An Underrated Fantasy Series Is Dominating Multiple Streaming Services

His Dark Materials is dominating the streaming charts by being in the top 10 categories for iTunes, HBO Max, and Hulu.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

his dark materials

Thanks to shows like House of the Dragon and Rings of Power, fantasy series have been very hot these days. However, when it comes to streaming, one underrated fantasy series has been downright dominating other shows. And that series is His Dark Materials, which has recently landed in the Top 10 for HBO Max, Hulu, iTunes, and more.

If you’re not familiar with His Dark Materials, this show is an adaptation of the book series of the same name. Philip Pullman originally wrote a trilogy, with the first book (Northern Lights) coming out in 1995. In North America, this first book was titled The Golden Compass, and it was adapted into an ambitious New Line Cinema film back in 2007.

Afterward, there weren’t many adaptations outside of the theatre for Pullman’s series. However, in 2019, New Line would team up with Bad Wolf to release eight episodes of the first season for both BBC One and HBO. The show would ultimately go on to have three seasons, each one focusing on adapting a different book from the His Dark Materials trilogy.

his dark materials

The show quickly proved popular with both new fans and fans of the original novels, many of whom were unhappy with the previous film adaptation. The TV show also had some big names to draw audiences in, including James McAvoy and Lin-Manuel Miranda. And while the entire cast of His Dark Materials is impressive, special praise should be reserved for Logan star Dafne Keen, who plays the young protagonist Lyra Belacqua.

Her casting was so important because, at its heart, His Dark Materials was originally intended for young adult readers. As such, it has many genre trappings, including a young female protagonist who is prophesied to change the world. First, though, she must overcome powerful political, governmental, and religious forces that stand in her way.

Part of what makes production on the His Dark Materials television adaptation so impressive is that they were mostly able to work without being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it did keep the producers from completing a standalone episode that was going to focus entirely on Lord Asriel, a fan-favorite character played by James McAvoy. Due to this, the second season is the only season that features seven episodes rather than eight.

It didn’t take long for this adaptation of His Dark Materials to reach critical momentum. Eventually, the show would be nominated for a series of awards, including the Satellite Awards and the Saturn Awards. And it went on to win an Annie Award for “Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production” as well as two British Academy Television Awards, including one for “Best Special, Visual & Graphic Effects.”

Back when the show was still new, His Dark Materials was quite popular, with many tuning into BBC One and HBO to catch each new episode as it dropped. Now, thanks to streaming services, it’s possible to binge through all three seasons instead of having to wait. And if you should become a fan of the universe created by Philip Pullman, this would be the perfect time to check out more of his captivating books.