Well, it’s upon us – the final season of the vastly popular show His Dark Materials, the fantasy drama based on Philip Pullman’s book trilogy, brought to the screen by BBC One and HBO. And with the end in sight, many viewers are asking behind-the-scenes-esque questions. A big one is: Where is His Dark Materials filmed?
Since the show first aired in November 2019, much filming has occurred in the United Kingdom for both Seasons 1 and 2, with the creative addition of computer-generated locations thrown into the mix as well. Our world is vastly diverse when it comes to landscapes and terrain, but sometimes to achieve the fantastical, you have to create it from scratch.
Where is 'His Dark Materials' filmed?
The hugely talented cast, including James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Kit Connor, Anne-Marie Duff, Amir Wilson, and main heroine, Dafne Keen, has filmed in London, Oxford, and Bristol, England, as well as at Bad Wolf Studios in Cardiff, Wales for the first two seasons.
Other locations have included Blaenavon, Brecon Beacons National Park, Chicago, Crickhowell, Plasturton Gardens, and Sharpness Docks. For the otherworldly Cittàgazze, a primary location of Season 2, the crew built a stunning set at Bad Wolf Studios.
Some locations are a hybrid of real life and CGI. For example, the Gyptians sailing on their boats and barges were filmed on the River Severn at Sharpness Docks, but with the assistance of technology, a rough shipping district with steampunk vibes was artificially brought to life.
Where was Season 3 of 'His Dark Materials' filmed?
Now, for the ultimate Season 3, which follows the events in Pullman’s final book in the trilogy – The Amber Spyglass – filming of the eight-episode season began in May 2021 and wrapped in October of the same year.
The physical filming location did change a bit though. Crossing the English Channel, the cast and crew spent a decent amount of time filming in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía, an area known for its hills, rivers, and spanning fields.
Another area in Spain where His Dark Materials shot footage was in the Guadalhorce Valley in the Málaga town of Coín – also in southern Spain – which features gorges, limestone cliffs, and lakes, which add to the intense, dramatic air that a final season should have.
And, of course, filming was also done in Oxford and Cardiff for interior and exterior shooting. The show couldn’t end without once again featuring aspects of the fictional Jordan College (filmed at Oxford’s New College), now could it?
It will be sad to see the show conclude after only three seasons – we’ve gotten spoiled by The Office, Game of Thrones, and Friends – but, the brief run stayed true to the source materials’ length. Three books equal three seasons. And they were visually gorgeous, from the built-from-the-ground-up sets to the CGI cities and real-life locales around the world.
Tune in for episodes of the final season of His Dark Materials on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. It’s a good way to start your week.