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TV Episode Review: “His Dark Materials”: “The Enchanted Sleeper”

Season Three, after a year hiatus due to Covid-19, opens with an explanation of the previous war amongst the angels. For those of you who do not know, His Dark Materials is Philip Pullman’s retelling of the epic, Paradise Lost. So yes, this series is and is not influenced by Christianity. The beings Lord Asriel spoke to at the end of Season Two are some of the “fallen angels.”

            Will Parry searches for Lyra through any and all worlds she could be. He knows she was abducted and that her alethiometer was left behind. Unfortunately, Will can only use his knife. However, that is his strength not only because he can travel through worlds to find Lyra, but also because angels are searching for him for Lord Asriel’s war—the war in which Will’s father told him about before he died. Will strikes a deal with the angels.

            Lyra wakes up and she is alone. Pantalaimon is nowhere to be seen, but she hears Roger’s voice. Lyra wakes up from her “slumber” and realizes she is a captive of her own mother, Mrs. Coulter. Mrs. Coulter has brought Lyra back to their world with her to keep her “safe” from the Magisterium. However, due to their relationship, Mrs. Coulter drugs Lyra into unconsciousness so that she doesn’t run away…from her. 

            Meanwhile, Lord Asriel travels to one world where a known military commander and strategist, Ogunwe, resides with his troops, who are fighting against their version of the Magisterium. After breaking him and his comrades out of prison, Asriel presents Ogunwe with his proposition. Ironically, Ogunwe hesitates to leave to join Asriel because of what is happening to the children in his world. Asriel knows how to convince Ogunwe to join him. 

            Meanwhile, the Magisterium continues to rule over their world (the Cardinal is in Geneva dealing with an incident involving “heresy”). The Cardinal selects one of the Fathers—the most brutal one—to carry out a mission, to locate the child who is supposed to be “Eve” in the prophecies. This Father gets the answer and uses “unconventional methods” to locate the child.

            In all, this premiere episode is fast-paced while including enough content of the narrative (from the book, The Amber Spyglass) so that the audience can follow along. With this being the final season of the show, everything the protagonists and all of the main characters have been working towards is coming together in what should be the next war against Heaven. If this is the first episode, then the rest of the season looks to be very promising.

My Rating: 8 out of 10. 

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