Good Omens (TV series)
|Created by||Neil Gaiman|
|Written by||Neil Gaiman|
|Directed by||Douglas Mackinnon|
|Voices of||Frances McDormand|
|Music by||David Arnold|
|Country of origin|
|No. of episodes||6 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||51–58 minutes|
|Original release||May 31, 2019|
Good Omens is a miniseries based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. A co-production between Amazon Studios and BBC Studios, the six-episode series was created and written by Gaiman, who also served as showrunner. Douglas Mackinnon directed the series. Good Omens stars an ensemble cast led by David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Adria Arjona, Miranda Richardson, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Jon Hamm and Frances McDormand.
Set in 2018, the series follows the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), longtime friends who, being accustomed to life on Earth, seek to prevent the coming of the Antichrist and with it Armageddon, the final battle between Heaven and Hell.
Cast and characters
- Michael Sheen as Aziraphale: an angel who has lived on Earth since the dawn of creation. He was tasked with guarding the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword. He loves the finer things and currently owns an antiquarian bookstore in London.
- David Tennant as Crowley: a demon who has lived on Earth since the dawn of creation. Originally called "Crawly", he is the Serpent who tempted Eve with the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- Daniel Mays as Arthur Young: father of Adam
- Sian Brooke as Deidre Young: mother of Adam
- Ned Dennehy as Hastur: a demon
- Ariyon Bakare as Ligur: a demon
- Nick Offerman as Thaddeus Dowling: the US Ambassador and father of Warlock
- Anna Maxwell Martin as Beelzebub: the leader of the forces of Hell
- Nina Sosanya as Sister Mary Loquacious: a nun of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl, a satanic order of nuns who were tasked with switching a baby with the Antichrist
- Doon Mackichan as Archangel Michael
- Sam Taylor Buck as Adam Young: the reluctant Antichrist who was accidentally placed in the custody of the Young family
- Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel: the leader of the forces of Heaven. While Gabriel was only mentioned once in the original novel, his role was meant to be expanded in the never-finished sequel to Good Omens, so Gaiman incorporated parts of the plot of the planned sequel regarding the role of the angels into the TV series's plot. In the novel, the leader of the forces of Heaven was the Metatron.
- Frances McDormand as the voice of God: the narrator of the series
- Adria Arjona as Anathema Device: Agnes Nutter's last descendant, an occultist who eventually teams up with Newton Pulsifer to try and stop the end of the world
- Miranda Richardson as Madame Tracy: a part-time medium and courtesan
- Michael McKean as Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell: the last officer of the once proud witchfinder army
- Jack Whitehall as Newton Pulsifer: a struggling computer engineer and descendant of witchfinder Thou-Shall-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer. Whitehall also portrays Thou-Shall-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer, the witchfinder who burned Agnes Nutter at the stake.
- Mireille Enos as War: one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse that appears in the form of war correspondent Carmine "Red" Zuigiber.
- Bill Paterson as R.P. Tyler: a member of the Tadfield Neighbourhood Watch and neighbour of the Young family
- Yusuf Gatewood as Famine: one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse who appears in the form of dietician and entrepreneur Raven Sable.
- Jamie Hill and Brian Cox as Death: one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Hill performed Death while Cox voiced him.
The below actors are credited in the opening titles of single episodes in which they play a significant role.
- Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss as Harmony and Glozier: book-buyers for der Führer during World War II
- Reece Shearsmith as William Shakespeare
- David Morrissey as Captain Vincent: the captain of the cruise ship that runs aground on Atlantis
- Simon Merrells as Leslie the International Express Man: a man who helps summon the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- Derek Jacobi as the Metatron: the spokesperson for God
- Johnny Vegas as Ron Ormorod
- Andy Hamilton as the voice of Hell's Usher
- Niall Greig Fulton and Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan: the ruler of Hell. Fulton performed the motion-capture for Satan while Cumberbatch voiced him.
Recurring and guest
- Samson Marraccino as Warlock Dowling: the son of the Dowlings, mistaken to be the Antichrist
- Jill Winternitz as Harriet Dowling: wife of Thaddeus and mother of Warlock
- Paul Chahidi as Sandalphon
- Josie Lawrence as Agnes Nutter, the last true witch in England. Lawrence reprises her role from the radio adaptation.
