WALES has been praised over the role played in bringing a hit drama to life, which was partially filmed at a Carmarthenshire landmark.

Llyn y Fan Fach in the Brecon Beacons National Park was one of many iconic beauty spots across Wales used for filming Lyra’s adventures in His Dark Materials.

The Philip Pullman series was also filmed across Dunraven Bay in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wentwood Forest in Monmouthshire and Blaenavon Ironworks in Torfaen.

Wolf Studios Wales in Cardiff also played a huge part in the making of the series, with its six sound stages being used and a production team of more than 300 people during the making of the series.

South Wales Guardian: Filming on Welsh beaches for His Dark Materials. Picture: Creative WalesFilming on Welsh beaches for His Dark Materials. Picture: Creative Wales (Image: Creative Wales)

As well as the above locations being used for filming, the team at Wolf Studios created a full-size city of Cittàgazze in their back lot for series two of the trilogy, which featured four floors of streets, shops and houses and created a Land of the Dead for series three – one of the most ambitious construction projects made in Wales.

Executive producer and designer Joel Collins said: “I always thought that Wales, where we are based, would hold the key to some brilliant opportunities for His Dark Materials season three.

"I’m consistently impressed with the quality of work in Wales, the quality of the technical talent and the tech teams and the prop making, the puppet department are brilliant, the construction are second to none, and we’re very lucky with the special effects and the props team who have been here working on many shows so it’s so vast.”

The stars of the show also praised the craftsmanship that went into bringing the series to life, including the full-scale sets in Wolf Studios and the costumes which were designed and made at the studio by award-winning designer Caroline McCall.


Lin Manuel Miranda – a Tony and Pulitzer Prize award winner who is known for creating the hit musical Hamilton and writing the music for Disney’s Encanto – plays Lee Scoresby in the series and said of the costumes: “I have never dressed more badass in my life… going cowboy is very much my aesthetic. I’m very much enjoying it.”

Ruth Wilson, who plays Mrs Coulter, said of the costumes: “They’ve always been vital to the character of Mrs Coulter and in the first season she mentions that the first impressions you make and what you wear is incredibly vital and important. The costume designer, Caroline McCall, has always done an extraordinary job throughout the three seasons.”

Ms McCall said: “The clothing on this show was a labour of love for the whole department. The production was a huge undertaking with the usual tough scheduling demands but brilliantly managed by a fantastic team.”

Creative Wales provided direct support to Bad Wolf to make the series in Wales, including funding to allow 80 work shadow placements on set, which allowed more than 80 per cent of those involved to go onto other roles in the industry. Creative Wales also helped with their Wales Screen service to allow Bad Wolf to access logistical and locations support for production staff to find the best locations across Wales.

South Wales Guardian: Part of the set for His Dark Materials. Picture: Creative WalesPart of the set for His Dark Materials. Picture: Creative Wales (Image: Creative Wales)

Gerwyn Evans, deputy director of Creative Wales, commented: “It’s very exciting to see the final chapter of His Dark Materials arrive onto our screens.

"This unique creative project really is a celebration of all the excellent facilities Wales offers to Film and TV companies – a highly skilled workforce, trainees, to studios and stunning locations.

"Creative Wales and Bad Wolf’s fruitful partnership over recent years really demonstrates how important it is for industry and Welsh Government to work together to support the screen sector and help it realise its full potential.

"His Dark Materials trilogy is a huge achievement for all involved, I’m really looking forward to seeing how the epic journey concludes.”

Executive producer on His Dark Materials and co-founder of Bad Wolf, Jane Tranter, said: “From giant ice bears to dæmons, airships and angels, it’s been a privilege to showcase the best of Wales on the world stage in His Dark Materials.

"With support from Creative Wales, we filmed at Wolf Studios and on location across Wales with several industry professionals and trainees in our cast and crew - it has taken teams of highly skilled, passionate people to bring this beloved high fantasy saga to life over a number of years.

"We know that the quality of the series sets a high precedent for Welsh productions going forward, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Creative Wales to keep raising the bar as the screen sector grows.”

Elements of the design for Cittàgazze, the Magisterium and Arctic Institute and a number of the costumes, props and concept art is currently on display at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea.