WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Aziraphale and Crowley, of Heaven and Hell respectively, have grown rather fond of the Earth. So it's terrible news that it's about to end. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing. The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Everything is going according to the Divine Plan...except that someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. Can our heroes find him and stop Armageddon before it's too late?
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
The TV adaptation of Good Omens had a lot of pressure to be not just good but great. Not only were the fans of this book expecting a lot but Neil Gaiman who literally had this thrust upon him as Terry Pratchett’s dying wish. Sir Terry Pratchett is an author that millions around the world hold dear to their hearts, me included. His Discworld series introduced me to a genre of satire fantasy that was entirely new for me and ignited my love for not only reading but writing.
Good Omens was the book that introduced me to Neil Gaiman and once I learned that he was the showrunner on this and that my favourite Doctor, David Tennant was cast as the demon Crowley, I had complete faith that Sir Terry’s dying wish would not only be fulfilled but would also be everything I hoped it would be.
I was not wrong. Good Omens tells the story of how the Anti-Christ brings about the start of the apocalypse and how the unlikely duo of the demon Crowley and his best friend the angel Aziraphale (played brilliantly by Michael Sheen) try to stop it. You see Crowley and Aziraphale have been stationed on Earth and have become quite fond of it and all its pleasures and would like to carry on in their comfortable lives.
The 6 part miniseries stays true to the book, and while this can be boring when it comes to books to TV adaptations, you can’t mess with the magic of Pratchett and Gaiman’s writing without ruining the whole thing. But there are additions to the series that are not in the book and Jon Hamm’s Gabriel is one of the best ones. Another addition that I liked was the epilogue after the whole end of the world crisis has been averted. In the book, Crowley and Aziraphale don’t seem to face any real consequences, but Gaiman ties it all up nicely and hilariously in the last half of the final episode.
The series is filled with Easter eggs dedicated to Terry Pratchett that fans will be sure to spot. The first is in the newspaper where Newt Pulsifer reads the job ad posted by Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell’s (Michael McKean). Next to this advert is another one that reads: “LOST HAT - Uncle Terry’s in a bookshop near Soho... It is black and has a wide brim.” The ad ends with “GO. 28/04”, which just happens to be Sir Terry’s birthday.
On that newspaper, we can also see an ad for a lost book that cuts off at “Colour of M”, a reference to the first of Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Later in the series when the four horsemen of the apocalypse meet up in a tiny café, Death is playing an arcade game and the only player he couldn’t beat was T. Pratchett.
But the one that punched me right in the gut was when Aziraphale says to Crowley as he leaves “Mind how you go”. To the casual viewer, it might just seem like a bit of phrasing, but it’s a turn of phrase that means so much to fans of Terry Pratchett.
The show is cast so well, and the characters are endearing. Jack Whitehall is dorkishly cute as bumbling Private Witchfinder Newt Pulsifer, and while I really liked Adria Arjona as Anathema Device, I was thrown by her American accent. The kids who are cast as the Them are brilliant, often child actors can be a bit wooden, but these four are wonderful in their performances.
All in all, I think Sir Terry would be delighted with this, and to me, that’s all that matters.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: