The failure of His Dark Materials film trilogy

I stumbled across this yesterday, having missed it when it was published in The Guardian last year: The actor Sam Elliott, who starred in the 2007 adaptation of the first novel, Northern Lights (the film was called The Golden Compass), said earlier this week that books two and three were not being filmed due to […]

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Charlotte Higgins's response to The Good Man Jesus

Charlotte Higgins wrote this in her blog on the Guardian website yesterday. What a great response to Philip Pullman's new book: The Good Man Jesus is a fascinating story, told in the same kind of spare, lapidary prose as the Gospels themselves or a Grimm brothers fairytale. Pullman's gift for storytelling is in evidence on […]

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The God-Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman seems to enjoy stirring up controversy. He annoyed many Christians with his best-selling anti-church, anti-God trilogy His Dark Materials. And it’s evident that he was out to provoke when he made comments like, ‘my books are about killing God,’ and, ‘I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.’ He’s admitted that the […]

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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman

I talked to Paul Hammond on UCB UK radio this morning about Philip Pullman's controversial new books. The conversation was put out as a podcast on Culturewatch: Click to listen Posted via email from Tony Watkins Related posts: The God-Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Philip Pullman Pullman's next book reworks of the story of Jesus […]

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Philip Pullman and his atheist fiction

Philip Pullman CBE is the acclaimed author of around thirty books, mostly aimed at older children. He is best known for His Dark Materials, a brilliantly written, ambitious trilogy (Northern Lights/The Golden Compass (1995); The Subtle Knife (1997); The Amber Spyglass (2000)). He has received many awards, including the highly prestigious Astrid Lindgren Award. His […]

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Alice in Wonderland

This article was first published in Idea magazine (March/April 2010) and on © Tony Watkins, 2010. Yet another film foray into Wonderland demonstrates the abiding charm of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories. But Tim Burton’s surreal fantasy isn’t just a retread of the much-loved children’s story, however; it picks up Alice’s story several years on. […]

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New series of books from G.P. Taylor

Posted by Authentic Media on (7 October 2009) MOVE OVER HARRY POTTER! A NEW SERIES OF BOOKS FROM G P TAYLOR STARTS HERE Authentic Media have released a paperback edition of The First Escape, the first title in The DoppleGanger Chronicles, an exciting six book series with Christian themes by bestselling author G P […]

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Interview with Philip Pullman (from 2004)

I interviewed Philip Pullman back in 2004, before I started work on my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide. It was an interesting experience, partly because I'd had car problems on the way there and arrived a little flustered. Looking at it again now, there are some ways in which I don't think I handled it all that well. If I'm honest, I guess I was somewhat intimidated. Anyway, here it is, for what it's worth (it's also available on the Culturewatch site, where it's been since 2004). With news today of his forthcoming book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, it seemed a good time to repost it here.

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Another article on Pullman's next book

Canongate to publish Pullman on God 07.09.09 Catherine Neilan Canongate is to publish "a remarkable new piece of fiction" by famously atheistic Philip Pullman, in which he challenges the events of the Gospels, and puts forward his own "compelling and plausible version". Publisher Jamie Byng acquired world rights to the book, for an undisclosed sum, […]

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Pullman's next book reworks of the story of Jesus

Children's author Philip Pullman says Jesus wasn't the Son of God by Tom Kelly Bestselling children's author Philip Pullman has provoked more anger from Christians with a new book denying that Jesus was the son of God. The book, due to be published next Easter, accepts there was a holy man called Jesus but says […]

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Scaring kids

Some quotes from Lewis and Tolkien on fairy tales.

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Article by Tony Watkins (first published on Culturewatch) about Henry Selick's film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's book, Coraline

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A Clash of Other Worlds: Pullman's Critique of Lewis

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is now delighting cinema audiences across the world, but not everyone is so pleased. One of its most vocal critics Philip Pullman has been particularly outspoken in his condemnation of the stories for years, calling the series, ‘one of the most ugly and […]

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Philip Pullman: 'The Most Dangerous Author in Britain'?

Note: This article is incomplete because it developed into my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Philip Pullman. Nevertheless, it gives a shortish introduction to some of the key ideas. Philip Pullman is a writer, author of a number of books mostly aimed at older children, including I was a Rat, The Ruby in […]

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Stories Run Like Clockwork

Philip Pullman believes that: 'Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all.'1 They stick in our minds and we are all hungry for them; stories feed our imaginations, help us to see the world through different eyes, and make us consider some of the big […]

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Lyra's Oxford - Discussion Guide

Summary Two years after the events of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass , Lyra is once more on the roof of Jordan College with her daemon, Pantalaimon. They see a large flock of starlings attacking a bird, which turns out to be a witch's daemon. They rescue him into the safety of […]

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The Amber Spyglass Discussion Guide

This article was first published on Summary The Subtle Knife concluded with Will and his father meeting just moments before his father is killed (by a witch whose love he had spurned) and the abduction of Lyra from their camp. The Amber Spyglassbegins immediately afterwards with Will finding that he has two new companions, […]

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The Subtle Knife Discussion Guide

First published on Summary Will Parry’s mother believes that enemies are all around her, watching her every move. And Will is beginning to think that, after all these years, she’s right – there are some suspicious men wanting to know about his father who disappeared while Will was just a baby. Leaving his mother […]

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Northern Lights (The Golden Compass) Discussion Guide

First published on, 2004. Summary Lyra is a high-spirited eleven-year-old girl who is growing up under the care of the Master and scholars of an Oxford college . . . that happens to be in a parallel universe. In this other world, everyone has adæmon – an animal-shaped companion which is actually part of […]

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Firework-makers and fairy tales

'A thousand miles ago, in a country east of the jungle and south of the mountains, there lived a Firework-Maker called Lalchand and his daughter Lila.' Lila's mother died when Lila was very young, so she has spent much time in her father's workshop. More than anything else Lila wants to be a Firework-Maker too; […]

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The Butterfly Tattoo

This discussion guide was first published on Summary 'Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm night in early June . . .' (The Butterfly Tattoo, (Macmillan 2001) p. 3). Chris is seventeen , studying for A-levels but working part time and during holidays for a sound and lighting […]

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The Broken Bridge

This discussion guide was first published on Summary Ginny Howard is sixteen - a contented, carefree teenager who is a talented artist. She lives near a Welsh coastal town with her father. Her mother, a Haitian artist, died when Ginny was a baby. The summer holidays are about to start and her great friend […]

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Lyra's Oxford

This article was first published on Two recent events made a strange conjunction. First, I met a student who argued passionately that life has no meaning - nothing means anything. Second, I read Philip Pullman's latest book, Lyra's Oxford, in which he suggests that everything means something. These two atheists share some assumptions. Both […]

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Philip Pullman: not as cynical as we think?

This article was first published on in 2002. I have developed my views on Philip Pullman and his work significantly since then and I no longer quite agree all the points made in this article. See my book Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman for more developed ideas.   Philip Pullman is a brilliant writer. That's why he won […]

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© Tony Watkins, 2020
The Tony and Jane Watkins Trust oversees and supports the ministries of Tony and Jane Watkins in Christian training, education, and communication. It is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 1062254.
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