For a long time, Good Omens felt like one of those ill-fated almost adaptions destined to gather dust in a cupboard somewhere. First published in the 90s, the cult fantasy novel by the late Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – which follows the unlikely friendship of an angel called Aziraphale and a demon called Crowley, who team up to stop the approaching Armageddon – has come close to being turned into a film on several occasions.
In 2002, Terry Gilliam was said to be make a film starring Johnny Depp as Crowley and Robin Williams as Aziraphale. “But it was post-9/11,” Gaiman said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “No one was interested in an apocalyptic comedy.”
Four years after Pratchett’s death, Good Omens has finally found a spiritual on-screen home in the form of a six-part adaption written by Gaiman himself, directed by Douglas Mackinnon, and co-produced by Amazon Studios and BBC Studios. The series is worth watching for its brilliant casting alone; David Tennant and Michael Sheen star as the shambolic Crowley and Aziraphale respectively, while there are cameos from Frances McDormand as the voice of God and Jon Hamm, who plays a suited and booted Angel Gabriel.
In tribute to Pratchett’s writing, Good Omens sticks religiously to the plotline of the original book. As well as striking up an unlikely friendship with one another, Aziraphale and Crowley have both grown surprisingly fond of life on earth in the 6,000 years since Crowley tempted Eve to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden. Confronted with the news that the impending apocalypse will be brought about by the Antichrist (in the form of an 11-year-old boy), they decide to join forces.