Fantasy novel adaptations are all the rage right now, and His Dark Materials from the BBC and HBO proved to be a hit. Originally by Phillip Pullman, this popular YA trilogy follows Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry as they explore a series of parallel universes. It was also the source material for the 2007 film, The Golden Compass.
Jack Thorne – writer of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – serves as head writer, and he’s joined by star-studded cast. If you’re wondering what familiar faces are returning for season 3, what the plot is and most importantly how you can watch, then keep on reading.
When does His Dark Materials season 3 start?
Filming has now kicked off on season 3 of His Dark Materials in Wales and England, and is set to air sometime in 2022. Due to the level of special effects, it is estimated that it will arrive around Autumn at the very earliest. You can see the official announcement below:
“There is no one I would trust to go with you, except that boy. You are worthy of each other.”
— His Dark Materials (@darkmaterials)
June 22, 2021
Fans of the series will be sad to hear that this will be the final season of the show – in keeping with the structure of the books.
Cast and crew for season 3 of His Dark Materials
Lots of the main cast will returning for the final season of His Dark Materials. The two leads, Dafne Keen (Lyra) and Amir Wilson (Will) will be back, as will Ruth Wilson (Mrs Coulter). James McAvoy (Lord Asriel) will play a much larger role in season 3, having been absent for most of the last season.
Other returning cast members include Simone Kirby as the scholar Mary Malone, Will Keen as Father President McPhail, Jade Anouka as Ruta Skadi and Ruta Gedminstas as Serafina Pekkala.
Newcomers to the show include Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Commander Ogunwe, Jamie Ward Father Gomez and Amber Fitzgerald-Woolfe as Ama. Joining them will be Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Simon Harrison and Chipo Chung are the rebel angels Balthamos, Baruch and Xaphania.
Directors for season 3 include Amit Gupta, Charles Martin and Weronika Tofilska. And of course, writer and creator Jack Thorne will be back.
How to watch His Dark Materials
UK viewers will be able to watch His Dark Materials on BBC One, or on BBC iPlayer. If you’re in the US, you’ll need a HBO, HBO Now or HBO Max subscription to watch His Dark Materials.
If you’re not based in the UK or the US – or are out of your respective country when the show airs – then never fear. You’ll still be able to tune in with the help of one of our suggested VPNs for streaming. VPNs basically block your IP address, so you can appear as if you’re browsing from another country and therefore unlock international sites. For the best price and performance, we recommend NordVPN.
If you’d like further details on how to use a VPN, then take a look at our guides for streaming content on BBC iPlayer abroad, and for watching HBO outside of the US.
What do we know about the plot of season 3?
Spoilers for previous seasons of His Dark Materials
The debut season of His Dark Materials covered the plot of the first book in the trilogy – Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the US) – whilst season 2 retold the story of book two, The Subtle Knife. This season will be covering the events of the final book, The Amber Spyglass.
The official synopsis for the third season is as follows: “Season three will see Will (Amir Wilson), the bearer of The Subtle Knife, and Lyra (Dafne Keen), the prophesied child, travel through multiple worlds to find and protect each other.”
At the end of season 2, we saw Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) call upon angels in order to rage a war against the Kingdom of Heaven. The show’s creators have confirmed that two of the angels – Balthamos and Baruch – track down Will in order to recruit him to the fight against The Authority with Commander Ogunwe.
Will is still in possession of The Subtle Knife, but has undergone a lot of trauma after losing his father and being seriously injured. The angels want Will to bring the knife to Asriel, but once he learns what’s happened to his best friend Lyra, he may have other plans.
Lyra is now back in the clutches of her wicked mother, Mrs Coulter, after being kidnapped by her at the end of season two. There’s no doubt that Will shall be fighting to get her back.
But something more sinister is going on Lyra’s story. If you stuck around for the post-credits scene, you’ll see Lyra have a vision of her dead best friend, Roger. This is a nod to the Land of the Dead – a pivotal plot point in the final book.
There’s also more people after Lyra. HBO and the BBC state that Father President MacPhail still wishes to destroy the child of the prophecy, and will be employing the help of Father Gomez to do it.
Finally, there’s the Oxford physicist Mary Malone. Mary will continue to explore what other parallel universes are out there, and ends up discovering a new species called the Mulefa.