- Amma Ris as Pepper: one of Adam's friends
- Ilan Galkoff as Brian: one of Adam's friends
- Alfie Taylor as Wensleydale: one of Adam's friends
- Lourdes Faberes as Pollution: one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and appears in the place of Pestilence who has retired as a Horseman upon the discovery of penicillin.
- Gloria Obianyo as Uriel
- Nicholas Parsons and Elizabeth Berrington as Dagon. Parsons voices him in episode 1 while Berrington portrays Dagon in episodes 5 and 6.
Jonathan Aris appears as the Quartermaster Angel: an angel who gears up the angels for Armageddon. Adam Bond portrays Jesus Christ, whose crucifixion is witnessed by Crowley and Aziraphale. Sanjeev Bhaskar portrays Giles Baddicombe, a slimy lawyer. Steve Oram plays Horace, a motorist on the M25 hypnotised and burned alive by Crowley's sigil. Paul Kaye and Ben Crowe make vocal cameos: Kaye as a spokesman for an electricity board and Crowe as Freddie Mercury. Jayde Adams and Jenny Galloway play participants at Madame Tracy's seance. Alistair Findley and Jim Meskimen cameo as George H. W. Bush, Findley portrayed Bush while Meskimen voiced him. Kirsty Wark, Paul Gambaccini and Konnie Huq cameo as TV presenters. Neil Gaiman cameos as all the individuals in the cinema scene in episode 4, besides David Tennant. Terry Pratchett's iconic hat and scarf appear in Aziraphale's bookshop.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"In the Beginning"||Douglas Mackinnon||Neil Gaiman||May 31, 2019|
|Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, are the respective representatives of Heaven and Hell on Earth. Through the millennia starting at their first encounter at the Garden of Eden, they have formed a mutually beneficial friendship and have grown to appreciate their lives on Earth. Crowley delivers the infant Antichrist to a hospital overseen by the Chattering Order of St. Beryl, a group of Satanic nuns. Two families are present at the hospital: the Dowlings, an American diplomat and his wife; and the middle-class Youngs. The Antichrist, meant for the Dowlings, is inadvertently placed with the Young family. Aziraphale and Crowley, both reluctant to facilitate Armageddon, hope to influence the child (whom the Dowlings name Warlock) in equal heavenly and hellish measures so that he becomes normal. The two lie to their respective leaders, archangel Gabriel and head demon Beelzebub, about their plan. Eleven years later, at a birthday party for the "Antichrist", Warlock, where the hellhound is supposed to appear, Crowley and Aziraphale realize something is wrong. No hellhound. The wrong boy. Adam, the true Antichrist, has been raised as a normal boy and on his 11th birthday, the hellhound finds him. When Adam wishes for a dog, it's an intelligent, small dog who can do tricks. The hellhound morphs into a terrier. Adam names him "Dog", initiating the beginning of Armageddon. Aziraphale and Crowley must figure out something before it's too late.|
|2||"The Book"||Douglas Mackinnon||Neil Gaiman||May 31, 2019|
|In the present day, Gabriel and Sandalphon meet with Aziraphale in his bookshop for a progress report on the Antichrist. Aziraphale assures them everything is fine. The next step to Armageddon includes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Summoner, a parcel delivery man is sent to gather them. War is first. In the form of a war correspondent, she receives a box containing an ancient sword... signaling the beginning of the end. Back in time, it's 1656 and Agnes Nutter, a witch, is taken by Wichfinder Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer to be burned at the stake. Because Agnes knew when her death would come, she hid nails and gunpowder in her skirts, causing an explosion, killing everyone at the scene. Agnes left her book, "The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch" to her family who passed it along through the generations. American occultist Anathema Device (a many times great great, granddaughter of Agnes Nutter) is charged with learning the prophecies and saving the world. Meanwhile, Newton Pulsifer, a descendant of Adultery Pulsifer, is struggling to hold a job in computers. After being fired from his last one, he meets Shadwell, a modern-day witchfinder, who invites him to join his crusade. Pulsifer also meets Madame Tracy, Shadwell's landlady as well as a part time harlot and medium. Meanwhile, Aziraphale and Crowley visit the former convent, now corporate center, to learn what went wrong in the baby switch. However, all the records have been destroyed in a fire. Adam and his friends later meet Anathema, who lives nearby, and they befriend her. Aziraphale and Crowley, while driving, collide with Anathema on her bicycle. Giving her a lift home, she accidentally leaves her book in the car which Aziraphale finds, and quickly takes it with him to his bookshop. Reading it, he realizes he holds the key to finding the Antichrist.|
