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Old 11-03-2015, 11:11 PM
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'His Dark Materials' to be a BBC TV series


I just saw that Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy is going to be adapted to a series for BBC television.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/201...philip-pullman


I'm pretty happy to hear it. I read the novels about 10 years ago. I liked The Golden Compass movie adaptation and was disappointed that it wasn't successful enough to warrant filming the sequels. A TV adaptation won't have the budget that the movie did, so the visual effects may not be as good, but I think having more time for the story and characters to develop and breathe will be a great benefit.

Not much information that I could find about what the production will be like. One season covering the whole trilogy? Multiple seasons?

They haven't cast anyone yet, so it'll be a while before we see anything. Production will be in Wales.

Speaking of casting... anyone want to throw out some names--a wish list? The Golden Compass movie had some pretty great casting, though Daniel Craig didn't fit my image of Lord Asriel very well.

I recently watched the new adaptation of Poldark, and I could see the actress who plays Demelza as Serefina Pekkela. She has an ethereal beauty. Or Sibel Kekilli (Shae on Game of Thrones) for a 'darker' look.

I don't think you can beat the movie's casting of Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby, but I'd like to see a Texan in the role. Kris Kristofferson would be cool.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:15 PM
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I don't think you can beat the movie's casting of Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby,
Nope. He was perfect. I'd watch this if they got him to play Scoresby again.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:10 PM
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Nope. He was perfect. I'd watch this if they got him to play Scoresby again.
Absolutely. The role should just go to him forever, it's like it was written for him.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:35 PM
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It will be an interesting moment when God shows up as, if I remember correctly, a senile creature in a cage.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:55 PM
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Yeah--I hope they adjust the focus of the story. Keep the "I Hate God/Religion" message*--it's an integral part of the story and Pullman's atheism informs the entire book, but keep the camera on Lyra and...whatshisname...Will rather than the huge focus on the GAWD IS EVIL thing that brought the books to a halt. Don't cut it, just spend a lot less time on the neverending rants and more time on the characters.

I also hope they tweak the second book's story just a bit. I don't like how Lyra went from one of the strongest female protagonists in a Juvie Novel in the first book to a simpering wimp in the second one.




*Pullman has been very clear that this is his belief system.
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:57 PM
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Here's the point- Book 1 was wonderful, full of flying witches, armoured polar bears, airships, and those cool dæmons, something every kid wants. But they already did that film. The stupid "Religion is Eviiiiil" theme was an undercurrent.

Book 2 is just dark and boring. The preaching is loud and annoying. Book 3 is worse.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:06 AM
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Good news, everyone!


Almost 4 years since we heard about it, but it's almost here!
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I don't think you can beat the movie's casting of Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby, but I'd like to see a Texan in the role. Kris Kristofferson would be cool.
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Nope. He was perfect. I'd watch this if they got him to play Scoresby again.
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Originally Posted by orderfire View Post
Absolutely. The role should just go to him forever, it's like it was written for him.
Turns out that the part went to Lin-Manuel Miranda; trailer here.

It looks freaking fantastic!

I have not (and likely will not) see Hamilton, so I'm not really familiar with Mr. Miranda's acting ability, but I'll give him a chance since everything else seems amazing. Plus, he was apparently really into the source material:
Quote:
Lin-Manuel Miranda says he agreed to being in the adaptation of “His Dark Materials” before he even knew what part he was being offered.

Miranda plays Lee Scoresby, a cowboy who flies hot air balloons and gets into bar fights, although he says he would have sharpened pencils to be part of the production.
Quote:
But Miranda was by far the giddiest of the cast, excitedly asking permission to reveal his first scene.

