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How to watch His Dark Materials in the UK, US and abroad

Fans of Philip Pullman’s cult fantasy book series, His Dark Materials, are finally having their wishes granted. Here's how to watch it...

Based on Pullman’s trilogy of the same name, His Dark Materials is a tale of fantastical heights. The story begins with a young Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, as she discovers a mystical substance called “Dust”.

In the search for answers, Lyra embarks on an adventure of a lifetime meeting polar bears, witches and all manner of evil villains along the way. She believes that everyone has their own “true inner-self”, their daemon, embodied in animal form. From monkeys to snow leopards, there’s every CGI animal you could dream of.

If you wondering why this rings a bell, it’s because the same story was told in the 2007 Hollywood film The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Ian McKellen.

The ‘His Dark Materials’ TV series – produced jointly by the BBC and HBO – boasts of its own star-studded cast in the form of James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ruta Gedmintas. It’s been praised by critics and general viewers alike for being true to Pullman’s magnum opus and being better than the movie.

Based on book one in the trilogy, Northern Lights, the series airs every Sunday night in the UK (Monday night in the US) and will conclude its eight-episode run just before Christmas. The second season, based on book two in the series ‘The Subtle Knife’, has already been commissioned.

Read on to find out the best ways to feast your eyes on Pullman’s lavish fantasy.

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How to watch His Dark Materials for free in the UK: BBC One and iPlayer

The best way to watch weekly episodes of His Dark Materials is to tune into BBC One or BBC One iPlayer every Sunday at 8pm. However, if you missed a particular episode for whatever reason, then you can always use the brilliant free catch-up service BBC iPlayer to watch episodes at your convenience.

Alternatively, if you can’t bear the cliffhangers at the end of every weekly episode, you can watch the entire first season (all eight episodes) of His Dark Materials at one go during your Christmas holidays, which is only a few weeks away now.

Watch His Dark Materials free on BBC iPlayer

How to watch His Dark Materials in the US: HBO

If you’re looking to get your fantasy fix in the US, then HBO is your best option. His Dark Materials is broadcast every Monday at 9pm ET, from 4 November until 23 December.

If you miss a particular episode, you can watch the episode later on HBO’s popular standalone service, HBO Now. This paid subscription service costs $14.99 per month and includes all HBO programming.

Alternatively, for those that already have HBO with their cable subscription, you’ll be able to access programmes via the HBO Go catch up service that is included at no extra charge.

Watch His Dark Materials on HBO Now

How to watch His Dark Materials abroad: VPN

Both BBC and HBO are geoblocked, meaning you can’t watch His Dark Materials outside the UK and US unless you use a good VPN. Short for ‘virtual private network’, these services use technical wizardry to spoof any of your devices into thinking that you’re browsing from anywhere in the world that you want.

This is great if you’re on holiday abroad and want to watch the latest episode via BBC iPlayer or HBO on your smartphone or laptop. We recommend that everyone uses a good VPN service, not only to stream content but also because a VPN protects online activity on all your devices. This means that no one – not even your ISP – will be able to see what you do whenever you go online.

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