The friendship between an angel and a demon turns the apocalypse into an intimate and festive showdown.
” You have to do this because I want to watch it before the lights go out“. These words were written by Terry Pratchett in 2014, in a letter in which he asked Neil Gaiman to take charge of the project to adapt “Good Omens”, the cult novel both wrote together in 1990. Today, almost 30 years after the novel’s publication, several unsuccessful attempts to adapt it to cinema and the sad departure of Pratchett, who bid us farewell in 2015, we can finally enjoy the six episode miniseries co-produced by Amazon Prime Video and the BBC, all written by Gaiman himself, who has managed to make his great friend and collaborator’s last wish come true.
The challenge wasn’t an easy one. The original novel is ambitious, with parallel stories, packed with characters and locations set in different eras, a very literary omniscient narrative, British humor and many fantasy elements, but Gaiman rose to the occasion for his own work and has managed to shift the universe from paper to the screen quite wonderfully. It’s especially remarkable that he’s managed to capture the unique tone that captivated readers around the world with his mixture of fantasy, epic, social satire and humor, which now also reaches out to captivate those who had never approached the written text.
And a good part of the success is due to the cast they’ve brought together, which by themselves, are already enough reason to open the doors to ‘Good Omens’. With names like Miranda Richardson, Jon Hamm, Mireille Enos, Nick Offerman, Brian Cox (Death), Frances McDormand (God), Benedict Cumberbatch (Satan), plus Michael Sheen and David Tennant, as Aziraphale and Crowley, angel and devil, who are literally, the life and soul of the series.
This eminently fantastic and epic narrative takes us to our present, a few days after the Last Judgment, the definitive battle between heaven and hell, in which Aziraphale and Crowley should, at least on paper, confront each other on opposite sides. But after sharing their existence on Earth since the beginning of time, angel and demon have become friends. They have shared in every key moment throughout the history of Humanity and have grown fond of earthly living, mortals, food, books, cars … they have no interest in the end of the world as they know it.
The 17th century book of prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, complete with witchfinders, The Four Horsemen (bikers) of the Apocalypse and a 12-year-old kid, the incarnation of the Antichrist, are just some of the elements that will converge in the protagonists’ struggle to prevent the end of the world in the days leading up to the foretold apocalypse. Good Omens has plenty of humor and ambitious production values that shine on screen in the recreation of the different eras, the use of multiple locations and visual effects. All this results in a spectacular, entertaining and escapist miniseries that always works best when Sheen and Tennant are on screen. And even more so when they’re together, given a chemistry between both actors that transcends the screen with such realism that we really believe they have known each other for millennia.