Have you read Philip Pullman’s 1995-2000 trilogy, His Dark Materials? In the three books, set in alternate Victorian England with a steampunk sensibility, we met Lyra and Will ... and their daemons (a piece of their soul, in the form of an animal). Of course, there's a lot more to it than that -- the novels touch on dimensional travel, coming of age, and a reality-spanning conflict with a godlike creator known as the Authority. If you haven't checked them out, yet, it’s time to catch up, because His Dark Materials is about to become an eight-part BBC series.
Tranter told Variety, “It is an honor and a joy to be part of the team responsible for bringing Philip Pullman’s trilogy of novels ‘His Dark Materials’ to the BBC. Ever since they were first published these books have been a huge influence on so much of my thinking and imagination, and it is enormously inspiring to be now working on them for television adaptation.”
Tranter also said, “The broad horizons of television suggests itself as the best of vehicles to capture the expansiveness of the story and worlds of Lyra and Will …”
Tranter is likely referring to The Golden Compass, the 2007 film based on the first novel, Northern Lights (The Golden Compass Stateside). Although it earned $372 million worldwide on a $180 million budget, reviews were mediocre, and director Chris Weitz called it a “terrible” experience after the movie was “recut by the studio.” And according to Wikipedia, the film suffered from criticism from religious groups due to its anti-religious elements—as well as from fans who thought the anti-religious elements were too watered down from the novel.
A six-parter sounds like a good way to realize the first novel. It would give us time to explore the depths of this alternate universe, which include the evil General Oblation Board and cliff-ghasts. However, Tranter said, “I am looking forward to seeing how ‘Northern Lights,’ ‘The Subtle Knife’ and ‘The Amber Spyglass’ will occupy their place in an audience’s imagination across many episodes and seasons.”
In other words, eight parts may only be a start. Here's hoping The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass also get BBC'd. After all, we deserve to see the Spectres of Indifference.
His Dark Materials currently has no release date.