“I literally come into this thing singing a duet with my demon, on a big hot air balloon, which was a fun way to enter the world,” Miranda said. “I can’t believe we get to go back to summer camp this summer for season two.”
https://apnews.com/c4a9cd8df14748c0b0f90b262ed03ef2

Unfortunately:
Quote:
HBO has yet to set a premiere date for the series.
Still, I'm actually optimistic that they're going to do the books justice, so that we can all finally say, with conviction, "what movie?"
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:56 AM
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Thanks for the update, Snowboarder Bo! I had forgotten that I started this thread, but I have been following the recent news and trailers for this as they have come out.

This is now an HBO/BBC co-production. A second season has already been greenlit prior to the release of season 1. Looks like each season will be eight episodes. I haven't found any information about how much of the books will be covered each season. From the wikipedia page: "In an interview, director Otto Bathurst said that there will be some changes to the series compared to the book and the film adaptation. He said that they are giving it a little twist and are modernizing it so that it departs from the original's Victoriana fantasy." Not sure what that means, exactly, with regard to 'modernizing' it.

Regarding casting:

Lyra: Dafne Keen - this is the girl who played the young mutant Laura in Logan (the last Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman). She was great in that so I am hopeful about her casting here.

Ms. Coulter: Ruth Wilson - I'm not familiar with her other than a small role in Saving Mr. Banks

Lord Asriel: James McAvoy - I like him, he's a good actor though he can go over-the-top sometimes.

Lee Scoresby: Lin-Manuel Miranda - totally doesn't fit my image of Scoresby, but I'll keep an open mind. The most I've seen of him is in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm playing himself.

Serafina Pekkala: Ruta Gedmintas - I liked her in The Strain, she could be good here, too.

The trailers look great! I am excited about this and hope it is good and that they are able to tell the entire story.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:25 AM
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If you are curious about how great Ruth Wilson is as an actress, she produced and starred in a little mini-series called Mrs Wilson, and the surname is not a coincidence as she plays her very own real-life grandmother. It's all about a woman whose husband dies and the subsequent shocking things she learns about him that he was keeping from her. It's a mesmerising performance by Ruth.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:59 AM
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Ruth Wilson was great as the absolutely bat-shit insane Alice in Luther.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Here's the point- Book 1 was wonderful, full of flying witches, armoured polar bears, airships, and those cool dæmons, something every kid wants. But they already did that film. The stupid "Religion is Eviiiiil" theme was an undercurrent.

Book 2 is just dark and boring. The preaching is loud and annoying. Book 3 is worse.
Yup. I loved the first book, and by the end of the third, I didn't feel like I wanted to recommend them to anyone.

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...From the wikipedia page: "In an interview, director Otto Bathurst said that there will be some changes to the series compared to the book and the film adaptation. He said that they are giving it a little twist and are modernizing it so that it departs from the original's Victoriana fantasy." Not sure what that means, exactly, with regard to 'modernizing' it.
Maybe they'll fix the ending?
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Regarding casting:
...
Ms. Coulter: Ruth Wilson - I'm not familiar with her other than a small role in Saving Mr. Banks
...
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Ruth Wilson was great as the absolutely bat-shit insane Alice in Luther.
Ooh, she'll be great.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:22 AM
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...keep the camera on Lyra and...whatshisname...Will rather than the huge focus on the GAWD IS EVIL thing that brought the books to a halt



I didn't encounter any GAWD IS EVIL theme. GAWD was an irrelevant doddering old geezer in a rickshaw. Religion, now, there's some serious evil.

And what brough the books to a halt was Pullman's inability to make good on the promises inherent in his first two books once he got to the third.

Last edited by AHunter3; 07-19-2019 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:45 AM
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Dafne Keen does not look to have aged at all since Logan.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:08 PM
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I liked The Subtle Knife best but thought the 3rd book was excellent also after my 2nd read thru.
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:19 PM
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A new trailer just dropped; it looks fantastic!

4 November is the date to mark on your calendars!

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-03-2019 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:33 AM
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Anyone watch the first episode yet?

