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HIS DARK MATERIALS - Episode 3: The Spies - Preview and Teasers

Last week I mentioned that I found Lyra’s compulsion to tell such grandiose lies after moving to London, a situation she should have felt fairly safe in, a strange aspect of her character. But it didn’t take too long to figure out that Mrs. Coulter isn’t someone that she should have been placing her trust in after all. Maybe those lies were an unconscious wall of defence that a part of her was sceptical about the change in circumstances she found herself in after leaving Oxford. Pantalaimon, her dæmon, certainly questioned events far more than Lyra herself did, which again leads me to believe that there is a lot more to this character than even she realises at this point.

As we have seen, dæmons are intrinsically part of a human, their soul in fact. This couldn’t be more apparent when we compare Mrs Coulter’s beautiful and charismatic nature with her snub-nosed, brutish little monkey. If anyone was in doubt that her dæmon laid bare her true identity then the fight she initiated between Pan and the monkey clearly demonstrated the relationship between the two halves of the whole. Another example is the obviously creepy crawly or scary dæmons we have seen some members of the Magisterium have. Serpents, huge hounds and cockroaches are not the kind soul I expect many people to be hoping their souls settle as, unless you are wanting others to fear and obey you of course.

I think, therefore, it’s pertinent to continue paying attention to what Pan says to Lyra, and their relationship in general, as the series progresses. Lyra already has an undeniable sense of maturity to her character already, which comes from growing up as an orphan in the male dominant surroundings of Jordan College. But in the same way Pan has yet to discover what final animal he will settle in, there are many sides of Lyra which still need to be developed after having been kept safely hidden from the world in Oxford for so long. Her sharp instincts, shown through the way Pantalaimon questions the world around them, are a great indicator that she should be able to tackle whatever is ahead of her though.

Her duplicitous nature may well prove to be another of her greatest assets too as this third episode finds her uprooted yet again and having to find ways to fit in to this new environment. After the opulence of Mrs Coulter’s penthouse suite, life as a Gyptian aboard one of their boats proves to be just as dangerous, albeit for differing reasons. She is now a fugitive, not an easy burden for a twelve-year-old girl who has found herself thrust from one hazardous situation to the next, whose best friend has been kidnapped, and has just found out that her father has been misleading her about being an orphan.

The lying she finds herself falling into this week is mostly to protect herself, and she comes to find that the Gyptians are also adept at keeping secrets in order to safeguard her, as in the scene of the Magisterium searching their boats which the BBC released in their trailer earlier this week shows. Yet at pivotal points in this episode we get to see that Lyra is beginning to understand how these untruths and lies of omission can have an enormous knock on effect. Her time spent on board the Gyptian boats is not only essential in her quest towards finding Roger and defeating the Gobblers, but also for learning some hard truths and expanding her world view.

Here are this week’s teasers:

“What I know is she’ll…they’ll just keep on taking your children. Fighting back is the only way”
“Your father was good to us. He has always respected our way of life”
“Load up the ship. We travel to the port. Tell the captain, set a course for Trollesund”
“There, lesson one learnt already. You’ll be a Gyptian woman yet”
“Have you any idea how much pain I can cause you?”
“Then again, I’m often confused by dæmons. I would never have guessed Tony Costa’s dæmon would have settled as a hawk”
“She arrived in my care with it, I merely returned it to her”
“I am the Western King, and I am asking you to ready yourself to travel north. Ready yourselves to fight. And ready yourselves to bring our children home”
“Even if we do succeed, are we prepared to lose more sons? More daughters?”
“I’m frightened too. They took my friend Roger. And I reckon Billy, Roger, they’re more frightened”
“Start in there. Find me something which is heretical or illegal”
“It was, strange. Like…like my mind, it went blank”

HIS DARK MATERIALS - Episode 3: The Spies - Preview and Teasers Reviewed by Henri on November 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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