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 — donning some rather scene-stealing disguises along the way…
Then, ex-Mad Men star Jon Hamm signed on to play archangel Gabriel, a good-looking, well-dressed boss to Aziraphale. Hamm has previously explained that his character was originally written as a “stuffy Brit,” before Gaiman changed his mind.
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 voiced by Frances McDormand.
Michael McKean plays 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.
Michael McKean plays Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell and Miranda Richardson plays Madame Tracy
The huge cast will also include League of Gentleman creators Mark Gatiss and Stephen Pemberton, who will play mysterious 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.
Anna Maxwell Martin in the new trailer for Good Omens (Amazon/YouTube)
Maxwell Martin can be seen in the official trailer for Good Omens, although judging by comments she made during an interview on BBC Radio 2, this might not be the only form her character takes.
“I was dressed up and looked absolutely appalling!” she explained. “I’m playing the Head of Hell so I don’t look great. I have prosthetics all over my face and I look pretty awful.”
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.
What are the Good Omens episode titles?
Director Douglas Mackinnon confirmed the names for the six episodes on Twitter.
Episode 1: In the Beginning
Episode 2: The Book
Episode 3: Hard Times
Episode 4: Saturday Morning Funtime
Episode 5: The Doomsday Option
Episode 6: The Very Last Day Of The Rest Of Their Lives
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.”
“Episode four, look out for a scene in a small movie theatre where Crowley is watching a cartoon about bunnies,” Gaiman said during a Q&A, replying to a fan who had asked whether he would feature in the series.
“Not only will you see me passed out dead drunk in the audience, but all of the voices of the bunnies are me,” he said.
We also know that there will be at least two touching tributes 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.