His Dark Materials set to become BBC One drama series

image copyrightPA
image captionPhilip Pullman will serve as an executive producer on the new show

Philip Pullman has expressed delight that his trilogy, His Dark Materials, is to be made into a BBC One drama.

His epic fantasy novels, set in a parallel universe, have already been adapted for stage, radio and cinema.

The 2006 film The Golden Compass, based on the first novel, starred Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.

"It's been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms," Pullman said.

"It's been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel - and now comes this version for television.

"In recent years we've seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations [Game of Thrones] or original [The Sopranos, The Wire], can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel.

"And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I'm delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials."

'Huge influence'

His Dark Materials - which consists of the novels Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass - has been published in more than 40 languages and has sold nearly 17.5 million copies worldwide.

The story centres on Lyra, a girl who lives at an Oxford college, who embarks on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.

In the second book she is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between alternative worlds.

The TV adaptation will be shot in Wales and is produced by Bad Wolf - a production company founded by former BBC executives Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner - and New Line Cinema, which is making its first move into TV production.

New Line had also produced The Golden Compass film, which featured Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra.

"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," said Tranter.

"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."

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