Why Neil Gaiman's 'Good Omens' should be on your May watchlist

Why Neil Gaiman's 'Good Omens' should be on your May watchlist

We have already told you everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Video's upcoming show 'Good Omens', which is based on the 1990 novel 'Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch' by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

A co-production between Amazon Prime and BBC Two, the six-part series is directed by Douglas Mackinnon and written by Gaiman (who also serves as the showrunner). But the show premieres on May 31, 2019, and it looks like we have a long, long wait before we get our hands on this beauty. So, since we are whiling away our time waiting on 'Good Omens', here is why you should be as excited as us, if not more, for the premiere.


A devilishly good cast

The casting of Michael Sheen (as Aziraphale, an angel) and David Tennant (as Crowley, a demon) in lead roles is the icing on the cake. Their characters serve as representatives of Heaven and Hell respectively on Earth. Both the actors have delivered big, extravagant performances in their previous roles and make for the perfect casting for an angel and demon battling at the end of the world. Based on what we see in early promo clips, the energy they share on-screen is something to look out for. 

David Tennant and Michael Sheen attend Entertainment Weekly + Amazon Prime Video's 'Saints & Sinners' Party At SXSW on March 9, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Getty Images)


Joining Sheen and Tennant is 'Mad Men' alumnus Jon Hamm - receiver of 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for performances in 'Mad Men', '30 Rock' and 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'. Hamm plays the role of Archangel Gabriel, the leader of the forces of Heaven. Interestingly, Gabriel's character was only mentioned once in the original novel - the role was to be elaborated in the never-finished sequel to the book. Gaiman, in turn, incorporated these never-published parts of Gabriel's character into the series.




Consider a production by BBC and Benedict Cumberbatch not playing a role in it. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' star will be voicing the role of Satan, an addition that was made to the cast last minute.

"What people don't know is that we kept casting until the end and in episode 6, there is the appearance of Satan, and as many of you know, Frances McDormand is playing God, and we suddenly realized... we needed someone who could give Frances McDormand a run for her money, so we found a young British actor who needed a lot of direction... it is the glorious, young, Benedict Cumberbatch," Gaiman had reportedly said.

The beauty that is the opening scene


The opening scene to 'Good Omens' - a clip that Amazon Prime Video generously shared with viewers - is a visual gem. Half Tim Burton, half Monty Python, the opening sequence takes us through the lush and colourful Garden of Eden before taking a drastic turn to more morbid scenarios. 

Replacing Good Place for wholesome viewing

Season three of the American fantasy-comedy 'The Good Place' (starring Kristen Bell) concluded on January 24 and season 4 isn't going to be out anytime soon. But you won't miss the angels, demons, the power play between good and evil, and mythology with 'Good Omens'. May we even add that Gaiman's 'Good Omens' is probably grander than 'The Good Place' considering how it is a product of his and legendary Terry Pratchett's literary brilliance.




Pratchett's last request

Seeing 'Good Omens' on the screen was Pratchett's last request

Gaiman has said that he made the series for Pratchett on not one but several occasions. While previous attempts at adapting the book for the screen failed (except a production for radio by BBC 4 in 2014), Gaiman intended to make it happen this time.
"It probably was impossible but we managed to do it somehow anyway," Gaiman was reported saying. “Pratchett and I could both picture this thing. We went out and talked to a lot of writers of television we admired and said, ‘Would you like to do this?’ and they explained that they wouldn’t, because…they couldn’t quite get a grip on it and couldn’t see how you could do it without changing it too much. I was probably ready to just let it slide but Terry wrote to me and said, ‘You’re the only person who has the same amount of love for Good Omens as I do and you understand it and you have to make this so I can see it before I die. And then he died. Which left it as this awful last request. I had to do it.”


Terry Pratchett attends the Galaxy National Book Awards at BBC Television Centre on November 10, 2010 in London, England.


Limited series

There is no sequel to 'Good Omens' - the six episodes are what makes it a limited series.

Gaiman has pointed this out on several occasions. "The lovely thing about 'Good Omens' is it has a beginning, it has a middle, and it has an end," he had said at SXSW after sharing 20 minutes of footage from the series. "Season 1 of 'Good Omens' is 'Good Omens'. It's brilliant. It finishes. You have six episodes and we're done. We won't try to build in all these things to try to let it continue indefinitely."

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