Good Omens was supposed to be the book that couldn’t be adapted.
Numerous attempts to turn the much-loved Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 1990 novel into a film failed, with Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp and Robin Williams all rumoured to be involved at various stages of development hell.
Two significant events altered the fate of Good Omens and made the TV series a reality. Shortly before his death in 2015, Terry Pratchett asked Neil Gaiman to make sure that it made to the screen.
And a dinner between Terry Gilliam and Gaiman, where the Monty Python star urged Gaiman to shift the adaptation from a movie to a TV series, get a new director and cast Michael Sheen.
29 years after the novel was released, Good Omens arrived on Amazon Prime Video in summer 2019, and is coming soon to BBC Two. The six-part series perfectly captures every single outrageous, wild and hilarious beat of the book.
Here are three reasons you won’t want to miss Good Omens:
Tennant and Sheen are a match made in heaven
There is an incredible moment after you’ve watched episode one of Good Omens, where you have to remind yourself that this is the first time David Tennant and Michael Sheen have worked together.
The chemistry between Tennant as the swaggering, flame-haired, fallen demon Crowley, and Sheen’s stammering and sweet Aziraphale is joyous.
If Gaiman keeps his word and doesn’t create a sequel, casting directors around the world should find an excuse immediately to sign up the duo. A cop show, an odd couple sitcom, any excuse – just make it happen people.
The End of the World looks… stunning
Bringing the fantasy world of Pratchett and Gaiman to life was what prevented their books being adapted for such a long while.
During the 90s, when big budgets were all in movies and CGI was still in its infancy, attempts to make fantasy TV show looked cheap and underwhelming.
Amazon Prime Video have thrown everything at Good Omens – what a cast, what a soundtrack, what an incredible world brought to life. As the show flicks through history, jumps between heaven and hell and combines the everyday and the fantastical, not a single shot or scene is wasted, as all the small details from the novel and Pratchett’s universe dance on the screen.
It's wickedly funny
Pratchett’s quirky fantasy world is often misrepresented and misunderstood by those who weren’t brought up on his novels. Packed with wicked humour and biting satire, a lot of their timeless quality comes from the big belly laughs and cheeky asides.
This TV series should correct all misconceptions. From Jon Hamm’s angelic a*****e archangel Gabriel and the Chattering Order of Nuns to the bickering of Aziraphale and Crowley over what will and won’t make it to heaven (It’s all Sound of Music and no Sushi!), Good Omens has a distinctly British approach to the end of the world.
Who said the apocalypse couldn’t be funny?
Watch this if you liked…
Doctor Who, Merlin, Lucifer, American Gods.
Good Omens is streaming now on Prime Video. It arrives on BBC Two on Wednesday, January 15 at 9pm.
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