‘The Golden Compass’ star Dakota Blue Richards reveals why it was “strange” watching ‘His Dark Materials’ series

Lyra actress also gives verdict on Dafne Keen's portrayal.

Dakota Blue Richards, who played the role of Lyra Belacqua in movie The Golden Compass, has given her thoughts on the new BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

The acclaimed new adaptation has been compared to the original 2007 movie version, which was met with a largely negative critical reception when it was released – holding a 42% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Star Dakota Blue Richards has now opened up about how she felt watching the new BBC series, admitting it has been “strange” for her.


“It’s kind of strange to watch it, I watched it alone because I thought this is something I want to do by myself and not have other peoples’ opinions about it,” she said on the His Darker Materials podcast, going on to admit that the TV adaptation has more time than the film did.

“What’s interesting about the series is I think because they have so much more time than we had, they get to fill that time kind of however they like. And there’s a lot of bits you see in the show that you don’t necessarily see in the books and certainly didn’t see in the film.

“So it is kind of like watching it fresh because there are a whole bunch of things I couldn’t anticipate. So it’s exciting and also strange. The show feels different enough for me watching it that I kind of forget it’s the same thing… or not the same thing, but based on the same thing.”

His Dark Materials episode 2
Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter in ‘His Dark Materials’.

Richards also spoke about the differences between her and new Lyra actress Dafne Keen’s portrayals of the character, saying: “I think the biggest difference for me watching it between myself and Dafne is she… firstly she’s a little bit older than I was at that age. She’s 14, I was like 11 or 12, and at that age a couple of years makes a world of difference.

“But also she is a professional actress, she’s well proved her talent well before coming on board this project. So her approach to it is much more considered, and there’s a maturity to her portrayal of Lyra that probably wasn’t in mine, but I think that’s because I was younger, but I had no acting experience and I had no sense of the world I was getting myself into.


“So I see them as quite different, but maybe other people don’t, I don’t know.”

Author Philip Pullman recently weighed-into comparisons between the two adaptations, admitting that there “wasn’t enough” time with the movie, while also praising Richards’ performance.

“Delighted as I am with the TV adaptation of HDM, I don’t want to be too critical of The GC movie,” he tweeted. “A magnificent cast, among whom Dakota Blue Richards shone like the polar star, did the best that could be done with the time they had, which simply wasn’t enough.”

The BBC series began airing a few weeks ago, receiving much praise from critics and fans as well as becoming the biggest new British TV show in five years.

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