The longawaited adaptation of Philip Pullmans hit fantasy novel aired last night. But was it a magical smash or a clunky mess? Here are your reviews

It brought back the feeling of reading the books

I can only recollect the books vaguely as I read them over 15 years ago, but the first episode brought back the feeling of reading them, which is the highest praise I can give. Well done to all involved I am genuinely excited for the rest. TKStoker

Stick with it its about to take off

I can understand why Philip Pullman is so enthusiastic about this adaptation. This first episode set the scene for me, remarkably similarly to how the book did. To some who dont know the books, this may seem a slow start but stick with it, its about to take off and then it wont stop. funky_rascal

I didnt think it was perfect, but they got much more right than wrong

I was incredibly nervous about this when they announced it, and only cautiously optimistic when the trailer aired. The books were honestly life-changing for me growing up, and after the godawful 2007 film Id concluded the story was basically unfilmable. Looks like I was wrong! I didnt think the first episode was perfect, but they got much more right than wrong. Dafne Keen, James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson are all superbly cast, and I thought they handled Rogers story perfectly. nineteeneightythree

There was some terrible acting

Clunky expositionary dialogue can be forgiven due to the nature of the extraordinary fictional world being created, but there was some terrible acting and as for that music Just for once could a BBC drama allow its viewers to think for themselves? No way was this a five-star adaptation. SaintVespaluus

I loved the film version, but this was much better

Near perfect. I was particularly impressed with how they showed Lyras delivery to Oxford, Asriels explorations and other short, informative and well written scenes. They added background and context without too much exposition or going the whole Peter Jacksons The Hobbit route of hours of extra historical detail. I loved the film version but this was so, so much better. I only hope that the team behind this complete the trilogy, as the greatest disappointment in the film was that the plug was pulled on the project. skausmaus

It could easily be the best adaptation of any book ever

If the rest of this series continues in this fashion, it could easily be the best adaptation of any book ever. Pauliesonne

Superb casting … Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter. Photograph: Alex Bailey/BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO

Completely brilliant

I thought it was incredible. My only slight criticism was lots of scenes where you couldnt see the characters daemon they are such an important part of the books and the choice of animal always fitting to personality, and Pullman always made a point of telling you about every characters daemon when first introducing them. Felt a bit like the BBC were skimping on costs! But otherwise, completely brilliant and I will be so happy if it finally gets the wider audience and appreciation it deserves. Orchida

The dialogue and delivery seems stilted

While I admired Pullmans obvious intellectual clarity and breadth of vision, I did struggle to complete the books. The imaginative scope was undeniably breathtaking, but the prose I found jarringly clunky at times, the storyline sometimes overwrought. Strangely, I feel the same about this BBC production. Scrupulous detailing and high production values notwithstanding, the dialogue and delivery seems stilted and stagey, which makes the narrative experience again a bit uninvolving and less than the sum of its aspirational parts. Ill continue to watch, but I fear that for me it will be reliving a less than exhilarating experience. styxanstanes

Ill be there for the whole thing

Ive just watched it on the iPlayer and enjoyed it thoroughly. I did try reading one of the trilogy (presumably the first) some years ago but couldnt really get into it this treatment, however, is excellent and Im sure Ill be there for the whole thing. Of course, its meant for children but I suppose Ill cope, somehow, despite celebrating my 80th birthday in January. geoff1940

I was happy to be transported back to Lyras world

I was 11 when the first book came out and honestly it was life changing. Had always enjoyed reading but this was challenging and immersive Id never read anything like it before. It set me on a path to reading so many more interesting and varied texts and even inspired me to study English at university. I even became known at the local book shop for hounding them for the release date of the second and third books, which ended up landing me a Saturday job there when I was 15. You get the picture … I thought tonights programme was just amazing and 11-year-old me was very, very happy to be transported back to Lyras world. MissHoney



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