Northern Lights (Dramatised)

  • by Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by Philip Pullman, Full Cast
  • 2 hrs and 26 mins
  • Performance

Publisher's Summary

A Radio 4 Book Club Selection. The award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy is a breathtaking epic adventure spanning a multitude of worlds. Northern Lights, the opening installment, sees Lyra and her shape-changing daemon embark on a dangerous quest.
In Oxford, Lyra learns that children are being kidnapped by the mysterious Gobblers. When her friend Roger vanishes she determines to find him, and is given a powerful alethiometer which can reveal the truth in all things. After discovering that the adults around her are not what they seem, Lyra and Pantalaimon join forces with a band of gyptians. Travelling north they encounter witch-queens and armoured bears, before being captured and taken to Bolvanger, where children are being used in terrible and secret experiments.
Gripping, full of suspense and often funny, this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation has an all-star cast including Terence Stamp, Emma Fielding, Bill Paterson, Kenneth Cranham, and Ray Fearon.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brilliant book, shoddy dramatisation

I bought this audio CD knowing the nature of a dramatisation would mean certain changes from the book, what I was not expecting was the sheer extent to which the narrative was fiddled about with.
Things hapen too fast - all three of the major captured children from the books are now captured from the same place on the same day with no previous mentions to 'the Gobblers' at all - and exposition is handled poorly.
Introduced and 'narrated' by a character who does not appear in the books until near the end of the second. The scriptwriter seems to have made the assumption that his audience are idiots; introducing it with 'this is a parallel world. Deamons are souls' that completely lacks the subtlety of Pullman's work which never understimates its readers intelligence.
In the first scene (and again in Mrs. Coulters party) the dramatisation, instead of dropping hints, spells out exactly what the Gobblers are doing in the North, robbing the ultimate reveal of all shock and making you question Lyra's intellegence in not already having pieced it together.

The book is wonderful. This radio adaptation, however, doesn't do it justice. It cuts and dumbs down more than the film did.
If you want a dramatisation you'd be better off buying the full cast version narrated by Philip Pullman himself.
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- Louise

Full cast, not full story

After listening to brilliant books like Stanek's The Kingdoms and the Elves, I was disappointed to say the least. Dramatised can be bloody good but this isn't the full story. If it were the full story, I'd have given 5 stars.
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- Fabio

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-01-2005
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited