His Dark Materials season 3: next episode, cast, plot, trailer and everything we know

His Dark Materials Season 3 cast
His Dark Materials season 3 is the last chapter. (Image credit: BBC/© Bad Wolf/HBO)

His Dark Materials season 3 is the third and final series in the BBC and HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. 

Fittingly, the third series is based on The Amber Spyglass, the final novel in the trilogy. The BBC and HBO production will once again be produced by Bad Wolf and Amit Gupta will lead as director of the opening two episodes; he will then be followed by Charles Martin and Weronika Tofilska.

Speaking about the latest installment, Bad Wolf Founder and Executive Producer Jane Tranter said: “The Amber Spyglass is the most gloriously complex of Philip Pullman’s novels to adapt for TV, but with our world-class creative team in Cardiff, no challenge is too daunting. 

"This season is both an epic adventure and a story about love and truth. Jack, Francesca, and Amelia’s scripts capture the brilliance of Philip’s worlds and we are joined by our much-loved existing cast and some exceptional talent new to the series.”

Here's what we know about His Dark Materials season 3 so far...

His Dark Materials season 3 release date

His Dark Materials returns on December 5 on HBO and HBO Max in the US on December 18.

In the UK it will air on the same date at 7 pm on BBC One, with episodes also available on BBC iPlayer. The next episode airs on Sunday, December 25.

What is the plot of His Dark Materials season 3?

Season 3 picks up where we left off, where Lord Asriel called upon the angels to help him wage a war, and Mrs Coulter abducted her daughter Lyra to take her to "safety" back in their own world. This prompts Will to try and find Lyra to save her from her mother.

According to the BBC: "Season 3 opens with Lyra unconscious, having been given a sleeping draught by her mother, as Will, still carrying the Subtle Knife, continues his quest to find her. Will is tracked down by two angels — Balthamos and Baruch — who wish to take him to join Lord Asriel’s campaign against The Authority with Commander Ogunwe. 

"But Will is not the only one after Lyra, with Father President MacPhail continuing his mission to destroy the child of the prophecy, employing the help of his most committed follower, Father Gomez."

Who's in the cast?

His Dark Materials Season 3

Dafne Keen (Lyra) and Amir Wilson (Will) signal that filming has commenced on His Dark Materials Season 3. (Image credit: BBC)

There are some new faces joining the cast for Season 3, with the BBC confirming that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jamie Ward, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Simon Harrison, Chipo Chung, and Amber Fitzgerald-Woolfe will all have roles in the latest installment.

Amir Wilson and Dafne Keen reprise their roles as Will and Lyra, and returning cast also includes Will Keen as Father President MacPhail, Jade Anouka as Ruta Skadi, and Ruta Gedmintas as Serafina Pekkala. James McAvoy (Lord Asriel) and Ruth Wilson (Lyra's mother, Mrs. Coulter) will also be back in the show's final installment.

Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) in His Dark Materials S3

We got our first glimpse at Lyra (Dafne Keen) in 'His Dark Materials' season 3 in a recent HBO Max teaser. (Image credit: BBC/ Bad Wolf)

Speaking about the upcoming season, Lyra actress Dafne Keen told What to Watch: "Getting to investigate more adult themes this time was fun and very different. It was a big challenge. It’s about maturing – this is the season of them realising things. 

It was fun for us to play around with the moment when they realise that they have feelings for each other, that they are more than friends. But it’s awkward, I'd never done anything romantic on screen, so it was new territory for me."

James McAvoy as Lord Asriel

(Image credit: BBC)

Meanwhile, James McAvoy said: "There's been a lot of talk of the coming war, that foreboding, and season three finally delivers upon the conflict that has been feared. Secrets, ambiguity and intrigue are out of the way, the cards are on the table. It feels more confrontational and adversarial."

He added that he also took a souvenir from the set, saying: "I've nicked one of Asriel’s jackets, which is cool! It was bittersweet for me too. I never thought I'd help dramatise these books that I loved so much, it's been an honour."

Is there a trailer?

Yes, a new trailer has been released where we get a look at Lord Asriel’s campaign against The Authority with Commander Ogunwe, where he's seeking to wage war on heaven itself.

You can take a look at the official trailer below, which was announced as part of New York Comic Con (NYCC). 

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress