His Dark Materials story going forward – and should now finally be done justice in a screen adaptation.
Read Empire’s full story about how His Dark Materials gets bigger for Season 2 – with new worlds, a very sharp knife, and the arrival of Andrew Scott’s John Parry and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as his dæmon Sayan Kötör – in the new issue, available to pre-order online here. His Dark Materials Season 2 airs on BBC One this November.