His Dark Materials: Episode cut from series two due to coronavirus

Producers of fantasy TV drama His Dark Materials have said that one episode of the upcoming second series had to be cut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the show’s Comic-Con@Home panel, they revealed that a planned standalone instalment was unable to be filmed during lockdown.

The episode, focusing on James McAvoy’s Lord Asriel, may be revisited.

The now-seven episode series will, however, see Fleabag stars Andrew Scott and Phoebe-Waller Bridge reunited.

All of the other filming for the new BBC/HBO offering, based on Sir Philip Pullman’s trilogy of novels, was largely finished before lockdown.

“Essentially, our adaptation of The Subtle Knife [book two] had been completed so we were really lucky from that point of view,” said executive producer Jane Tranter.

At the same online event, actor Scott said he and Waller-Bridge were together once more, with the UK actress voicing the Irishman’s daemon.

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From Fleabag to His Dark Materials: Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott

In His Dark Materials, humans are joined by daemons – manifestations of the human soul which take the form of animals.

The 43-year-old previously played the “hot priest” in Waller-Bridge’s award-winning comedy Fleabag, and described her as “somebody who is very close to me in real life”.

“I’m really thrilled about that because it’s all about companionship and friendship and loyalty and that’s what I feel about Phoebe in my real life so it’s wonderful that it’s happening,” said Scott, who will play explorer Colonel John Parry.

Fans were given a first glimpse of the series two trailer, which finds Dafne Keen’s character Lyra in a strange and mysterious abandoned city named Cittagazze.

It also features McAvoy, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and The Affair’s Ruth Wilson, as well as warning viewers that “these are strange new times”.

Series two of His Dark Materials is expected to air later this year.

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