His Dark Materials TV drama to film in Wales

The BBC has commissioned a TV series of Philip Pullman's fantasy saga His Dark Materials to film in Wales.

Set in a parallel universe, the story - originally published as a three-part trilogy - follows young orphan Lyra and her adventures in a world where magic, theology and science are closely aligned.

The first book in the trilogy, Northern Lights, was filmed as The Golden Compass (pictured) in 2007 by New Line Cinema, but the movie failed to find a big enough audience for the studio to commit to follow-ups.

New Line is co-producing the new TV drama for the BBC, along with Bad Wolf, which was recently set up by Doctor Who veterans Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner.

The hope will be that the current appetite for long-form TV will turn out to be a better fit for His Dark Materials.

"In recent years we've seen the way that long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game Of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel," said Pullman, who is an executive producer on the TV series.

"The sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I'm delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials."

Filming is scheduled to take place in Wales, which will help further boost the country's profile. The BBC already has a base at Roath Lock in Cardiff, which is home to Doctor Who. Fantasy adventure series Atlantis created its own studio space in nearby Chepstow.

International TV productions in Wales have included Da Vinci's Demons, which was based in the Swansea area. Current historical TV series The Bastard Executioner, from Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, is based in Wales, and is helping revitalise Dragon International Film Studios.

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