|3||"Hard Times"||Douglas Mackinnon||Neil Gaiman||May 31, 2019|
|The episode begins with a timeline of Aziraphale and Crowley's growing relationship through a series of historical events ranging from Noah's Ark, the Crucifixion of Jesus, up through 1960's Soho. In between, Crowley and Aziraphale run into each other in Ancient Rome, Medieval England, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Revolutionary France and the London Blitz during World War II in 1941 at the time when Nazis were seeking books of prophecies for Adolf Hitler. At one point, the two strike up an arrangement which lets each do some of the other's work when possible, saving time and travel. In the present day at Jazmin Cottage, Adam and Dog run into a visibly upset Anathema, concerned about losing her book. Anathema invites them in where she discusses environmental issues such as the danger of nuclear power plants. Fascinated, Adam leaves with a stack of magazines to read. Both Aziraphale and Crowley separately contracted with Shadwell to locate the Antichrist. It turns out that his army consists of one person, Newt, who is sent to Tadfield. Aziraphale tries to tell Gabriel, Sandalphon, and Uriel about the "hypothetical" lost Antichrist. They brush off his concerns but are left wondering about his loyalty. The second Horseman, Famine, in the form of Dr. Raven Sable is given his package containing a set of scales. Armageddon is on. Meanwhile after poring over the magazines, we learn a nuclear reactor is missing from a power plant.|
|4||"Saturday Morning Funtime"||Douglas Mackinnon||Neil Gaiman||May 31, 2019|
|As Adam dreams, many of the magazine articles he's read come to life, including, the Lost City of Atlantis, the Kraken destroying whaling ships, etc. As well, his controlling and scary behavior becomes a concern to his friends. Meanwhile, Aziraphale runs into Gabriel jogging in the park and tries, unsuccessfully, to convince him to stop the War. Up in Heaven, they have become suspicious of Aziraphale's loyalty after seeing proof of meetings with Crowley. The Angel Michael contacts Hell, where her suspicions cause trouble for Crowley as well. He decides to leave and tries to talk Aziraphale into going with him. But Aziraphale still believes if he can talk to God, everything will work out. Elsewhere, the last two "Horsemen", Pollution and Death are summoned. Meanwhile, as Newt heads to Tadfield he encounters aliens, UFOs, and when he swerves to avoid Tibetan's tunneling in the road, crashes his car. With help from Adam and friends, Newt is taken to Jasmine Cottage where Anathema is waiting with bandages and first aid. In Meggido, Warlock and his family are present along with Hastur. But no hellhound. Hastur realizes Crowley lied about the Antichrist. Later, Hastur and Ligur confront Crowley at his apartment. Ligur is disintegrated by holy water and Hastur ends up trapped in Crowley's answering machine. Earlier, we see that Aziraphale phones Crowley admitting he knows where the Antichrist is. Crowley races to meet him. At his bookshop, Aziraphale talks with God in the form of a Metatron, and when confronted by Shadwell, who has been watching through a mail slot, is discorporated and involuntarily sent back to Heaven. Leaving, a stunned Shadwell slams the door causing a candle to fall over, igniting the book shop.|
|5||"The Doomsday Option"||Douglas Mackinnon||Neil Gaiman||May 31, 2019|
|The episode opens with Crowley racing through London to Aziraphale's bookshop, Queen's "You're My Best Friend" blasting through the speakers. The bookshop is in flames. Inside, there is no sign of Aziraphale. Crowley is distraught, shouting "somebody killed my best friend." Back in Heaven, Aziraphale refuses to join the war. Determined to stop Armageddon, he leaves without a body. Crowley is in a pub drowning his sorrows when Aziraphale contacts him in the form of an apparition. He tells Crowley he placed information about the Antichrist in Agnes Nutter's book, which Crowley managed to salvage from the bookshop. They arrange to meet at Tadfield Air Base after Aziraphale finds a suitable body. During a seance at Madame Tracy's, Aziraphale inhabits her body, eventually