Episode from season two of His Dark Materials cut due to coronavirus impact

It had been set to focus on James McAvoy's Lord Asriel character.

An episode from season two of the BBC’s His Dark Materials has been cut after filming was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The upcoming series had been set to consist of eight episodes but will instead feature seven.

A planned standalone instalment focused on James McAvoy’s Lord Asriel character but was unable to film due to the virus-enforced lockdown.

The news was revealed by His Dark Materials executive producer Jane Tranter during the show’s Comic-Con@Home panel.

She said work on the other seven episodes was largely complete when the pandemic hit and post-production continued during lockdown.

His Dark Materials, a joint production between the BBC and HBO, is based on the fantasy series of novels written by Sir Philip Pullman.

The second season is based on book two, The Subtle Knife, in which Lord Asriel is physically absent.

Tranter said of the now-shelved episode: “We played detective with The Subtle Knife and figured out what Asriel might have been doing.”

Producers may revisit it at a later date.

Tranter added: “Essentially, our adaptation of The Subtle Knife had been completed so we were really lucky from that point of view.”

Season two is set to make its original air date of autumn this year, Tranter added.

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