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Viewers are xxx by BBC adaptation of His Dark Materials

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Viewers were left swooning over James McAvoy’s ‘sexy’ debut in His Dark Materials last night.

The Scottish actor, 40, set pulses racing as explorer and academic Lord Asirel, the brooding uncle of main character, Oxford schoolgirl Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keene). 

While the first episode offered a taste of the drama and intrigue that’s to come, many fans found themselves distracted by McAvoy’s dashing good looks – and ‘amazing’ knitted jumper. 

Brooding: James McAvoy, 40, set pulses racing as explorer and academic Lord Asirel, pictured, the brooding uncle of main character, Oxford schoolgirl Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keene)

Brooding: James McAvoy, 40, set pulses racing as explorer and academic Lord Asirel, pictured, the brooding uncle of main character, Oxford schoolgirl Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keene)

Fan favourite: Viewers were left swooning over McAvoy's performance in last night's first episode. Many said his blue ribbed jumper was a 'highlight' of the show

Fan favourite: Viewers were left swooning over McAvoy’s performance in last night’s first episode. Many said his blue ribbed jumper was a ‘highlight’ of the show

One tweeted: ‘#JamesMcAvoy in a ribbed jumper and as Lord Asriel? I am DEAD.’

Another posted: ‘I enjoyed James McAvoy and his strong jumper game #hisdarkmaterials.’ 

A third wrote: ‘Proper BBC cosy winter Sunday evening drama that has made me feel quite nostalgic. And Lord Asriel sure can rock the tucked-in jumper look.’

His Dark Materials, which reportedly cost the BBC £6.25million to make, was more than five years in production with the script undergoing more than 40 re-writes. 

The eight-part first series is an adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s novel Northern Lights, the first book in his Dark Materials trilogy. 

Dozens of tweets emerged online from viewers left excited by McAvoy's mysterious character

Dozens of tweets emerged online from viewers left excited by McAvoy’s mysterious character

It was previously deemed ‘unfilmable’ due to it’s complex plot, epic settings and fantastical happenings, which include armoured polar bears, witches and enormous flying machines. 

The first episode of the drama followed orphan Lyra as she explored the parallel universe Oxford with best friend Roger and her daemon Pantalaimon, a spirit animal serving as a representation of what kind of person they are. 

The curious 12-year-old lived at an Oxford College, until one day, her brusque, mysterious uncle Asriel – played by James McAvoy – appeared, fresh from a dangerous mission to the far north. 

The adaptation of Phillip Pullman's cult favourites His Dark Materials saw curious heroine Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, unite with her uncle Lord Astriel, played by James McAvoy

The adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s cult favourites His Dark Materials saw curious heroine Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, unite with her uncle Lord Astriel, played by James McAvoy

Lord Asriel briefly appeared as he asks the college to further fund his discoveries into the mysterious 'dust', before suddenly leaving

Lord Asriel briefly appeared as he asks the college to further fund his discoveries into the mysterious ‘dust’, before suddenly leaving 

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Lord Asriel reveals he has travelled onto the ice in the North, where he discovered the mysterious matter ‘dust’. 

Lord Asriel takes the existence of dust in the sky as proof that there are multiple worlds, and asks the college for further funding for his discoveries.   

But having got his funding, Lord Asriel leaves the college suddenly, and without any warning, leaving Lyra devastated. 

Shortly afterward, a mysterious woman called Mrs Coulter, says she wants the little girl to leave Jordan College with her to travel to the North. 

Meanwhile Lyra's best friend Roger, played by Lewin Lloyd, vanishes from the college, leaving the little girl devastated

Meanwhile Lyra’s best friend Roger, played by Lewin Lloyd, vanishes from the college, leaving the little girl devastated 

Ms Coulter, played by Ruth Wilson, promises Lyra she'll take her away from Oxford and says the teenager can be her 'assistant'

Ms Coulter, played by Ruth Wilson, promises Lyra she’ll take her away from Oxford and says the teenager can be her ‘assistant’ 

A desperate Lyra begged her guardian, The Master of the college, to let her go, and he agrees on the condition that she takes an alethiometer, a kind of compass that can give you a truthful answer to any question — rather like a magical Alexa.

But while Lyra battled to escape Oxford, other children within the community kept disappearing, including her best friend Roger.  

But the little girl was left devastated by his disappearance, but Ms Coulter promised the best way to help Roger is to leave Oxford with her. 

The programme ended as it’s revealed Roger is locked inside a cage, screaming and begging for help. 

His Dark Materials continues on Sunday at 8pm on BBC1 

The little girl leaves Oxford on an aircraft alongside the mysterious Ms Coulter, who promises her they'll find her friend Roger

The little girl leaves Oxford on an aircraft alongside the mysterious Ms Coulter, who promises her they’ll find her friend Roger 

Ms Coulter whisked the curious Lyra away from the Oxford college for the first time, as she promised she would take her north

Ms Coulter whisked the curious Lyra away from the Oxford college for the first time, as she promised she would take her north 

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