‘His Dark Materials’ producer teases details of ‘lost’ season two episode

It looks like the canned episode might see the light of day after all

His Dark Materials executive producer Jane Tranter has teased more details about the ‘lost’ episode that was cut from season two of the show.

The episode, which was due to focus on James McAvoy’s character Lord Asriel, was canned earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“That missing episode was going to really flesh out the story of the Knife, the story of the Guild, the story of the Specters and the creation of the Specters,” Tranter told Deadline.

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“What we had to do was look at the episodes we have and check the information in the episodes we had and re-edit.”

She continued: “We built up a sequence, a visual effects sequence at the start of episode four that essentially told through image and a voiceover about the history of the Knife in order to put it into as much context as possible, and we lent into the witches and we lent into other characters really helping us.”

Sharing her opinion on how the cancelled episode affected the season, Tranter said: “I think that crushing it from eight episodes to seven did give it a feeling of great intensity, and I think that added to the sense of brooding anxiety that I’ve spoken about.

“You had to put more information than would organically have been there in those seven episodes. I don’t think it harmed it. I think it gave it a really kind of exceptional, intense, compelling feeling. It was slightly different for sure but I think probably, weirdly better.”

Tranter also shared what the plans are for the episode moving forward. “We definitely want to include it in the third season because the third season is an adaptation of the end of [The Amber] Spyglass and that’s a whopper,” she revealed.

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“We really just need to hit the ground running with that and get on with it. It’s something that exists as a standalone. Season three will just be The Amber Spyglass.”

Last month, His Dark Materials visual effects supervisor Russell Dodgson gave NME an insight into exactly what happened with the cancelled episode.

“It was quite clear about three days into filming that it wasn’t going to go further,” he said. “Those three days were after a weekend when things really started to ramp up. We all came in on the Monday and thought, ‘Yeah, this is probably going to be an early finish’. We ended up pulling the plug because we wanted to be safe and protect everyone’s welfare.”

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