Variety reports that "His Dark Materials" tells the story of Lyra, an orphan who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra goes on a search for a friend who has been kidnapped and along the way uncovers a plot involving stolen children. Her journey then becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. Lyra then meets Will, a boy with a knife that can cut windows between worlds. Lyra and Will become caught up in a war against celestial powers that ranges across many worlds.
In an interview with Variety, Philip Pullman said, "It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media. It’s been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel — and now comes this version for television."
The series will be executive-produced by Pullman, Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner, Toby Emmerich, Carolyn Blackwood and Deborah Forte.
In 2003-04 Nicholas Hytner’s stage production of the trilogy was presented in two parts at the National Theatre. The production starred Anna Maxwell Martin as Lyra, with John Carlisle, Dominic Cooper, Niamh Cusack, Timothy Dalton, Patrick Godfrey, Stephen Greif, Jamie Harding, Patricia Hodge, Akbar Kurtha, Chris Larkin, Inika Leigh Wright, Helena Lymbery, Tim McMullan, Iain Mitchell, Helen Murton, Emily Mytton, Cecilia Noble, Katy Odey, Nick Sampson, Dany Sapani, Jason Thorpe, Russell Tovey, Daniel Tuite, Andrew Westfield, Ben Whishaw, Katie Wimpenny, Ben Wright and Richard Youman. The production was widely acclaimed.
In 2007 New Line Cinema released the film "The Golden Compass," which was based on "Northern Lights," the first book in the series. The film starred Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra, with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in other leading roles.
Casting and premiere dates have not been announced for the BBC series.