Review of 'His Dark Materials' 1.3

by Paul Levinson 8 months ago in review

Coulter's Daemons

Review of 'His Dark Materials' 1.3

I'm enjoying His Dark Materials, most of all the nature, behavior, and variety of the Daemons. As I understand them, they're some sort of external manifestation of the humans they're connected with, including their human sensibilities, with perhaps some other things that Daemons have on their own.

They clearly die—literally de-materialize—when their human partner is killed. We saw an example of that in episode 1.3. And conversely, when someone's daemon causes someone else's pain, that daemon's pain is felt by its human. In both cases, Coulter (or her daemon) are the source of the damage.

But I'm wondering: Why is Coulter able to be separate—physically apart—from her monkey or whatever is counterpart? And we've seen her hit her daemon—when she did this, we didn't see Coulter feel any apparent pain. Feeling no pain, meting out punishment, adds to Coulter's sinister luster as a first-class, memorable villain. Ruth Wilson plays this part perfectly.

And other questions abound: If a daemon is killed, will its human counterpart die, too? Presumably not for Coulter, but how about everyone else? If humans can in some cases survive the death of their daemons, can they bond with or generate another one?

And back to Coulter in particular: She apparently controls and directs the spy flies (great name). Are they another one of her daemons—does she have multiple daemons—or are the spy flies yet something else?

I'm looking forward to learning the answers to these questions and more, as this vivid series progresses.

Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson
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Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages.

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