The BBC series adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy has been declared a success so far and fans have been raving on social media about the accurate representation of the book.
Accurate except for one issue… Mrs Coulter’s dæmon.
“We even went to the point in the story that, in the books the dæmons are always the opposite sex to the character,” Dodgson told the RadioTimes.com visited the His Dark Materials set.
“So we actually got all of our dæmons’ gender correct in terms of their groom and stuff – with one exception.”
The malevolent dæmon, represented by a golden sub-nosed monkey, is a cute-but-creepy little beast and is supposed to be male as all daemon’s are the opposite gender to their human. Awkwardly, the BBC realised some viewers may be perturbed to see the monkey’s genitals on their 60 inch HD TV, so Mrs Coulter’s Dæmon has had a subtle gender reassignment.
“The golden monkey, we kind of hybridised [the gender] a little bit, for a number of reasons,” Russell added. “Partially… male genitalia issues. That’s true. Not going to lie!”
Ruth Wilson, who plays Mrs Coulter, also explained why her monkey doesn’t speak- the reason why no voice actor is credited in the cast list.
Wilson said the silence was Marisa Coulter “silencing herself in some way,” a living symbol of her own repression.
The monkey as it should look
The monkey also has the uncanny ability to travel considerable distances from her side, while most daemons can stray just a few metres from their anchor before experiencing crippling pain.
“Why was she able to separate from her daemon? How does she do that? What does she really believe in? What does she really want? They are all massive questions open to interpretation,” Wilson concluded.