Cast: Dafne Keen, Amir Wilson, Ruth Wilson
Release Date: June 29, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
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.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Newcomers to ‘His Dark Materials’ will want to strongly consider starting at the beginning due to the show’s serialized nature and various continuing story elements within. You can find our review of the Season One Blu-ray release below!
Season two of ‘His Dark Materials’ rejoins our heroine Lyra after losing even more as she decides to follow Lord Asriel, entering the curious city of Cittàgazze where she meets Will. Joining forces with the stranger who seems to have a similar goal of doing right, she soon discovers that Will is from an entirely different world drastically unlike her own. Hoping to find answers to the mysteries of Dust, she heads out on a search for answers, but her journey will be filled with surprise guests and unexpected twists, as well as leading Will to what may be his own destiny in the tale. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter starts pulling some strings at the Magisterium and begins her own quest to locate her missing daughter. At the same time, various others hunt the boy and girl down for their own purposes, some with good intentions and others with anything but.
The sophomore season of ‘His Dark Materials’ is a powerful, moving and visually gorgeous continuation of the fantasy series that starts to get into the deeper elements of the overall story while never failing to deliver plenty of action, wonder and even a fair amount of heartbreak as the threat becomes greater and many characters begin to take more drastic measures as a result. It’s a beautiful and touching tale of an unfamiliar world and the threat of war looming that all leads to much grander and stunning revelations, while largely focusing on one young woman’s quest for answers and at the same time uncovering hints at her destiny regardless of whether she wants it or not. Season two furthers the story for each of the characters we met and began the quest with last season, especially Will who really begins to find himself and before long becomes an integral part of the tale with his own key part to play in the larger scope of things, while at the same time trying to come to terms with his own personal demons. Anyone that enjoyed the first season yet hasn’t yet had the pleasure of the second will definitely want to make a point of catching up at your earliest convenience; or at the very least prior to the third and final season whenever it might debut. It’s a great show that started with true promise in season one and only improves upon it in season two, building to what is almost certain to be one truly memorable final season to come.
Overall, season two of ‘His Dark Materials’ delivers a thrilling continuation of the tale loaded with more tension, tragedy and excitement around every turn; all building on the debut season and inching toward to what seems to be an imminent war for the ages. It’s another beautiful and well-acted batch of episodes that only improves upon the impressive first season while also building plenty of excitement for the third and final season to come. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s 2-disc Blu-ray release of ‘His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season’ in particular brings all seven episodes from the second season home with solid high definition video and audio presentations, along with a satisfying collection of bonus content and as a whole the release should not disappoint. The season two Blu-ray release is definitely recommended for fans of the series considering a purchase; especially those who were pleased with what the debut season’s Blu-ray release had to offer.
The Blu-ray release of ‘His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with a 2.00:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the sophomore season’s episodes. The video presentations look quite fantastic altogether and offer a sharp and richly detailed presentation on every episode with no notable problems or issues to be uncovered throughout. They hold up impressively even during the various darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated moments, never resulting in anything occurring onscreen becoming negatively affected or problematic. Overall, these are solid high definition video presentations that deliver nicely throughout and shouldn’t disappoint the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 7 Season Two episodes. These multichannel soundtracks serve up clean, crisp and fairly aggressive audio presentations on each episode. They frequently embrace all five available channels in order to send music, along with fantasy and action elements, plus nature content, characters, vehicles and plenty more soaring throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, these are great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks that regularly contribute some extra fun and excitement to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season’ features a nice collection of bonus content in the way of numerous Behind the Scenes Featurettes which can all be found on Disc Two and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. Strangely, many of the Featurettes seem to include additional Featurettes in the same video so it is possible there may be some duplicate entries throughout. The included Featurettes are ‘Noble Rogue: The Legend of Lee Scoresby’ (running approximately 13 minutes in length), ‘Exploring His Dark Materials: Daemons’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length), ‘Exploring His Dark Materials: Panserbjørne’ (approximately 8 minutes), ‘Exploring His Dark Materials: Portals and the Multiverse’ (9 minutes), Exploring His Dark Materials: Witches’ (8 minutes), ‘His Dark Materials: Bringing Daemons and Bears to Life’ (5 minutes), ‘His Dark Materials: Exploring Cittàgazze’ (3 minutes), ‘His Dark Materials: Worlds Collide’ (3 minutes), along with ‘The Powerful Mrs. Coulter’ (5 minutes), ‘Lyra’ (3 minutes) and ‘The Subtle Knife’ (3 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from HBO & Warner Bros Home Entertainment
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