a brief list of those done dirty in His Dark Materials Ep. 6

sorry, i had to nap

Coming to you a little late this week! I got tired, sorry. But considering that in the past I have gone a literal year between newsletter editions, the fact that I’m getting to it at all feels worth a prize of some kind. Or at least some leeway?

I was Mad Online™ this week about how His Dark Materials handled Bolvangar, so instead of power-ranking I’m just going to yell some more, okay? So many people got royally fucked this week by series writer Jack Thorne—who with each passing week is quickly taking Damon Lindelof’s place as my mortal Hollywood enemy—and director Euros Lyn. Thus, I am here to, if not avenge them, at least acknowledge their sacrifice in the Great 21st Century Franchise Adaptation Wars. A quick rundown of characters who deserved better than whatever that was in “The Daemon-Cages”:

Ma Costa: Look, your instincts were there. It’s a potentially compelling choice to have the tiny Anne-Marie Duff straight-up murder the scientist who killed her character’s child in cold blood. Especially considering Anne-Marie Duff has a nine-year-old son in real life. YET! Instead of really committing to that choice, Thorne and Lyn instead backed down, giving her a quick, almost cursory “He was only a boy” and a hard cut to a wide shot of the second after she snapped his neck. The damn mad scientist got more face-time for his “just following orders” protest. Ma deserved a tragically too-late “Not my daughter, you bitch.” Maggie Costa: robbed!

Iorek Byrnison: If the panserbjørne prince had permitted it, and if the panserbjørne prince were a real person, in real life, I would file a defamation suit on behalf of Iorek Byrnison. The cutesy sarcastic quips he’s given here are not only deeply un-bear-like—his bear-ness, as we’ll learn more about next week, is what sets him apart from King Iofur Raknison in all the ways that count. They also cheapen his rare, uniquely sick burns that only sting because he’s above this kind of silliness. Only petty, base creatures waste their energy on things like “jokes.” Iorek Byrnison: slandered!

The Tartars: It is the year of our lord 2019 and we are still going the Faceless Vaguely Ethnic Baddies route like nothing about these people is worth mentioning. For weeks we were ominously worrying about how tough and numerous they are—what was the point of that? What’s their motivation? Pullman published Northern Lights in 1995; what’s your excuse here? Tartars: fascist collaborators, surely, but still robbed.

Serafina Pekkala’s clan: Giving witches the power to turn into smoke and Death Eat their enemies is really cool and everything, but based purely on what we’ve seen onscreen thus far, now I’m just assuming Serafina Pekkala is the only witch alive and running an elaborate scam job on her human allies. Either that, or she’s denying her clan an opportunity to stunt. Every other witch in the universe: robbed.

Pantalaimon: Lyra really didn’t even make eye contact with, let alone hug or touch her allegedly beloved daemon when they’re released from the machine that was about to rip them from one another forever. Fuck Pan, I guess?! How am I supposed to feel proper feelings when [redacted] if this is where we’re starting? Pantalaimon: only marginally more respected than Mrs. Coulter’s golden monkey.

The rest of the daemons:
Don’t get me started. *Don Draper voice* That’s what the recap is for.

Another thing(s)!

  • Amir Wilson (Will Parry) is going to play Dickon in the upcoming Secret Garden remake?? Which I did not know was happening until I saw it on his IMDb page?? Colin Firth is Archibald Craven and SPEAKING OF MRS. WEASLEY Julie Walters is Mrs. Medlock. Be still, my heart.

  • Still furious about “Blindsided…with love.” Only made worse by this week’s special stinker, “Sounds like someone I know.” Everyone else on this project is working so hard, only for Jack Thorne to smugly flounce in and ruin everything. (I am at least living for the fact that he’s now been reduced to just apologizing nonstop to fans on Twitter.)

  • I’ve watched the final two screeners now, so I can confidently tell you: Thirst Trap will ride again before this season is out. However my thoughts about the episodes themselves shake out, know this: even in dark times, hotness persists.

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