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His Dark Materials: Season Two (Blu-ray) review

His Dark Materials: Season Two (Blu-ray) review
« on: June 28, 2021, 02:13:40 PM »

Studio: HBO / Warner
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Rating: NR
Film: 4.5/5
His Dark Materials follows young orphan Lyra (Dafne Keen) on a journey through a parallel world where a human’s soul exists outside one’s body – in the form of a talking animal called a daemon. Season two begins as Lyra, distraught over the death of her best friend, embarks upon a journey in a strange and mysterious abandoned city. There she meets Will (Amir Wilson), a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.
My Thoughts
I enjoyed the first season of the show and thought it ended much better than it started. Season two picks up immediately following the conclusion of the first season and ended up being much stronger by comparison. The viewer is already familiar with the world, so time isn’t needed for world building and it allows the writers to dig right into the story.
This season revolves around Will and Lyra when their paths finally cross and they are tasked with finding a magical knife that will be the key to everything. The pair have great chemistry and the fleshing out of their characters is one of the things that make this season so magical. There are a few newcomers to the story and hold onto your hats because no one is safe this season—some major characters face peril and not all will make it to season three. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has delayed filming of the third season, and I doubt we’ll see it on HBO until sometime in 2022—which means even longer for a Blu-ray release.
Season Two Episodes:
  • The City of Magpies
  • The Cave
  • Theft
  • Tower of the Angels
  • The Scholar
  • Malice
  • Æsahættr
The presentation is excellent, just like the first season. The digitally shot production is crystal clear and teaming with detail. Furthermore, the CGI is extremely well done and blends in with the live action seamlessly. The audio track could be a tad more aggressive, but overall, it pulls you into the scenes and gives you that being there effect.
Video 5/5
Audio 4.5/5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Special Features:
  • Noble Rogue: The Legend of Lee Scoresby (Exclusive to Blu-ray and DVD)
  • Exploring His Dark Materials: Panserbjørne
  • Exploring His Dark Materials: Daemons
  • Exploring His Dark Materials:Portals & The Multiverse
  • Exploring His Dark Materials: Witches
  • His Dark Materials: Bringing Daemons and Bears to Life
  • His Dark Materials: Exploring Cittàgazze
  • His Dark Materials: Worlds Collide
  • The Powerful Mrs. Coulter
  • Lyra
  • The Subtle Knife

While the series takes some liberties with Pullman’s books, the narrative is retained, and I actually like what they’ve done. I rated the first season at 3.5/5 and as you can see, the second season has gone up a full point. In fact, I want to revisit season one again and see if my thoughts might have changed now that I’m more familiar with the characters and the storytelling. I think I’ll wait to do this until just before the release of season three since the wait is going to be so long and I’ll no doubt forget aspects of the story. If you’re a fantasy fan definitely check out this show because the production value is off the charts and it’s extremely entertaining. Highly recommended.
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High-Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 88” 16x9 Fixed Screen
Trinnov Altitude 16 Audio/Video Processor
ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels
ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: URC MX-990
M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
JL Audio Dominion F110 Subwoofer x 2
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: His Dark Materials: Season Two (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2021, 06:26:18 AM »

Yep, totally agree Dave. Nice review! 8)


Re: His Dark Materials: Season Two (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2021, 11:46:01 AM »

Yep, totally agree Dave. Nice review! 8)

Thanks for checking it out Ralph. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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