I thought it was a very good start. It's been too long since I read the books, so I don't recall anything significant being omitted. The cast is great--especially Dafne Keen as the bright-but-brash Lyra and Ruth Wilson as Ms. Coulter. The visuals are good. The daemons look great for the most part. I did find it a bit tough to recognize sometimes when a daemon was speaking that the voice was coming from the daemon and not from one of the people nearby.

I'm looking forward to next week's episode. The ad showing scenes "coming this season" looks very promising.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:41 AM
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I haven't read the books, but I'm impressed by the first episode. Certainly makes a change from the usual Sunday evening fare on BBC1 (Antiques Roadshow - that must have confused a few folk who just switched on without checking).
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:42 AM
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I haven't seen it yet, but I'm curious as to how they pronounce "daemon."
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:21 PM
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I'm curious as to how they pronounce "daemon."
The correct way

I thought the second episode was better than the first. I read the books a long time ago, but I thought it felt like the first episode might be a little confusing without all the book exposition. I guess alternate worlds are pretty standard fare now though.

The second episode introduces the alternate worlds theme a little more - and I think it’s in the other alternate world we‘ll see all the updating and modernising. Lyra’s world seems steeped in the Victorian’s/Edwardiana I’d expect - although thinking about it, maybe it’s the costume design, but it actually feels maybe a bit more 1930s. Which would make sense with the totalitarian theme of the Magisterium and all that.

OB

ETA: has this started showing on HBO yet? Thought there’d be a little more interest on the board.

Last edited by Oswald Bastable; 11-13-2019 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:25 PM
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I haven't seen it yet, but I'm curious as to how they pronounce "daemon."
like demon. No "a' in it at all. Stupid.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:55 PM
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I've seen the first episode and thought they did a decent job of world building. I'm glad to hear the second improves on that. I particularly liked the portrayal of the Gyptians.

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like demon. No "a' in it at all. Stupid.
What an odd thing to get irate about. It's the most common pronunciation in English.
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:41 PM
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What an odd thing to get irate about. It's the most common pronunciation in English.
Exactly. I can’t quite tell if drdeth is just whooshing, but there is no ‘a’ in dæmon. That’s like saying it’s silly not to pronounce the ‘u’s in Wednesday .

OB
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:45 PM
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ETA: has this started showing on HBO yet? Thought there’d be a little more interest on the board.
Yes, I believe HBO and BBC are releasing this roughly concurrently. New episodes hit HBO in the US on Monday nights, so episode 2 has been available for a couple of days now.

I think the second episode improves on the first. The world is fleshed out more, the ability to travel between worlds is revealed, and Coulter's villainy is on full display.

For those who have read the books and have a better memory of them than I: The scene where the guy from Lyra's world crosses into 'our' world and meets up with the guy in the coffee shop--is that scene or anything like it in the books?
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:50 PM
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like demon. No "a' in it at all. Stupid.
How do you pronouce Caesar?

In English, ae can be pronounced as long "e" or long "i," but not with "an a in it."
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:00 PM
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For those who have read the books and have a better memory of them than I: The scene where the guy from Lyra's world crosses into 'our' world and meets up with the guy in the coffee shop--is that scene or anything like it in the books?
I can’t quite remember. It was a long time ago for me too (probably 20 years). But in my recollection the whole parallel worlds thing, and ability to move between them, didn’t get really introduced until the second book. But I’m probably wrong.

OB

Last edited by Oswald Bastable; 11-13-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:13 PM
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I can’t quite remember. It was a long time ago for me too (probably 20 years). But in my recollection the whole parallel worlds thing, and ability to move between them, didn’t get really introduced until the second book. But I’m probably wrong.
In my recollection, the first explicit travel between worlds was at the very end of the first book. But like you, I read it a while ago.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:27 PM
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Exactly. I can’t quite tell if drdeth is just whooshing, but there is no ‘a’ in dæmon. That’s like saying it’s silly not to pronounce the ‘u’s in Wednesday .

