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Magic and mystery in His Dark Materials and more fantasy series to stream

Philip Pullman’s fantasy world comes alive in gorgeous detail in His Dark Materials. The second season, streaming first on Showmax, continues the journey.

It’s a world of magic and mystery, peopled by characters with shady agendas and their shadowy animal familiars.

The story of His Dark Materials follows the orphan Lyra as she crosses between worlds on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust, with the help of her daemon, Pan, and a device called the alethiometer.

New episodes land on Tuesdays until 15 December, only on Showmax. Watch now »

The series, which is produced by HBO and BBC One, stars up-and-comer Dafne Keen as Lyra alongside more familiar faces like Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) as Lee Scoresby, Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) as Mrs Coulter; and Golden Globe nominees James McAvoy (X-Men) and Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) as Lord Asriel and Colonel John Parry respectively, with Oscar nominee Terence Stamp (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) joining the adventure this season as Giacomo Paradisi.

Also listen out for the voices of the likes of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and David Suchet as the daemons.

“It’s a wonderful story,” says Time magazine, “rendered with the liveliness – and the budget – Pullman’s books deserve,” while Slate calls it “proof that TV is now the best medium for bringing epic literary fantasy to the screen.”

More fantasy series to stream

Dream S1

A young girl discovers that she dreams of her own future. When she realises she can stop a horrible accident, her decision to intervene inadvertently changes the course of the future forever.

This is a Swedish series, so expect some stylish Scandi elements.

The Magicians S1-5

Based on the books by Lev Grossman, a group of twenty-somethings studying to be magicians discover the magic they read about as kids really exists, but it’s more dangerous than they ever imagined.

Noughts + Crosses S1

In a parallel 21st-Century Britain, black people, called Crosses, rule over the lower-class white population, called Noughts.

Despite the challenges presented by racial segregation, two people from opposite sides fall in love.

Based on the bestsellers by Malorie Blackman. Watch now »

A Discovery of Witches S1

Historian Diana discovers an ancient manuscript that threatens the fragile peace between witches, vampires, demons and humans.

She has no choice but to embrace her own status as a witch, and investigate the riddles in the text.

Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, the series stars Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode. Watch now »

What We Do in the Shadows S1-2

For a complete change of pace, try this hilarious comedy series based on the characters created for the 2014 film of the same name by Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and director Taika Waititi.

The mockumentary follows the exploits of three vampires (plus one energy vampire) who’ve been housemates on Staten Island for hundreds of years.

Plenty of time to get on each other’s nerves …

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Magic and mystery in His Dark Materials and more fantasy series to stream