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Dust, Dark Matter and An Attack On the Witches: A Review of ‘His Dark Materials’ Season Two, Episode Two

Editor’s Note: This episode contains spoilers.

After last week’s scare, it turns out that Will was not attacked by the Spectres, thankfully! In this week’s episode of His Dark Materials, Lyra and Will venture into Will’s Oxford in search of answers.

In doing so, there is a lot left unsaid about the third world and the spectres. However, the two will no doubt enter the third world once again soon and unravel more about these unknown, deadly creatures. Moreover, within this familiar Oxford, we are introduced to a new key character: Dr. Mary Malone- a physicist that studies Dark Matter. Turns out Dust is simply Dark Matter. Therefore this link puts Lyra one big step closer to resolving all the issues. Though there is a huge advancement in the story progression through the ability to combine the knowledge of both worlds, there are still many underlying complications for both Will and Lyra. Particularly, the fact that so many people are searching for them and not with good intentions. Moreover, though there was an advance in discovering the truth about Dust, Will is unfortunately still unable to gather many details on his father. Nonetheless, according to the Alithiometer, Will’s father is very much alive. However, we still don’t know where he is, but we now know that Lyra must help Will find him.

Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson in His Dark Materials (2019). Image via YouTube.

Speaking of Lyra and Will, I loved how writer’s Francesca Gardiner and Jack Thorne used this episode to clearly show the relationship development between the two protagonists. At the end of the episode, we see the two in the botanical garden comforting each other. After all, the two are going through pretty much the same thing, meaning that no one can really understand what they are going through aside from themselves. Similarly, the writers are sure to continue the humour between the two. This time round the humour is less about having different worlds, and more reflective of their ages. Both protagonists have had to mature quicker due to their personal circumstances. However, when put together, we clearly see their childishness come out, causing the two to squabble, which is very amusing to watch.

Will Keen in His Dark Materials (2019). Image via YouTube.

Moving on to Lyra’s world, the Magisterium are looking for a new Cardinal, after the previous was killed by a Ruta Skadi. In doing so, we see Mrs. Coulter’s maliciousness come to play as she displays her underlying power over Father MacPhail, due to past events that she can blackmail him with. Therefore meaning that regardless of him now being cardinal, she still has the upper hand over him. Fun fact,it turns out that the actor who plays Father MacPhail is in fact Dafne Keen‘s father: Will Keen. We can definitely see how brilliant acting runs in the family!

Furthermore, the cinematography around Mrs. Coulter was done extremely well! For example, the majority of shots of the character showed the camera looking up at Mrs. Coulter. Through this camera angle, there is an unsaid display of the extent of Mrs. Coulter’s power. Moreover, Ruth Wilson continues to wow us all with her acting. One minute she portrays a cold-blooded villain and the next she is a caring, fearful mother, desperate to find her child. This transition between two personalities definitely adds to the mysterious, yet uncomfortable nature of Mrs. Coulter.

Jade Anouka in His Dark Materials (2019). Image via YouTube.

Overall, this episode was a massive improvement from last week’s filler episode! There was a lot more story progression, yet every scene was given attention, meaning that nothing felt rushed. Moreover, this episode laid out a lot of issues and questions that need to be dealt with and answered. For example, the witches are unfairly attacked within this episode, leaving us to wonder what they will do in return? Moreover, there are a few characters that are yet to feature in this season including Asriel, Will’s father, Iorek and the Gyptians. Nonetheless, from the trailer, we know that they will definitely appear soon. I definitely liked how much detail is going into the series as a whole, which the film lacked. Therefore, justifying Thorne for taking his time to tell the story correctly!

Featured Image via YouTube.

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