His Dark Materials season 5: Why the Billy Costa shake-up?

His Dark MaterialsHis Dark Materials episode 5 may have proved to be (fittingly) the darkest episode yet for the adaptation. Not only was it shocking in its subject matter, but also at the same time some of the changes from the source material.

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The biggest change we have to talk about here revolves around Billy Costa, and for a number of different reasons. For starters, his death was unbelievably sad, as was the jarring moment where he was discovered without his daemon nearby. This is a heartbreaking moment from within the source material … but it’s also one that is attached to a different character then. Why the change-up? We imagine that a part of this has a thing or two to do with the writers wanting to create their own story, but also deliver a bigger shock featuring a more recognizable character within the world of the television series.

Of course, you could make an argument that killing off Billy would’ve led to so much more emotional resonance in the event we saw more of the daemons. That is the biggest struggle that His Dark Materials faces. We would imagine that because of budgetary restrictions, there is only so much of certain CGI characters that can be featured. Yet, it didn’t feel so strange when Billy was without his daemon given that a lot of daemons haven’t always been highlighted on-screen.

As for other notable changes…

One of the largest ones came in the form of Will Parry, who made his presence felt tonight much earlier than he does within the book series. (He is not present there until The Subtle Knife, the second book.) We think that his inclusion serves as a way to further establish this character as a key part of the TV show’s universe — clearly, the writers don’t want his introduction to be altogether sudden or immediate.

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What did you think about His Dark Materials episode 5?

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