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HBO: His Dark Materials
#1
Anyone watch this? 

I've not read the books, though I have a high level working knowledge of their content. I did see the film of the first book, but only once.

For the most part, pretty good. Production value was high. They kind of throw you into the world; not much exposition (a small bit) but most of it you kind of pick up as you go. Dafne Keen, probably best known for her role in LOGAN, is a solid anchor for the story (thus far). There's already more diversity in the cast than I think in the entire run of GAME OF THRONES, though time will tell how important these characters are/remain. 

First episode was clearly a LOT of table setting; the abduction of Lyra's friend was a weak hook on which to hang the "TO BE CONTINUED" vibe, as it wasn't executed with any particular menace or danger. 

I don't think this is every going to reach GAME OF THRONES levels of cultural saturation/popularity; it's too dense and lacks the obvious kind of hook of "Sopranos in Middle Earth" that GOT had. That's not saying it's bad or weak but hopefully HBO's expectations are tempered.
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#2
I believe it's only planned for two seasons, with Season 1 covering Golden Compass and part of The Subtle Knife, with Season 2 covering the rest, and I think it's an even split between HBO and the BBC for the production, so I don't think HBO is really looking at it as their next Game of Thrones.
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#3
(11-05-2019, 02:14 PM)Fafhrd Wrote: I believe it's only planned for two seasons, with Season 1 covering Golden Compass and part of The Subtle Knife, with Season 2 covering the rest, and I think it's an even split between HBO and the BBC for the production, so I don't think HBO is really looking at it as their next Game of Thrones.

I wondered! I'd assumed that it'd be one season per book, but they're not overly long books, IIRC, so that makes sense.

HBO just has to be relieved that they're producing a fantasy story with a settled ending.

I forgot to mention the music: a bit much at times, for the most part the score was really well done and lovely to hear.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#4
Is there a strong yea or nay for this?

No waffling. Waffling=nay.

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#5
Yes.

So far.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#6
(11-05-2019, 03:06 PM)MichaelM Wrote: Yes.

So far.

Some waffling there, but okay.

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#7
I mean, I'm in. I liked what I saw! It's hard to make a recommendation on 10+ hours when you've only seen part.

But go for it. I was glad I watched.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#8
I read The Lord of the Rings and then His Dark Materials consecutively, when I was 12 (this was shortly before Fellowship came out). I think I've been chasing the literary high of that six book run my entire life (impossible, simply because you can't go back to being 12), and I spent a chunk of the next four years looking for books that'd similarly blow my imagination wide open. If LotR was the long, emotional experience - when it's your first time reading anything like that, it feels like a big journey - HDM just threw fascinating scientific, theological, and speculative ideas at you non-stop.

This was *good*. To waffle - HDM is complicated and fucking chock full of subplots and intrigue, and while this felt smart enough, it also feels a bit dumbed down*. I don't think this is anyone's fault, but I'd've loved if they'd had the stones to start with a fifteen minute lecture about other worlds and dust. I hope they've the confidence to let the ideas speak for themselves when it really starts heating up towards the middle.

*For instance I get that stuff like the opening crawl about daemons was necessary to make it clear to antsy viewers ready to be confused and irritated, but I also wish stuff like that had been able to speak for itself. The way the novel unspools the world is a masterful bit of 'show don't tell' - even if that 'show don't tell' involves a bunch of lectures, meetings, and talks around dinner party tables.

Similarly, some of Pullman's mad inventiveness was cut out - I loved that they kept Lyra's drinking in, but thought it was a bit shit that the ghosts of the scholars she and Roger disturbed were relegated to a shot of three skulls. Fingers crossed for talking cliff-ghasts, quantum bombs, spectres, intention-craft, etc.

TL;DR: It's as good as an adaptation of HDM - which is loaded with conspiracy, theology, and sci-fi nuttiness - could've been for an audience that's wider and unavoidably less patient than that of the books.
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#9
I didn't understand a god damn thing that was going on. One minute she has a cute little ferret, the next it's some brown marten thing, and Professor X starts waffling on about dust like it's some kind of big deal. I'm only giving next ep a go because Dafne and Ruth are awesome.
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#10
Yeah, this was wall to wall fantasy claptrap, with only the stacked cast of proper British thespians giving it any sort of credibility. I’ll stick it out, though, since the books have a good rep and I’m a sucker for well-appointed fantasy claptrap.
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#11
Very rushed. My wife and I, afterwards, commented how seamlessly GoT tossed you in and set up basically everything in the pilot. This, while setting up a lot, does it so rushed like. The Gyptian subplot was tacked on and Lyra, obviously knowing them, has no interactions yet we’re meant to believe there’s a friendship there of sorts? And I’ve read the book. It just didn’t breathe well.

Still, a big ol fuck you to religion on tv? With polar bears? Oh yeah.

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#12
It felt very paint by the numbers, hitting every required beat, but the editing felt off. There was no spark, (or dust lol) to draw the audience in, and a large sense of deja vu. The actors were all game and solid (bow-legged bastard), and I'm still straining to think of who Dafne Keen reminds me of and or looks like, be it performer or person in real life. Yes, I know she was in Logan, it's not that.
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#13
How many in this thread saw the first film. I was talking with a buddy on Facebook who started the show with his kids, but they had not seen the first film or read the books. The film did a lot of these beats well that we are talking about in this first episode. I am not super excited for this series based on the first episode, but I can't tell if that is because I have seen this bit before?

Like, for example, I love Clarke Peters, but he isn't selling the part to me of Jordan College's Master. Everything felt... subdued.
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#14
I saw the film but I don't have much in the memory banks about it. I don't remember Craig's performance at all. McKellan as the armored bear is what I've retained most strongly.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#15
I recall that Kidman was bad news from the get go. That could just be the blondeness, but her Ms.Colter was much more sinister. Again, plenty of time for this to develop / I think it was more like this in the books.

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#16
I dunno. Wilson seems to be plenty sinister, in a "Aren't I just soooo helpful and caring?" sort of way.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#17
(11-07-2019, 02:50 PM)MrTyres Wrote: Like, for example, I love Clarke Peters, but he isn't selling the part to me of Jordan College's Master. Everything felt... subdued.

He was one of the main reasons I decided to check this out, if I'm being honest.  And yeah, it felt very phoned in after stuff like the Wire and Treme.

However, Ruth Wilson is absolutely fascinating to look at, so I'm staying onboard for now.
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#18
I'm watching this, still getting my head around it though, not sure of my opinion yet.
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