His Dark Materials Season 3: Andrew Scott Return Revealed at MCM

It was announced today at a cast-struck panel at MCM London Comic Con that Andrew Scott, best known for playing Moriarty in Sherlock and the Hot Priest in Fleabag, will be returning as the character Jopari to the third season of the BBC's His Dark Materials. Presumably, that will also include his Fleabag co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who voices his daemon. His return is a departure from the book series but has been done in consultation with the original author Philip Pullman.

his dark materials
Image: HBO

Another deviation is the inclusion of a new angelic character Alvarus, who will personify other tendrils of angels storytelling from the rest of the books. We are also expected to see an expanded role for Lord Azrael and also for the queen witch Ruta Skadi.

The panel included Amir Wilson, who plays Will, Dafne Keen, who plays Lyra; series writer Jack Thorne, Jade Anouka, who plays Ruta Skadi, Bad Wolf producer Jane Tranter and Simone Kirby as Mary Malone.

Andrew Scott Returns to His Dark Materials Season 3, Revealed at MCM
Photo by Rich Johnston

Growing up was a theme of the panel; Amir Wilson talked about how he had physically aged between seasons but how that matched the journey the character was going through, while Dafne Keen talked about how this series involved Lyra seeing herself as a woman rather than a girl. One of the scenes shown with Lyra and Pan arguing about her journey to the Land Of The Dead to find Roger, leaving Pan behind, underlined this. While Will got his own clip facing down Iorek Byrnison, challenging him with his Subtle Knife. A powerful scene, possibly slightly undercut by Amir Wilson, reminded everyone how the location stank of fish.

Andrew Scott Returns to His Dark Materials Season 3, Revealed at MCM
Photo by Rich Johnston

Amir Wilson also admitted he owned the Subtle Knife as a prop, though a but chipped of when he dropped it, and he still has to stick it back on with glue. The whole cast admitted that they had taken much from the set, with Amir and Dafne challenging each other to see how much they could take. Jane Tranter added, "like we didn't know, your bags were clinking by the end of the day."

Dafne Keen talked about the set of the Land Of The Dead being her favourite, while Amir boasted of how many of his friends he got on that set as extras.

None of the trailers or clips showed the Mulefa, the species that live in accordance with Dust and whose appearance will be a combination of puppetry and CGI. That will be seen in future previews though they don't have long as the series is out in December. We did get to glimpse the seedpod trees with which they have a symbiotic relationship.

His Dark Materials Season 3: Andrew Scott Return Revealed at MCM

The final trailer, an exclusive for MCM London Comic Con that will be released from HBO and the BBC soon, sees Lyra waking after dreaming of her dead friend Roger, and we are told that the real war is coming, with the death of Lyra being sought by the Magesterium. We see the Subtle Knife cutting worlds as Lyra plans to travel to the Land Of The Dead after Roger while war breaks out on her Earth. Lord Azrael is seen inspiring an army to rise up against The Authority, telling them, "tonight was are free!" While the prophecy of Lyra is explained by Coulter to Azrael as "she will achieve something far beyond your rebellion." And for Lyra, we are told that "the greatest love is the one you can't live without, the one you are prepared to die for" as armies take to the ground and to the skies, Azreal piloting something very familiar…

His Dark Materials Season 3: Andrew Scott Return Revealed at MCM
Photo by Rich Johnston

Jane Tranter also says, in relation to adapting Phillip Pullman's The Book Of Dust series to follow, that she can't see His Dark Materials coming to an end any time soon, has made no secret that she would like to adapt it, has discussed this with Pullman who has liked the job the BBC have done with the show, but Pullman is still finishing the series. When he has done that, they will see.

His Dark Materials returns for a third and final season from the BBC and HBO, being broadcast this December.

His Dark Materials Season 3: Andrew Scott Return Revealed at MCM
Photo by Rich Johnston

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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