Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An angel and a demon walk into a bar. They hang out, get drunk, and wait until the Apocalypse while dealing with the birth of the Antichrist. Madness ensues. That’s the story (in essence) to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s fantasy/comedy novel Good Omens. Originally published in 1990, the story is coming to life as a new, live-action series. The show will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime starting May 31.
But just what is Good Omens all about? And who are all these familiar faces in the show’s wacky and hilarious trailer? Here’s your field guide to all you need to know (minus spoilers) about Good Omens.
When does Good Omens premiere?
The series premieres May 31, on Amazon Prime.
What Is Good Omens?
Good Omens is a fantasy novel originally published in 1990. The series was co-written by Neil Gaiman, author of the legendary Sandman comic book series for DC/Vertigo, the 2001 modern fantasy novel American Gods (also a live-action series on Starz), as well as other books including Coraline, Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, and 2013’s The Ocean at the End of the Lake. Gaiman worked with Pratchett, best-known for his popular comic fantasy series Discworld
Of course, you can pick up Good Omens (the book) on Amazon.
What’s the Story?
A buddy comedy and a religious fantasy all in one, Good Omens is a story about duty, friendship, and what it means to be alive.
Set in modern England, the story follows the demon Crowley (the snake who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden) and Aziraphale (a guardian of the Eastern Gate of Eden) who are “representatives” of Heaven and Hell on Earth. Despite their differences, they’ve become good friends throughout their time spent living together on this planet.
Unfortunately, their time is coming to an end, as is ours. The Apocalypse is being ushered in through the birth of Satan’s son, who will become an American diplomat in Britain. (It’s a premise reminiscent of Richard Donner’s 1976 horror classic The Omen, in which the Antichrist was born in the “Eternal Sea” of politics, “that constantly rages with turmoil and revolution.”)
So, to prevent their new home from going belly-up, Crowley and Aziraphale rebel against their programming and look after the Antichrist from afar, to make sure he never finds out his true identity. The problem: It’s already been 11 years when everyone figures out they’ve been looking after the wrong kid.
Who is starring in Good Omens?
Quite a lot of familiar faces will show up in Good Omens.
Here’s a breakdown of the cast:
- David Tennant (Doctor Who, gen:LOCK) as “Crowley,” the demon who tempted Eve with the apple from the tree of knowledge.
- Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) as “Aziraphale,” Crowley’s “roommate” on Earth tasked with representing Heaven as Crowley reps Hell.
- Anna Maxwell Martin as “Beelzebub,” leader of Hell.
- Jon Hamm (Mad Men) as “Gabriel,” the leader of Heaven. In an interview with Radio Times, Gaiman said he expanded Gabriel’s role from the book (where he was only mentioned once) to one of the main characters because the story necessitated more angels. The character’s story in the Good Omens series incorporates elements from the novel’s unwritten sequel.
- Josie Lawrence as “Agnes Nutter,” a witch in the 17th century who predicted literally everything in her in-universe book The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.
- Adria Arjona (Fortnite, Triple Frontier) as “Anathema Device,” Agnes’ last descendant and a witch herself who teams up with Azriaphale and Crowley.
- Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as the series’ narrator and voice of God.
- Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) as the voice of Satan.
- Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation) as the U.S. Ambassador who fathers the supposed Antichrist.
How many episodes will Good Omens last?
The series is slated for six episodes, and may not actually be renewed into a new season. On March 6, the day the trailer was released, Gaiman confirmed that the series will begin and end with just these six episodes.
Where is the trailer for the series?
The trailer can be viewed at the top of this page ☝️.
This looks like a really fun series.
Doesn’t it? Much as I love and adore American Gods, both the book and the series, Good Omens just feels like such a breezy watch despite all the heavy, fantastical elements.
I’m personally intrigued by the show’s art direction, as contemporary fantasies can be hard to pull off visually, especially under the restrictions of TV (budget, time, etc.) Good Omens may be a new entry in this really sweet era of television that does modern fantasy right, such as The Magicians, Lucifer, The Good Place, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Wyonna Earp.
Good Omens premieres May 31 on Amazon Prime.