Good Omens, the new TV series from literary dream team Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, is one of the most hotly anticipated shows of 2019.
The show, which is based upon a fantasy novel of the same name written by the two authors, is set to debut on Amazon Prime Video with David Tennant and Michael Sheen in the lead roles, alongside a host of other big names.
Neil Gaiman will serve as show-runner, and will write all six episodes. The series is being co-produced with the BBC, who will show the drama after its release on Amazon.
According to Gaiman it will then air weekly on BBC2 in the UK around six months later (as it is a co-production between Amazon and the BBC). That’s expected to be followed by terrestrial TV broadcasts around the world.
In 2017 it was announced that former Doctor Who star David Tennant and Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) would lead Good Omens as Crowley and Aziraphale respectively, an unlikely duo of an angel and a demon who team up to prevent the end of the world coming to pass.
Then, ex-Mad Men star Jon Hamm signed on to play archangel Gabriel, a good-looking, well-dressed rival to Aziraphale.
So for you, for me, for all of us. FOR PEOPLE NOT YET BORN. This is what Jon Hamm looks like as the Angel Gabriel in the upcoming TV series of GOOD OMENS. A thing of beauty, and a joy for ever. pic.twitter.com/OK84PDZXLs
The fantasy-drama will also star Sherlock’s Sian Brooke (Eurus Holmes) as Deirdre Young, the mother of the young antichrist who is supposedly destined to bring about the end of the world. Line of Duty’s Daniel Mays will star as her husband Arthur Young.
Daniel Mays and Sian Brooke
Derek Jacobi will, naturally, play the voice of God – Metatron. But God Herself will be played by Frances McDormand.
Jack Whitehall will play the key role of Newton Pulsifer, aka Newt, a wages clerk turned witch hunter.
Michael McKean is on board as Sgt. Shadwell, leader of the witch-finder army, and Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter) will star as Madame Tracy, the psychic medium who helps Tennant and Sheen as they try to save the world from Armageddon.
Adria Arjona (True Detective) will play Anathema Device, practical occultist and descendant of the ancient witch Agnes Nutter.The actual Agnes Nutter will also be making an appearance with the help of Josie Lawrence, who played her in the radio adaptation.
The huge cast will also include League of Gentleman creators Mark Gatiss and Stephen Pemberton, who will play book-buyers Harmony and Glozier.
Reece Shearsmith, meanwhile, will play William Shakespeare. His scenes were filmed in the actual Globe, in case you were wondering.
Shakespeare is only briefly mentioned in the book, but Gaiman wrote in a tweet: “There are things about Crowley and Aziraphale’s doings over the last 6,000 years that were not revealed in the book. This is one such thing.”
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse have also arrived, in the form of Mireille Enos (War), Yusuf Gatewood (Famine) and Lourdes Faberes (Pollution, the star formerly known as Pestilence). Beezlebub herself will be played by Anna Maxwell Martin.
Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman will star as a US ambassador and father of Warlock Dowling, a baby that’s mistakenly identified as the antichrist.
And what about “Them”? The real antichrist kid, Adam Young, will be played by Sam Taylor Buck, and his three friends will be played by Amma Ris (as Pepper), Ilan Galkoff (as Brian) and Alfie Taylor (as Wensleydale).
The story begins in pre-apocalyptic 2018. According to TheNice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter Witch, the world is due to end in a week, and Judgement Day is almost upon us. As the official synopsis explains, this is where Tennant and Sheen’s characters come in:
“Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming war. And… someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.”
Good Omens, published by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in 1990, is a comedy about the birth of the son of Satan – but thanks to a terrible mix-up, the Antichrist (Adam) grows up in a nice English village with a nice family. As the End Times approach and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are summoned to Earth, what will happen to young Adam and his friends?
We also know that the show will hop back and forth between the past and the present day – hence the inclusion of Reece Shearsmith as Shakespeare.
Tennant has teased the series as being “unlike anything” he has ever worked in before.
“It’s quite hard tonally to get a grip on what Good Omens is, because it’s this very unique world that comes from Terry and Neil’s novel and from the scripts, which Neil has adapted pretty faithfully from that novel,” he told The Herald. “I think it’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever been in before and possibly anything many people have seen before.”
He continued: “It’s like a sort of fairy tale with a kind of very real world setting. It’s a farce and it’s also deeply serious, it’s all things at once and not quite any one of them. If the rest of the show turns out like this early trailer that we’ve all seen I think it’s going to be quite special.”
We also know that there will be at least one touching tribute to co-creator Terry Pratchett, who passed away in May 2015. In December, Gaiman shared a video from set which shows a bookshelf in Aziraphale’s shop stacked with the works of “one of his favourite authors”, Pratchett. Check out the video below.
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