OB
Sure. But why use the spelling dæmon if it is pronounced 'demon". And why would everyone call their alter-egos a "demon"? It's weird. Makes no sense.

Note that the pronunciation of dæmon has drifted towardsˈdeɪmən/ DAY-mən .
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:29 PM
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How do you pronouce Caesar?

In English, ae can be pronounced as long "e" or long "i," but not with "an a in it."
Kaiser. Yes, I know ae doesnt have a "a" in it, but it's not always pronounced with a long e, either.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:44 PM
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Sure. But why use the spelling dæmon if it is pronounced 'demon". And why would everyone call their alter-egos a "demon"? It's weird. Makes no sense.
I would say that it's an archaic spelling used to indicate that the beings are not what we commonly think of as demons, but something else. And one of the original meanings of daemon in classical mythology is a benevolent spirit guide or guardian spirits.

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Note that the pronunciation of dæmon has drifted towardsˈdeɪmən/ DAY-mən .
Cite?

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Kaiser.
Seriously? You pronounce Julius Caesar as Julius Kaiser?

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Yes, I know ae doesnt have a "a" in it, but it's not always pronounced with a long e, either.
So why are you complaining about it not being pronounced with an "a" in it?
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:51 PM
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Sure. But why use the spelling dæmon if it is pronounced 'demon". And why would everyone call their alter-egos a "demon"? It's weird. Makes no sense.

Note that the pronunciation of dæmon has drifted towardsˈdeɪmən/ DAY-mən .
When I read the books I pronounced it DAY-men in my head canon. As a techie I associated the word to the concept in computing which I'd always heard said that way. Not sure if Pullman ever said what he considered the "correct" pronunciation but both are equally valid grammatically. Certainly nothing to get bent out of shape about.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:53 PM
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Cite?
Not a perfect citation, but Wiki includes it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemon_(computing)

Whether it's become the more accepted pronunciation I wouldn't say. I hear it a lot though.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:20 PM
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So I binged the first 2 episodes Monday night and I found myself a bit bored. I didn't dislike it, but I think the material was just so familiar that I wasn't getting anything new from it. Like just about everyone else I read the books quite a few years ago and I remember book one really well (2 and 3 much less so, what a slog). The bigger problem though is the movie. I liked it and watched it quite a few times over the years as it cycled on cable TV.

This new series is pretty faithful to the books and so was the movie, which means that the beats are really similar and the scenes are really familiar. All in all, I felt like I was watching a TV show that's in reruns already. Hopefully that feeling doesn't persist.

I thought Lyra was cast and acted well, honestly it wasn't until reading this thread that I learned she was in Logan. It was a little tropey the way that she pretty much impulsively disobeys everyone all the time, so that felt like it could have been developed a little more slowly. I really dislike Ruth Wilson as an actress. It's completely superficial and silly, but her weird mouth positioning is wildly distracting and kinda grates on me every time I watch her. She's fine as Ms Coulter but she can't fill the shoes of Kidman. I mostly liked McAvoy as Asriel but he too isn't as good a fit for the role as Craig was....the guy is supposed to be a hulking, brooding force of nature. McAvoy is a bit too twee for me.

Bigger picture I felt like the quasi-steampunk motif was really good though perhaps it was a little too rooted in reality compared to the books. Something a bit more fantastic may have been better. I don't really have a good feel for the Magisterium yet, but I can't say I find them nearly the oppressive force here that they are in the books. Daemons are really well CGIed but they felt much more like fully formed characters in the movies which is weird since they had 2 hours of run time on just half of the first act. I echo the complaint upthread that I often struggled to distinguish their speaking from other human characters. I feel like the show isn't effectively showing how important that relationship is.

In retrospect, I think they moved a little too quickly. As a TV show they could have taken more time in episode one to really build the relationships between Lyra, Billy and Roger. This would have made Lyra's need to find him feel more earned. They could have spent more time showing the close bond between people and their daemons. They could have added a lot more exposition about the Magisterium and how the College and Asriel relate to it, really laying the groundwork for the big bad. In episode 2 her disillusionment and subsequent escape from Ms Coulter happens really quickly.

