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His Dark Materials season two is about to start on BBC One and HBO, and the series is based on the books by Philip Pullman. The second season picks up with Lyra Belacqua (played by Dafne Keen) entering the portal to the City in the Sky, where she meets Will Parry (Amir Wilson). The creators of the series revealed an episode had to be cut from the second season, and Express.co.uk has all you need to know.
How many episodes are in series 2 of His Dark Materials?
Before the first season even premiered it was announced a second season had been given the green light, and it would focus on the second book in Pullman’s trilogy, called The Subtle Knife.
Filming for the second season started ahead of the release of the first season, with most of the filming completed at the end of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic started.
However, there was a single episode which focussed on Lyra’s father, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy), which was never completed and as a result, the second season will be one episode shorter.
The first season was made up of eight hour-long episodes, whereas the second season will sadly only feature seven episodes.
Fans have had some insight into what to expect from the second season, as the episodes have already been given titles.
The titles for the new episodes are as follows:
Episode One – The City of Magpies
Episode Two – The Cave
Episode Three – Theft
Episode Four – Tower of the Angels
Episode Five – The Scholar
Episode Six – Malice
Episode Seven – Æsahættr
Fans already know that in the first episode the two main protagonists, Will and Lyra, meet for the first time at the City of Magpies.
Lyra must learn to trust again after her father killed her best friend Roger (Lewin Lloyd) in his plight to find out more about the mystical substance ‘Dust’.
Viewers have also heard Will shall be reunited with his father, John Parry, who will be played by Fleabag actor Andrew Scott.
Jane Tranter, an executive producer for the series, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk and other media about the missing episode starring McAvoy.
She said: “We shot the season in 2019 in what seems like another world now, the biggest challenge in actually shooting in 2019 is that we turned the series around within a 12 month period.
“So we were literally post-producing all the way through the early stages of the transmission and so to turn around season two it was very tight.”
She said there was so much post-production involved it became a challenge to get the second season completed in the usual 12-month timeframe.
Tranter added: “The challenge of doing editorial in season two in 2020, in our funny times, was made a lot easier by the fact we were already a very tightly-knit team.
“Because we knew each other it was possible to do it, it was the most complex post-production thing, and to do it remotely I think we were just really blessed by the strength of that team.
“We did lose an episode, we were meant to… we shot with James McAvoy for about four hours and then we have to close down.
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“It was the week of March 16 when everything sort of closed down, but we got James McAvoy back, he had shaved his head, he had his wig on, he was in his mud-splattered clothes, he was doing the full ‘hot knife through butter’ James McAvoy as Lord Asriel stuff.
“He was literally bringing himself up to his big roar and it was like ‘, okay, everyone out’ so that was interesting and it meant in post-production we had to edit around the missing episode.”
The episode was expected to be stand-alone, but Tranter said it would have included “lots of answers to questions within the body of that episode, and lots of new questions posed”.
Sadly the story is the same for a lot of series which have seen seasons cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully as the episode was intended to be a stand-alone episode, it should not detract much from the overall story of season two.
As a result, McAvoy will not feature as heavily in the second season, which may disappoint fans of the world-famous actor.
The episodes will be airing weekly on the BBC in the UK and HBO in America, with each episode being released in the UK ahead of the US.
The first episode will air on November 8 in the UK and November 16 in the US, with the second episode airing on November 15 in the UK and November 23 in the US, and so on.
Most of the episodes were written by Jack Thorne, and Tranter praised his tireless efforts for the tricky second season.
The second season will introduce some new characters, including Dr Mary Malone (Simone Kirby), who helps Lyra find out more about Dust.
Jade Anouka also joins the cast as Ruta Skadi, the leader of a new witch clan who warns their kind may be in danger with Mrs Coulter (Ruth Wilson) still at large.
His Dark Materials starts on BBC One on Sunday, November 8
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