At this point, you’d be hard pressed to find an actor who isn’t in Good Omens.
Neil Gaiman’s new Amazon and BBC drama features David Tennant and Michael Sheen in the lead roles, alongside an impressive cast including Jon Hamm, Jack Whitehall, Frances McDormand, Derek Jacobi, Mark Gatiss, Nick Offerman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anna Maxwell Martin, Reece Shearsmith… and we’ll stop there before we run out of breath.
- When is Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens released on Amazon Prime and BBC? Who is in the cast, and what’s going to happen?
- 9 ways Amazon’s Good Omens TV series is different from the book
- Amazon’s Good Omens review: “A devilishly funny love letter to the book”
Here are all the characters you’ll need to know – and where you’ve seen the stars before…
David Tennant plays Crowley
Who is Crowley? A flame-haired demon who has lived on earth ever since the dawn of creation. He was originally called “Crawly” when he was the snake who tempted Eve with the apple, but nowadays he’s most likely to be found driving his 1926 Bentley, wearing sunglasses and inflicting evils like mobile phone network outages, VAT, and the M25 motorway. During his time on Earth Crowley has come to enjoy the pleasures of human society and now feels that Hell could learn a lot from humans.
What else has David Tennant been in? Best known as the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who and for playing DI Alec Hardy opposite Olivia Colman in the internationally-accalimed drama Broadchurch, the Scottish actor has also appeared in Jessica Jones as Kilgrave.
Michael Sheen plays Aziraphale
Who is Aziraphale? Crowley’s angelic counterpart. He has been Heaven’s representative on Earth for thousands of years, and like Crowley he has come to enjoy the human world. In fact, he runs a bookshop in London.
What else has Michael Sheen been in? Welsh actor Michael Sheen has the distinction of having played former Prime Minister Tony Blair three times, in The Deal, The Queen (opposite Helen Mirren) and Special Relationship. He won a Golden Globe for his role in Masters of Sex, and has appeared in numerous films, including Frost/Nixon and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
Jon Hamm plays Archangel Gabriel
Who is Archangel Gabriel? Although only mentioned once in the novel, Gabriel’s role has been expanded (in line with Gaiman and Pratchett’s original plans for a sequel) and he will be the leader of the forces of Heaven. Gaiman describes him as “tall, good-looking, charismatic, and impeccably dressed,” and he definitely has a holier-than-thou attitude towards his fellow angels.
Hamm has also previously revealed that Gabriel was originally written as a “stuffy Brit,” before Neil Gaiman changed his mind…
What else has Jon Hamm been in? Hamm is probably best known for playing the charismatic Don Draper, an advertising executive, in AMC’s Mad Men, for which he won an Emmy and Golden Globe. He has also guested in Black Mirror, Parks and Recreation, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and played himself in Absolutely Fabulous: the Movie.
Anna Maxwell Martin plays Beelzebub
Who is Beelzebub? The leader of the forces of Hell.
What else has Anna Maxwell Martin been in? Martin is no stranger to fantasy — she first came to prominence playing the role of Lyra in the National Theatre’s production of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. She’s since gone on to win acclaim for her various TV roles, in shows such as Poppy Shakespeare, The Bletchley Circle, and as an older Elizabeth Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley.
Josie Lawrence plays Agnes Nutter
Who is Agnes Nutter? The novel’s official full title is actually “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” – and so this is quite a crucial character. Agnes Nutter was a witch living in the 17th century who created the only accurate book of prophecies ever written, although her writing is annoyingly tricky to decipher.
What else has Josie Lawrence been in? Recently starring as a synthetic marriage counsellor in Channel 4’s Humans, Lawrence is known for her role as as Manda Best in EastEnders as well as a long and illustrious career in improvisational comedy.
Adria Arjona plays Anathema Device
Who is Anathema Device? The witch Agnes Nutter’s last descendant. She is a witch herself and is keen to prevent the End Times from coming.
What else has Adria Arjona been in? Puerto Rican model and actress Adria Arjona played Jules Reyes in Pacific Rim: Uprising, Dorothy Gale in Emerald City, Emily in True Detective and starred opposite Melissa McCarthy in Life of the Party.
Michael McKean plays Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell
Who is Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell? The last officer of the witchfinder army, now reduced to a shadow of what it once was. He is on a mission to rid the world of witches, running his operation from a one-room bedsit and living off condensed milk and his neighbour’s Sunday lunches (even though he calls her “the Whore of Babylon” on account of her seances).
What else has Michael McKean been in? Comedian and actor Michael McKean is probably best known for playing lead vocalist David St. Hubbins of the fictional rock band Spinal Tap in the cult classic mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. He was also a member of the ensemble cast in Saturday Night Live and features in Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul.
Jack Whitehall plays Newton Pulsifer
Who is Newton Pulsifer? Sergeant Shadwell’s one and only recruit. Newton Pulsifer – also known as Newt – has an unfulfilling job at United Holdings (Holdings) PLC as a wages clerk and is in search of something more interesting to do when he comes across Shadwell and his Witchfinder Army.