I'm gonna stick with it, but I'm hoping to get sucked in more once Lee and Iorek make an appearance.

Last edited by Omniscient; 11-13-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:54 PM
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I would say that it's an archaic spelling used to indicate that the beings are not what we commonly think of as demons, but something else. And one of the original meanings of daemon in classical mythology is a benevolent spirit guide or guardian spirits.



Cite?



Seriously? You pronounce Julius Caesar as Julius Kaiser?



So why are you complaining about it not being pronounced with an "a" in it?

Sure, but it sounds weird to me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemon_(computing)

In the context of computer software, the original pronunciation /ˈdiːmən/ has drifted to /ˈdeɪmən/ DAY-mən for some speakers.[1]

and since I worked and lived in Silicon valley, that's how I heard it.



Yes. Because There were no soft C's in Caesar's day. More like KIszar. Closest is kaiser. Seize-her is totally incorrect. And no J's either so its Ill-I-oos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnXD_qlrzS8

because I couldnt type the æ.

Last edited by DrDeth; 11-13-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:55 PM
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When I read the books I pronounced it DAY-men in my head canon. As a techie I associated the word to the concept in computing which I'd always heard said that way. Not sure if Pullman ever said what he considered the "correct" pronunciation but both are equally valid grammatically. Certainly nothing to get bent out of shape about.
Not bent out of shape, it just sounded weird to my ears and then it was like they were little furry demons, which was also weird.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:08 PM
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Seriously? You pronounce Julius Caesar as Julius Kaiser?
When I did Latin at school, that's the pronunciation we were taught. You wouldn't have said that way when speaking English though.
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Old 11-14-2019, 01:13 PM
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Seriously? You pronounce Julius Caesar as Julius Kaiser?
I did a whole year of Latin when I was 13 so I’m somewhat of an expert in these matters. Latin is generally pronounced phonetically. And, there being no K in Classical Latin, C is always hard (almost always? Don’t remember if there are any modifiers like in modern Romance languages). I imagine the second A is pronounced as well - so more like ‘kaisar’.

It is the root of the German word kaiser, after all (and the Russian czar).

OB

Last edited by Oswald Bastable; 11-14-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 02:05 PM
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When I did Latin at school, that's the pronunciation we were taught. You wouldn't have said that way when speaking English though.
Exactly. That's the Latin pronunciation, but it's not the pronunciation of the word in English. In English, the name is pronounced sēzər. If you're speaking about Julius in Latin class, sure, the "c" is pronounced with a "k," but if you're speaking about him in World History class, the "c" is soft. The names of individuals from history are frequently different in spelling and pronunciation in English. We pronounce "psyche" quite differently than the word is pronounced in Greek.

As a biologist, I have to deal with scientific names in Latin. In the US, the "standard" pronunciation can be a kind of mash-up of Latin and English rules rather than strict Latin.

I had a botany professor, however, who insisted on using the correct Latin pronunciation for everything. The typical pronunciation of the genus of pines Pinus is as it is in English, PIE-nus. He would pronounce the "i" as a long "e" as in Latin: PEE-nus. Hilarity often ensued, especially if he were talking about the Pitch Pine, Pinus rigida.

Last edited by Colibri; 11-14-2019 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 02:40 PM
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I guess the next point of debate should be:

Are there potatoes in Lyra’s world? And, if so, how do they pronounce ‘potato’?

So far, the evidence points to them only eating sweet meats.



OB

Last edited by Oswald Bastable; 11-14-2019 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 03:41 PM
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I thought the first episode looked great, had good actors, and was interesting, but somehow not as engaging as I thought it would be. Sort of boring. Maybe the next episode will be different - the previews seemed more open and colorful.
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