I recently attended the welsh premier screening of His Dark materials run by BAFTA inside Odeon Cinema in Cardiff Bay. As this is a preview screening, where he series will be actually released on the 3rd November, I have to be very careful to not give away any story points etc as the buzz for the series needs to keep for the general release.
One of the many fantastic things about this show is that it is all filmed in Wales. During the post-show interviews, the crew informed us that the series was developed in Mad Dog studios based in Wales. This is fantastic as it is showcasing Wales in a mainstream media which can only benefit the Tourism of the Country. This series is based on the collection of novels written by Phillip Pullman and is set a familiar but at the same time, a fantastical world complete with talking animal sidekicks etc. The crew also talked about the importance of having a world that builds naturally into the magical world and fantastic events that happen later in the series that appears natural and not too ‘out there.’ This is great to see as it makes the season consistent and enjoyable to watch.
His Dark materials itself is an incredibly dark and mysterious series crammed full of drama and action throughout. Although I only saw the first episode I believe that His Dark materials show incredible potential to become an extremely popular series and one that people of all ages can watch and enjoy. The dark nature of the show alongside the underlying sense of adventure is very similar to other series. I think with all the themes and underlying sense of adventures to me it shows promise to become a sort of Welsh game of thrones with all its popularity included.
Regarding the event overall, it started with a crowd of photographers and media personalities who were obviously taking promotional photos for the series and BAFTA. This is the second time I’ve attended a BAFTA event where there are hordes of photographers present it helps the attendees feel special. To end the event there was a Q and A with the cast and crew who discussed the show and answered questions from the audience which was amazing to see. This allowed us to gain a better understanding of the characters and creative decisions made by the backstage team. Yet again I just want to recommend to everyone interested in film and/television to look into becoming a member of BAFTA as it super affordable (as discussed in my post about the BAFTA awards) and it allows you to attend exclusive events like this one, discounted tickets to the awards and Free cinema on certain days which is worth every penny you spend on the membership costs.
This is a show not to miss especially if you enjoyed the game of thrones series but also if you want to see the impact Wales can have in the film and tv industry. It has a star-studded cast including the likes of James Mcavoy and Lin-Manuel Miranda but also a slew of future stars such as Dafne Keene who plays the lead character Lyra.
I would rate this series as 4 stars but has potential to be 5 stars when more episodes are released. The combination of a fantastic cast and incredible storyline makes for a show not to miss. Make sure you keep an eye out for this phenomenal series which premiers in the 3rd November!