TV and Film:Good Omens
|First Broadcast||31st May 2019|
|Broadcast Channel||Amazon Prime, BBC Two|
|Producer(s)||Neil Gaiman, Caroline Skinner, Chris Sussman, Rob Wilkins, Rod Brown|
|Starring||Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Sam Taylor Buck|
|Annotations||Annotations for TV and Film:Good Omens|
|Preceded by||Troll Bridge|
|Followed by||The Watch|
|All data relates to the UK home release.|
Good Omens is a tv series adaptation of the novel Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, created from a joint venture between Amazon.com, the BBC, Narrativia and The Blank Corporation. There were some other previous attempts to adapt Good Omens including a film that was to be directed by Terry Gilliam and a screenplay written by Neil Gaiman; however the series finally came about as a request from Terry to Neil soon before his passing, as it was a project that the two had wanted to see for a long time. The series also includes extra material added to the story from ideas that the authors had that did not make it into the book, as well as ideas they had plotted for a sequel, but never written.
On 29th June 2021 Neil Gaiman and Amazon Prime announced that a second season of Good Omens was in production, with Gaiman mentioning in his blog the unwritten sequel plans and telling the story of how it was plotted during the 1989 World Science Fiction Convention. In the lead up to the second season’t release, Gaiman clarified in interviews that season two is not based on the sequel. He felt he couldn’t jump straight into that story, and so came up with a new one to connect the first season to where the sequel plot begins, which would be the third season, if one is made. The second season is co-written by Gaiman and John Finnemore, best known for the BBC radio sitcom Cabin Pressure starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
On 10 May 2023, it was announced via an elaborate parody video by The Hillywood Show (featuring Neil Gaiman and cast from the show itself) that the second season of six episodes would be released on 28 July 2023. This was followed by new promotional artwork for the new season, featuring the tagline “Everyday its a-getting closer”.
The End of the World is coming, which means a fussy Angel and a loose-living Demon who've become overly fond of life on Earth are forced to form an unlikely alliance to stop Armageddon. But they have lost the Antichrist, an 11-year-old boy unaware he's meant to bring upon the end of days, forcing them to embark on an adventure to find him and save the world before it's too late.
A naked archangel turns up at the door to renegade angel Aziraphale's bookshop, with no memory of who he is or how he got there, and Aziraphale and retired demon Crowley's lives become extremely complicated. Heaven and Hell are both desperate to find the runaway. As Crowley and Aziraphale attempt to fix a human romance, things become increasingly unsafe for them, in the past and the present.
- Archangel Gabriel: Jon Hamm
- Archangel Uriel: Gloria Obianyo
- Archangel Michael: Doon Mackichan
- God: Frances McDormand
- Anathema Device: Adria Arjona
- Adam Young: Sam Taylor Buck
- Brian: Ian Galkoff
- Wensleydale: Alfie Taylor
- Pepper: Amma Ris
- Dog: Ollie
- Sister Mary Loquacious: Nina Sosanya
- Ligur: Ariyon Bakare
- Hastur: Ned Dennehy
- Newton Pulsifer: Jack Whitehall
- Shadwell: Michael McKean
- Madame Tracy: Miranda Richardson
- Agnes Nutter: Josie Lawrence
- Death: Brian Cox (Voice), Jamie Hill (Body)
- War: Mireille Enos
- Pollution: Lourdes Faberes
- Famine: Yusuf Gatewood
- Sandalphon: Paul Chahidi
- Metatron: Derek Jacobi
- Beelzebub: Anna Maxwell Martin
- Dagon: Elizabeth Berrington
- Thaddeus J. Dowling-U.S. Ambassador: Nick Offerman
- Harriet Dowling: Jill Winternitz
- Warlock Dowling: Samson Marraccino
- Deirdre Young: Sian Brooke
- Arthur Young: Daniel Mays
- The International Express Man: Simon Merrells
- R. P. Tyler/Tadfield Neighbourhood Watch: Bill Paterson
- Anathema's Mother: Gabriella Cirillo
- William Shakespeare: Reece Shearsmith
- Mr. Harmony: Mark Gatiss
- Mr Glozier: Steve Pemberton
- Rose Montgomery: Niamh Walsh
- Satan: Benedict Cumberbatch
- Sleeping Movie Theater Patron: Neil Gaiman (uncredited)
- Maggie: Maggie Service
- Nina: Nina Sosanya
- Shax: Miranda Richardson
- Beelzebub: Shelley Conn
- Saraqael: Liz Carr
- Muriel: Quelin Sepulveda
- Job: Peter Davison
- Sitis: Andi Osho
- Keziah: Sienna Arif-Knights
- Jemimah: Cherry Mitra
- Ennon: Ty Tennant
Two additional companion books were produced alongside the series:
- The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion
- The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book
Also The Definitive Good Omens contains some artwork inspired by the series.