convincing her as well as Shadwell to help. The three head to Tadfield. Meanwhile, Crowley is stuck on the M25 as cars burst into flames. A ring of fire now surrounds London. Hastur, who escaped from the answering machine, suddenly appears next to Crowley. As Hastur taunts him, Crowley makes a decision and races the Bentley through the flames. Crowley is using his imagination to believe his car is not on fire and he will make it. Hastur, however, is incinerated and returned to Hell. Elsewhere, Adam comes fully into his powers, scaring his friends who decide to leave. Dog goes with them. This final rejection brings Adam to his senses and after a gut-wrenching scream, Adam is back to his more "human self." Adam and his friends get their bikes and head to Tadfield. After finding a prophecy, Anathema and Newt are also headed to the air base. The Four Horsemen arrive and take over the communications' hub controlling the world's systems. Finally, Crowley arrives in his flaming Bentley with Queen blasting "We will Rock You" over the still-working speakers. Everyone is there. Adam declares: "I'M HERE."|
|6||"The Very Last Day of the Rest of Their Lives"||Douglas Mackinnon||Neil Gaiman||May 31, 2019|
|The final episode opens with Crowley in Hell on trial for treason. It then flashes back in time to his arrival at the airbase where it appears Aziraphale will have to kill the Antichrist. But when he points the gun at Adam, Madame Tracy takes over forcing the gun to fire into the air. Adam asks why they are two people in one body and separates them. The four horsemen confront Adam and his friends who step forward and challenge their beliefs, successfully ending Armageddon. Meanwhile, Anathema and Newt have stopped the nuclear threat by "fixing" the computers. Just as things seem settled on Earth, Gabriel and Lord Beelzebub appear from Heaven and Hell insisting Adam restart Armaggedon. When Adam refuses, Gabriel tells him it's part of God's plan. Aziraphale steps forward and questions whether God's plan is the same as the Ineffable Plan, which no one can know. Gabriel has no answer and tells Beelzebub he needs to talk with the "Head Office." As they leave, Beelzebub warns Adam his "father" will be told... Satan. As the ground rumbles, Crowley realizes Satan is coming. Crowley stops time while he, Adam and Aziraphale are transported to a desert plain. Crowley and Aziraphale advise Adam he can make the world a better place. And they will be by his side, no matter what. As they reappear on Earth, Adam rejects Satan who becomes enraged. Adam stands his ground telling him, "You are not my father!". By rejecting Satan as his father, Adam has reset reality. Everything comes back to the way it was, Crowley's Bentley, Aziraphale's bookshop, people who died are alive. Things seem to settle back to normal, but in the park, Death appears. Aziraphale is captured by the angels while Crowley is taken by the demons. They are sentenced to extinction – a holy water bath for Crowley and death by hellfire for Aziraphale. To everyone's shock, both survive unhurt. Heaven and Hell decide to leave them alone for now. Back on Earth, the demon and angel sit on a bench wondering about the future. After checking no one is looking, they switch back into their real bodies, having fooled everyone thanks to Agnes Nutter's final prophecy. Anathema, having received another prophecy book, decides to burn it. Crowley and Aziraphale head to the Ritz for lunch where they toast "the world".|
Pratchett and Gaiman had planned to adapt Good Omens as a movie for years, with various directors and writers attached to the project at various times. In 2011, a television series, written by Terry Jones and Gavin Scott, was first reported to be in the works but no further plans were announced. After Pratchett's death, Gaiman refused to ever consider working on the adaptation alone but changed his mind when he received a letter from Pratchett, written to be sent after his death, urging him to finish the project.
On January 19, 2017, it was announced that Amazon Prime Video had given a green-light to a television series adaptation of the novel to be co-produced with the BBC in the United Kingdom. Executive producers were set to include Gaiman, Caroline Skinner, Chris Sussman, Rob Wilkins, and Rod Brown. Gaiman was also set to adapt the novel for the screen and serve as showrunner for the series. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of BBC Studios, Narrativia, and The Blank Corporation. Distribution of the series was to be handled by BBC Worldwide.
