His Dark Materials: the BBC has already ordered series 2

The BBC has ordered a second series of His Dark Materials, before the show’s first run has even arrived on screens. That’s an impressive show of confidence from the Beeb, which hopefully bodes well for the series that we’re yet to see.

His Dark Materials is an adaptation of Philip Pullman’s book series of the same name, with Harry Potter And The Cursed Child alum Jack Thorne being tasked with adapting the fantasy novels into TV scripts. Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech is the show’s lead director, and he will shoot the first two episodes of series 1 to set a visual style for the project.

Logan star Dafne Keen has the lead role as dimension-hopping hero Lyra, with a starry supporting cast surrounding her. James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Wilson, Clarke Peters, Ian Gelder, Will Keen, Ariyon Bakare, Georgina Campbell, Anne-Marie Duff, James Cosmo, Lucian Msamati, Mat Fraser, Geoff Bell, Simon Manyonda, Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson, Tyler Howitt and Archie Barnes all have parts to play in the series.

The BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, revealed that a second series is being planned during an appearance before a government committee. According to Variety, Hall was talking about the BBC’s finances, and how the public-funded broadcaster can compete with the likes of Netflix, when he said this:

“We are making two series of Philip Pullman’s ‘[His] Dark Materials. The cost per episode is high – it’s really ambitious.”

He went on to stress that His Dark Materials is “the sort of piece the BBC should make.” Hall also mentioned that he wants the BBC to focus “on what we do best, which is U.K. content, dramas about big U.K. issues, finding new talent or giving existing talent its voice to do things they might not otherwise do.”

His Dark Materials series 1 doesn’t have a release date confirmed yet, but we’ll let you know when we hear more.