HIS Dark Materials returns tonight for its second season – and the dastardly Lord Boreal is back with a vengeance.

The BBC fantasy series will see Lyra (Dafne Keen) traverse worlds after the devastating death of her best friend – at the hands of her father Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) no less.

She remains firmly in the sights of the sinister Magisterium and of course Lord Boreal, played by Ariyon Bakare.

Bakare revealed what motivates his character and teased plans to use the gateway to new lands to consolidate their power.

"Internally, I think he’s someone who is an outsider. The only way he can get inside is by gaining more power, and I think that’s his aim: to be the most powerful person to bring down the Magisterium to control as many worlds as possible and gain respect from everyone," he told Esquire.

"He’s exceptionally ambitious, he’s a megalomaniac, and he wants to prove to the world that he is something, especially to people that don’t take him seriously. Which leaves him with this cold, emotionless quality," he added.

Despite its whimsical nature, Bakare stressed that there was a lot to be gleaned from the series when it comes to the world we inhabit today.

"It’s a comment on everything; it’s a comment on sociology, on theology, on society, birth, life, it’s a comment on so many different levels," he went on.

"All the ideology is there, and everything you can think of on so many different planes; all the questions you ask of yourself when you’re young and all the questions you continue to ask yourself, this piece allows you to delve into them."

The comments come after the show's executive producer confirmed that production on series 3 is already underway.

Meanwhile Dafne Keen promised a ‘darker’ series 2 with Lyra left "vulnerable, betrayed and completely alone."

Need to refresh your memory ahead of the new episodes? Check out our series 1 recap.

Here's what we predict will unfold in series 2.

His Dark Materials kicks off this Sunday at 8pm on BBC One and will be available to stream on iPlayer.

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