On August 14, 2017, it was announced that Michael Sheen and David Tennant had been cast in the lead roles of Aziraphale and Crowley, respectively. On September 14, 2017, Gaiman revealed on Twitter that Nina Sosanya, Ned Dennehy, and Ariyon Bakare had joined the main cast. A day later, Jack Whitehall, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, and Adria Arjona were announced as series regulars. A week after that, Sam Taylor Buck, Amma Ris, Ilan Galkoff, Alfie Taylor, Daniel Mays, and Sian Brooke were also cast. In October 2017, it was reported that Jon Hamm, Anna Maxwell Martin, Mireille Enos, Lourdes Faberes, and Yusuf Gatewood had joined the main cast. In November 2017, it was reported that Reece Shearsmith and Nicholas Parsons had also been cast. On 15 December 2017 it was reported that Derek Jacobi would voice the Metatron.
On 9 February 2018 it was announced that Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss had joined the series. On 6 March 2018, it was announced that Nick Offerman had been cast in a series regular role. On 20 July 2018, it was announced during Amazon's San Diego Comic-Con panel that Frances McDormand had been cast as the voice of God as well as the series' narrator. On 13 February 2019, Neil Gaiman announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will voice Satan with the character itself being a CGI creation.
Principal photography on the series began in September 2017, with Gaiman tweeting a picture of Tennant and Sheen in costume on set. In October 2017, the production was spotted filming in Surrey. The series also filmed in St James's Park in London and Hambleden in Buckinghamshire, and wrapped in March 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Gaiman revealed at the New York Comic Con 2018 panel that they used a Bentley 1934 model, unlike the 1929 model mentioned in the book. This was due to the authors' lack of research on cars at the time of writing the book, and the 1934 model was more the look the authors had in mind. The various creature visual effects, including the hellhound, Satan, and Usher, was handled by Milk VFX.
On October 6, 2018, the series held a panel at the annual New York Comic Con in New York City. The panel was moderated by Whoopi Goldberg and featured creator Neil Gaiman, director Douglas Mackinnon, and cast members Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Jon Hamm, and Miranda Richardson. During the panel, the first trailer for the series was premiered and subsequently released online.
During SXSW 2019, Amazon Prime hosted a Good Omens "Garden of Eden" Party in Austin, Texas during the entire week of the festival. The party was hosted by performers dressed as angels and demons, respectively, with free food, hair & nail services, and a full complimentary bar. David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Douglas Mackinnon, and Neil Gaiman made a guest appearance at the Garden of Eden briefly before showing an episode of the series for an early screening at Zach Theatre. A party hosted at the Garden by Entertainment Weekly featured a fire-breather and a spot-on Queen cover band. Good Omens-branded umbrellas and tote bags were handed out at the pop-up experience, and the Garden featured a petting zoo full of local, adoptable puppies called "Hell Hounds".
Good Omens has received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 84% based on 79 reviews with an average score of 7.15 out of 10. The site's critical consensus is, "A smörgåsbord of heavenly imagery and irreverent hilarity, Good Omens works thanks to Michael Sheen and David Tennant's very-nearly-holy (or maybe unholy?) chemistry – though, at only six episodes long, it's a rare adaptation that may have benefited from being a little less faithful to the good book." On Metacritic it has a score of 66% based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Petition for cancellation
An online petition that erroneously requested Netflix cancel Good Omens has reportedly received more than 20,000 signatures from people objecting to the show's content, unaware that the show was actually on Amazon, and also a miniseries with no cancellation necessary. The petition, posted as part of a "Return to Order" campaign by a US Christian organization, criticizes the show's irreverent treatment of topics relating to satanism and the devil, and the use of a female voice for God. The petition has subsequently been removed from the site, corrected and reposted.
|2019||Saturn Awards||Best Streaming Science Fiction, Action, & Fantasy Series||Good Omens||Pending|||
|Best Actor in a Streaming Presentation||David Tennant||Pending|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Presentation||Michael Sheen||Pending|
|Primetime Emmys||Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes||Claire Anderson, Bobbie Edwards, Beth Lewis||Pending|||
|Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)||David Arnold||Pending|
|Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music||David Arnold||Pending|
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