It's a very rare thing for a TV or film adaptation to live up to a book.


For one, you've got mountains more space to work with on the pages of a book, compared to the limited six to 10 hours of TV, or the even more squashed two to three hours of a film.

What's more, the reader's imagination is unlimited. How could any set rival the world conjured up in a reader's mind? How could any actor bring a character to life better than in the imagination?

Usually, it's near impossible - but not for Good Omens. Crashing onto our screens in 2019, the Neil Gaiman adaptation instantly won fans for its magical, whimsical tone. It immediately stood apart from anything else on TV, because of how faithfully it was adapted. The creatives behind the show fearlessly brought Gaiman's unique and often downright weird world to life with unrivalled dedication.

It's that dedication that made worlds of difference. Last year, I was lucky enough to visit the set of season 2 and see inside the incredible world created for the show. Entire streets have been built for the series, with shops entirely kitted out - even though they might only have a few moments on screen. Aziraphale's bookshop, in particular, is a different kind of magic.

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Terry Pratchett portrait on the Good Omens set
Good Omens set. Amazon Studios

It's filled to the brim with hundreds of props - not only books but letters, typewriters, records, and quirky items you'd absolutely expect the angel to have collected over the years. Every angle has been thought of - when you're standing in one particular spot, you can see all the way through the bookshop to the armchair that Crowley favours.

Perhaps the biggest sign of that pure dedication from the creatives and crew behind the show was when Aziraphale's bookshop had to burn down in season 1. Could it have been faked? Absolutely. Was it faked? Certainly not. The actual bookshop was razed to the ground - meaning the crew had to rebuild it from scratch for season 2.

Speaking of the bookshop, it's impossible to ignore the coat stand in the background of most shots, with a very familiar hat balanced on it. Of course, that hat belonged to Sir Terry Pratchett, one of the brains behind Good Omens.

Following Pratchett's death in 2015, there could be no doubt that the series would pay homage to him, but the dedication shown to the late writer is another reason why it's worked so well as an adaptation.

Not only are there visual homages to Pratchett across set, including a grand portrait of him in the Dirty Donkey pub, nothing in the show happens without the approval of Rob Wilkins, who worked first as the author's personal assistant and later as his business manager.

Nowadays, Wilkins has the title of Pratchett's "representative on Earth", making completely sure that the author's wishes are being honoured. Early on in production, he's sent every script and he's present on set to talk things through with Gaiman.

But that's just one side of Pratchett's influence. Years before his death, in a Seattle hotel room, he and Gaiman fleshed out the full story for the show, which Gaiman has stayed faithful to, meaning Pratchett's influence is even more richly felt.

Then there are the actors, those chosen to bring our beloved angel and demon to life. The casting team pulled off an absolute coup securing David Tennant as Crowley, who had already proven he could master every part of the swaggering but, deep down, sensitive and caring angel with his illustrious previous roles.

Meanwhile, Michael Sheen is flawless as the slightly bumbling but all too endearing angel, who's a little lovestruck by Crowley.

What none of us, other than perhaps the stellar casting team, could have predicted was the electric chemistry between Tennant and Sheen. Good Omens was their first job together, and their dynamic was instantly perfect - leading to them working together for years to come.

The awkwardness and contradiction of their characters from the first episodes quickly formed into a perfect match. Every mannerism and every tone of voice seems perfectly thought through from their pair, but there's still an element of spontaneity.

There's no denying the chemistry in that kiss at the end of season 2, and it's going to be a treat to see where they take the characters in season 3.

Of course, since season 2, the story has gone beyond the book, so we don't really know where we're headed. But after two miraculous outings, I have total faith in the Good Omens team to bring to life an ending worthy of our beloved angel and demon.

Good Omens seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream now on Prime Video – try Amazon Prime Video for free for 30 days. Plus, read our guides to the best Amazon Prime series and the best movies on Amazon Prime.


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