Why His Dark Materials Fans Should Be Excited About Getting More Than One Episode Per Week, According To The EP

His Dark Materials is on the verge of returning for the third and final season to pick up where the Season 2 cliffhangers left off, with war on the horizon, multiple worlds to travel, and Will and Lyra exploring some more adult storylines. Readers of Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass will know that the show has a lot to pack into the remaining episodes, but fans watching on HBO won’t have to watch just one per week to see how the story ends. The network will air two episodes per week, and executive producer Jane Tranter has explained why that’s an exciting prospect. 

Season 3 of His Dark Materials is comprised of eight episodes, and HBO is departing from how the first two seasons were released and airing two episodes per week. So, instead of having to go through eight weeks to get to what is bound to be an epic conclusion, viewers will only have to go through four. 

It’s an atypical way to release a series that’s not produced for a streaming service (although it will be available streaming with an HBO Max subscription). When executive producer Jane Tranter spoke with CinemaBlend about His Dark Materials Season 3, she weighed in on how two episodes every Monday in December will affect the viewing experience:

[His Dark Materials] goes in blocks of two very well. I think it also feels sustainable in feature length blocks, so I'm really, really pleased with that. I think it kind of makes complete logical story sense. You can watch them individually, or you can sit down and kind of indulge once a week across four weeks, or wait till the end and watch it all in a great big giant stack. I think it works all ways.

With HBO airing two episodes every Monday this month, viewers will actually get movie-length installments of His Dark Materials if they watch both together. There are also other options for how to watch, as Jane Tranter said. Fans who prefer to wait and binge-watch the full season won’t have to wait as long as usual! 

Of course, based on what stars Dafne Keen, Amir Wilson, James McAvoy, and Ruth Wilson had to say about their characters’ priorities in the final season, fans may have a hard time waiting and not watching the two episodes per week ASAP. Still, television has changed in the era of streaming services releasing full seasons at once, so His Dark Materials is going the extra mile yet still not dropping all eight episodes on December 5. 

Jane Tranter elaborated on why this release schedule is so exciting, saying:

But I personally do like these days – because we're all so used to watching in kind of blocks – I think one episode can potentially feel like 'Oh, God, I could just do with a bit more. It's not quite enough.' So I thought that was an exciting move.

HBO will release two episodes of His Dark Materials every Monday night at 9 p.m. ET this month, starting on December 5 and ending on December 26. The show has a lot to resolve by the end of that final pair of episodes (not the least of which is Asriel and Mrs. Coulter’s complicated relationship), and only time will tell if the final season incorporates all the key book moments. Readers at least don’t need to worry about the mulefa being cut

With the end nigh for the fantasy series, however, you may be ready to start planning ahead for what will be available in the new year. Be sure to check out our 2023 TV premiere schedule to see your options!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).