Before the His Dark Materials panel at Comic-Con@Home started, HBO and BBC released the official trailer for the upcoming second season of the drama series, with Andrew Scott revealing during the panel that Phoebe Waller-Bridge will have a small voice role as John Parry’s osprey dæmon Sayan Kötör.
The official synopsis for the series is as follows:
Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, the first season follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. As she journeys through the worlds, including our own, Lyra meets Will, a determined and courageous boy. Together, they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living — and the dead — in their hands.
This second season, which is based on The Subtle Knife, the second book in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, sees Lyra finding herself in the strange and mysterious abandoned city of Cittàgazze, where she meets Will, a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.
In Pullman’s novel series, the bond between person and dæmon is sacred, with the animal representing a physical manifestation of a human soul. So having Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott playing off each other again, making this somewhat of a Fleabag reunion, will be a sight to see/hear. Andrew Scott spoke about it on the panel, saying:
What’s beautiful to me about the books is the relationship with the dæmons and, I think this is the first time we are revealing this, but my dæmon is going to be played by someone who is very close to me in my real life: a young performer and writer called Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The relationship is all about companionship, friendship, and loyalty and that’s what I feel about Phoebe in my real life so it’s wonderful that this is happening.
Executive Producer Jane Tranter, revealed at the panel that the second season will consist of seven episodes, instead of the eight ordered, with the episode left out being the standalone story focused on James McAvoy’s Lord Asriel, which was meant to be his main appearance this upcoming season, but ended on the cutting floor after production halted as the UK went into lockdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tranter said:
It was separate from the other seven episodes because it was a standalone episode which Jack had written with the blessing and input of Philip Pullman, which looked at what Lord Asriel had been doing between going through the anomaly at the end of season one and when we see Lord Asriel at the beginning of book three The Amber Spyglass. It meant that we could continue post-production on the seven episodes that make up The Subtle Knife and just put the Asriel standalone episode to one side and maybe in the future we can revisit it as a standalone. But essentially our adaptation of The Subtle Knife had been completed.