His Dark Materials: What would Lyra do in a pandemic?

By Sinead Garvan
Newsbeat entertainment reporter


In His Dark Materials, Lyra Belacqua is fiercely independent, headstrong and brave.

So what would she do during the pandemic we are living through?

Stay at home and follow all the rules, according to Dafne Keen, who plays her in the BBC's adaptation of the books.

"She would do it for the good of humanity, do good by staying at home," she says.

"But, I think she would be protesting.

"She would go out on the Black Lives Matter protests and all the other protests are going on."

image captionWill and Lyra meet in series two in a parallel universe

Amir Wilson, who plays Lyra's partner in crime Will, thinks his character would be enjoying some downtime.

"He is one of the good guys so he would definitely obey the rules," he says.

"He would just stay in and play a bit of Xbox, a bit of Call of Duty.

"Clean the house for his mum, go on a bike ride, but definitely would not be trying to find a vaccine."

image captionAmir thinks Will would enjoy just being at home and playing computer games

Back in the real world, if you are a fan of His Dark Materials, the new season on BBC One is some escapism as we head towards winter.

Hence the hypothetical pandemic chat with Dafne and Amir.

"It is something to look forward to as I feel like everyone's watched everything," says Dafne.

"People are just ravenous for new content, and it is exciting because you have seen season one so it's not a show you've never heard of."

If you've not caught up on the first series and are planning to, we will keep this spoiler free.

image captionShe's back! Mrs Coulter completely unfazed by whatever is pointing at her

As this season kicks off we rejoin Lyra as she meets Will in the city of Cittàgazze, which is in a parallel universe.

This is the beginning of their journey together which is a hugely important one in the books.

"This series is darker, it's deeper and we get introduced to a completely different world," says Amir.

"Also, you get to experience much more realistic relationships between characters," adds Dafne.

"You get to see Will and Lyra a lot, which I'm very excited about."

image captionEek, Lee Scoresby's not having a good time.

This meant a lot of filming together and as they lived near each other, a lot of hanging out off set too.

"We'd go out on walks, rock climbing, swimming and all that really helped us to bond," explains Amir.

Season two sees returning favourites including Ruth Wilson as the evil Mrs Coulter and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby.

We get to see a lot more of Andrew Scott as Colonel John Parry, who we saw briefly in the first series.

Most of us know him as the 'hot priest' from Fleabag.

image captionPretty sure he is over being referred to as the 'hot priest' but we don't make the rules

Colonel John Parry is Will's Dad in the series and no, Amir didn't call him by his popular nickname.

"When I told my friends and family that Andrew Scott played my Dad they were like 'the hot priest is your Dad?' and I had no idea," explains Amir.

"Amir, you can't call him the hot priest he is your Dad, it's weird," shouts Dafne.

His Dark Material begins on BBC One on Sunday Nov 8 and on BBC iPlayer.

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