His Dark Materials is most watched new British show in five years

Jacob Stolworthy

His Dark Materials has been a big success for the BBC.

The adaptation of Philip Pullman’s books aired on BBC One on Sunday evening and was seen by approximately 7.2m viewers.

These ratings make the series the biggest new British series in over five years on any channel. The last show to earn the feat was BBC series The Musketeers, which was viewed by 7.4m in January 2014.

The BBC’s new dramas in 2019 have included Gentleman Jack and Les Miserables. By comparison, their first episodes were watched by 5.1m and 4.5m.

Line of Duty is the channel’s highest rated drama of the year, amassing 7.8m viewers for its fifth series.

His Dark Materials, which stars Dafne Keen, James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson, has been adapted by Jack Thorne.

The Independent called it “a beautiful, brooding vision of Pullman’s universe that is unafraid to air the book’s anti-theocratic messages” in its five-star review.

The series continues in the UK every Sunday at 8pm with its US premiere arriving the following evening on HBO.