As a part of an advertising campaign for the series, The Chattering Order of St. Beryl launched a website and several social media accounts in order to count down to the Apocalypse.
- The Chattering Order Website
- Twitter,Instagram,Facebook, Youtube
- Brand New Baby Smell-Music Video
- The Chattering Order of St. Beryl: Unholy Night-Album
- The Chattering Order Former Website-Archived Link
Differences Between The Book And Series
Some of the differences between the series and its source material include:
- The episodes have narration provided by God.
- Greasy Johnson and the Johnsonites are not mentioned.
- The Four Other Riders Of The Apocalypse have been omitted.*
- Anathema Device is American and from a wealthy family (thanks to her ancestors prophecies).
- Aziraphale and Crowley appear to the Dowlings as a nanny and gardener but not as tutors in later years.
- Warlock Dowling's birthday scene was shortened without the jelly/gun incident.
- The Them do not use a dunking stool when pretending to be inquisitors, a tyre swing is used instead and Wensleydale replaces Pepper's sister.
- The third episode contains a segment that gives greater detail to Aziraphale and Crowley's past, showing them meeting at various points of history and in different areas of the world. (More of this backstory is revealed in season two.)
- The rain of fish is absent.
- Additional characters that were not present in the book such as the angels and historical figures have been added.
- Crowley's Holy Water was given to him by Aziraphale.
- Hastur personally meets Warlock Dowling on the Megiddo Plains where he discovers that he is not the Antichrist.
- Some of Agnes Nutters prophecies have been updated to fit with the time period and some additional prophecies have been added.
- In the final episode there is an additional sequence which shows how Aziraphale and Crowley deal with their respective sides after averting the Apocalypse.
- Inside Aziraphale's restored bookshop he finds several new Just William books, a nod to the inspiration for The Them.
*However a 'Regrettably Deleted Sequence' concerning these characters is present in the script book.
As mentioned above, the second season is a new story, but it does change some elements established in the book and the first season.
- Aziraphale first meets Crowley before the Garden of Eden, during the Creation of the Universe, when Crowley was still an angel. (We don’t learn Crowley’s angel name.)
The production team include various Pratchett references throughout; these are mostly to Pratchett himself during season one, with some Discworld references in season two. Thanks to the experience of members of the cast and crew, there are also references to Doctor Who and Sherlock, but we’ll concentrate on the Pratchett ones.
- Terry’s hat and scarf are frequently glimpsed on the hat stand inside Aziraphale’s shop.
- There’s also a stack of Terry Pratchett books in some shots.
- Actor Paul Kaye, who played Pratchett in Back in Black, does his Pratchett voice as the part of a nuclear power station representative heard on the radio in episode four. This is a nod to Pratchett’s time working at the Central Electricity Generating Board.
- Gabriel reads from what appears to be a first edition copy of Good Omens during his reorganisation of the book shop in episode two.
More to be added
Good Omens: Lockdown
On May 1st 2020 a short voice-over vignette, 'Good Omens: Lockdown' was released on Terry Pratchett's Youtube Channel to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Good Omens, with David Tennant and Michael Sheen reprising their roles from the TV series. The short comprises of a phone-call between Aziraphale and Crowley who are isolating at home in accordance with government guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was written by Gaiman and directed by series director Douglas Mackinnon.
In 2022, it was announced that season two would include three “minisodes” which take place “within episodes” of the second season, all directed by Douglas Mackinnon and showing Aziraphale and Crowley’s relationship over time. These were “A Companion to Owls” by John Finnemore, set in Biblical times; “The Resurrectionists” by Cat Clarke, set in the Victorian era; and “Nazi Zombie Flesheaters” by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, set during World War Two. These were not released separately, but instead incorporated into the episodes as extended flashbacks, up to 25 minutes long.