What else has Jack Whitehall been in? Comedian Jack Whitehall played the incredibly posh student JP in Fresh Meat and Alfie Wickers in Bad Education. He has since appeared alongside his dad in the Netflix documentary series Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father, and will appear alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in Disney’s Jungle Cruise.
Miranda Richardson plays Madame Tracy
Who is Madame Tracy? Shadwell’s neighbour. Madame Tracy is a woman in her fifties with a handful of old clients who turn up out of habit, or for a chat. But on Thursdays she “Draws Back the Veil” and holds seances for a select group of customers, with the assistance of her spirit guide Geronimo who she believes is the spirit of a North American Indian.
What else has Miranda Richardson been in? Twice nominated for an Oscar for her roles in 1990s films Damage and Tom & Viv, she played Queen Elizabeth in Blackadder and journalist Rita Skeeter in the Harry Potter film franchise. More recently she starred as Sue in the TV series Girlfriends.
Mireille Enos plays War
Who is War? One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. According to the character description in the novel, “Her hair was true auburn, neither ginger nor brown, but deep and burnished copper-colour, and it fell to her waist in tresses that men would kill for, and indeed often had. Her eyes were a startling orange. She looked twenty-five, and always had.” She has an air of danger around her, and causes fights wherever she goes.
What else has Mireille Enos been in? She’s set to star as rogue CIA operative Marissa Weigler in Amazon Prime Video’s TV adaptation of Hanna, but you probably know her already from the US version of The Killing, in which she played Sarah Linden opposite Hanna co-star Joel Kinnaman.
Yusuf Gatewood plays Famine
Who is Famine? A Horseman of the Apocalypse. He takes the form of a thin businessman called Raven Sable, who is behind various diets and foods that contain no actual nutrition whatsoever. He also invented fast food burgers, and is proud of the starving children in Africa.
What else has Yusuf Gatewood been in? Gatewood is known for playing the witch Vincent Griffith in The Originals, and has also appeared in CSI: Miami and opposite Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys.
Lourdes Faberes plays Pollution
Who is Pollution? Even the Four Horsemen are adaptable, as Pollution took over from the original horseman Pestilence after the discovery of antibiotics. Pollution is responsible for oil spills and other environmental disasters.
Reece Shearsmith plays William Shakespeare
Who is William Shakespeare? You probably know who William Shakespeare is, but in Good Omens he’ll appear in a special episode exploring Crowley and Aziraphale’s eventful lives through the centuries.
What else has Reece Shearsmith been in? The writer and actor is best known for his work on League of Gentlemen (which he co-wrote) and Inside No 9. He also played Davy in The Hollow Crown, and played Mark in Shaun of the Dead.
Nina Sosanya plays Sister Loquacious
Who is Sister Loquacious? The actions of inept nun Sister Mary Loquacious have had huge consequences, as she was the nun of the Chattering Order of St Beryl who managed to accidentally switch the wrong baby with the Spawn of Satan (or Antichrist). Instead of placing him with the American Ambassador as had been planned by the demons for millennia, she instead placed him with the Young family of Lower Tadfield. Nowadays she has given up the veil and calls herself Mary Hodges.
What else has Nina Sosanya been in? Probably recognised by international audiences as Annie in Love Actually, Sosanya has since appeared in numerous TV series including Silk, Women on the Verge, Twenty Twelve, W1A and Last Tango in Halifax.
Ned Dennehy plays Hastur
Who is Hastur? The Duke of Hell, who’s attempting to ensure that the apocalypse goes ahead.
What else has Ned Dennehy been in? Irish actor Ned Dennehy is probably best known for playing Charlie Strong in Peaky Blinders. He plays Father Etienne in Versailles, and has appeared in Nightflyers and the film Tyrannosaurus, opposite Oscar-winner Olivia Colman.
Ariyon Bakare plays Ligur
Who is Ligur? Another Duke of Hell, and one of Crowley’s Masters.
What else has Ariyon Bakare been in? He’s set to play the odious Lord Boreal in the upcoming BBC/Netflix adaptation of His Dark Materials, and has previously guested in a number of series including Death in Paradise, Silent Witness and Doctor Who.
Frances McDormand plays the voice of God
Who is the voice of God? The all-knowing, all-powerful being whom Aziraphale serves.
What else has Frances McDormand been in? Oscar-winner Frances McDormand is best known for her various film roles, including Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Almost Famous, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, and as a pregnant sheriff in Fargo.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the voice of Satan
Who is the voice of Satan? The satanic being who rules over all of Hell. He’s the Master of Crowley and his fellow demons, and is the AntiChrist’s father.
What else has Benedict Cumberbatch been in? He first shot to fame for playing the razor-sharp-cheekboned Sherlock Holmes in BBC1’s series Sherlock, before landing parts in various films including Marvel’s Doctor Strange, The Imitation Game, Avengers: Infinity War and Star Trek: Into Darkness. He also recently starred in Patrick Melrose and in the TV film Brexit, in which he played Dominic Cummings.
Derek Jacobi plays the Metatron
Who is the Metatron? The voice of God, but still a separate angelic entity.
What else has Derek Jacobi been in? The prolific British actor has appeared in varied roles, including Probert in Gosford Park and Gracchus in Gladiator. More recently he played the Bishop in BBC1’s Les Misérables, Alan in Last Tango in Halifax, and appeared in Murder on the Orient Express and Inside No 9.
Steve Pemberton plays Harmony
Who is Harmony? A mysterious book seller…
What else has Steve Pemberton been in? Pemberton was one of the writers behind The League of Gentlemen, alongside Good Omens co-star Mark Gatiss. He’s also appeared in Benidorm, Inside No 9, and recently played Tony Martin in The Interrogation of Tony Martin.
Mark Gatiss plays Glozier
Who is Glozier? Another mysterious book seller who, like Harmony, didn’t appear in the original novel.
What else has Mark Gatiss been in? The writer and actor behind BBC1’s Sherlock — in which he played Mycroft Holmes — and the upcoming Dracula, Gatiss was also one of the writers behind The League of Gentlemen.
He also played King George in The Madness of King George III , and starred in the recent Oscar-winner The Favourite, in which he played Lord Marlborough.
Nick Offerman plays the US Ambassador
Who is the US Ambassador? Ambassador to the US (duh) and father to Warlock, a rather ordinary little boy.
What else has Nick Offerman been in? Offerman is probably best known for playing Ron Swanson in the hit comedy Parks and Recreation. He also appeared in the TV series Fargo and as Dick McDonald in The Founder.
Doon Mackichan plays Archangel Michael
Who is Archangel Michael? Archangel Gabriel’s colleague, and Aziraphale’s boss, Michael uses a few back-channels to keep an eye on her celestial field agent.
What else has Doon Mackichan been in? The acclaimed Smack the Pony actress plays Cathy in Two Doors Down, and has recently played Sarah in Pure and Flavia in Plebs.
Sam Taylor Buck plays Adam Young
Who is Adam Young? A charismatic eleven-year-old boy, leader of an unruly group of children ominously dubbed by the local adults as ‘Them’ — oh, and he’s also the AntiChrist. He lives in Lower Tadfield, an eerily picturesque corner of the world.
What else has Sam Taylor Buck been in? Child actor Sam Taylor Buck has previously played a young Lorenzo in Medici, and as a young Daniel in The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.
Amma Ris plays Pepper
Who is Pepper? Pepper, whose full name is Pippin Galadriel Moonchild, is a member of Adam Young’s group of kids who live in Lower Tadwell.
What else has Amma Ris been in? Good Omens is Amma Ris’ debut screen role.
Ilan Galkoff plays Brian
Who is Brian? Brian, a member of Adam Young’s ‘Them’, is notably always dirty-looking, and is rather plump and greedy. He’s also a little cynical, an doesn’t always believe Adam’s seemingly outlandish claims.
What else has Ilan Galkoff been in? After starting out in theatre, playing Nigel in Matilda, Ilan has since lent his voice to various children’s series, including Netflix’s Hilda.
Alfie Taylor plays Wensleydale
Who is Wensleydale? Eleven-years-old going on 50, Wensleydale “Wensley” is the old soul of Adam Young’s motely band of kids, dubbed simply ‘Them’ by the adults in Lower Tadwell.
What else has Alfie Taylor been in? Good Omens is Alfie Taylor’s first onscreen role.
Daniel Mays plays Arthur Young
Who is Arthur Young? The father of Adam Young, the AntiChrist. Adam was placed with the Young family by accident by Sister Loquacious.
What else has Daniel Mays been in? Film and television actor Daniel Mays has previously appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mrs Biggs, The Bank Job, and the television film Mother’s Day.
He recently played DC Peters in The Interrogation of Tony Martin, Danny in Line of Duty, and Walker in Dad’s Army.
Sian Brook plays Deidre Young
Who is Deidre Young? Mother of young tearaway Adam Young, who is secretly the AntiChrist.
What else has Sian Brook been in? British actress Sian Brook is best known for playing Eurus Holmes in BBC1’s Sherlock (opposite Good Omens co-star Mark Gatiss), Laura in All About George, Lori in Cape Wrath.
Brian Cox plays the voice of Death
Who is the voice of Death? Death is a skeletal figure and one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse. In Good Omens (and indeed, all of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels) his dialogue is written out in capital letters.
What else has Brian Cox been in? Cox recently played media mogul Logan Roy in acclaimed TV series Succession, and has previously stared in a number of films and series, including War & Peace, X-Men 2, in which he played antagonist William Stryker, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.