From the novel written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, ‘Good Omens’ is now a TV mini-series. Composed of six episodes, this is one show that fans (myself included) have been waiting to happen for a long time. It’s sad that Terry Pratchett passed away before he saw this happen. Do not fear, though. Not only is Neil Gaiman an executive producer of the show, he is also writing it. So, if you’re worried if it will hold true to the novel, rest assured Armageddon is in excellent hands. Let’s talk about the end of the world, shall we? Let’s start with our main players.
The primary protagonists are Aziraphale the Angel, and Crowley (formerly Crawley) the Demon. These two have had a close friendship since the Garden of Eden. Snippets of their developing friendship are shown throughout the millennia and throughout the series. This friendship from opposite sides of Heaven and Hell is put to the test when the Anti-Christ is scheduled to be born to signal the End of the World. Though Crowley helps in setting up the presence of Satan’s son on Earth, he is of two minds to go through with Armageddon. Aziraphale agrees with him, and they initiate a desperate gambit to ensure that Armageddon never happens. It doesn’t go according to plan though which leads to a lot of funny situations between them. The Anti-Christ is born rather differently. Speaking of the Anti-Christ…
…Adam Young is the Anti-Christ destined to bring the End of Times. He isn’t born in the right family according to Hell’s master plan. This puts a corkscrew in the upcoming Armageddon. Unaware of it in the beginning, Adam has reality altering powers. These manifest even when he is asleep. His decisions affect the outcome of the story which is greatly influenced by his friends otherwise known as the ‘Them’.
The ‘Them’ are Adam’s friends. They are around his age and go with him to most anywhere. They recognize Adam as their leader and enjoy his games. Little do they know that Adam actually is the Anti-Christ who can manipulate reality. The ‘Them’ are composed of Wensley, Brian and Pepper who is the only girl in the group. They join Adam to face off against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse near the end of the series. Kind of a mismatch, don’t you think? There’s more to them than childhood mischief as the Horsemen learn soon enough.
Next, we have the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
In order of appearance, we have War, Famine, Pollution (because Pestilence retired), and Death. The birth of Adam and his coming into power initiates the summoning of these Horsemen. They gather and ride around in motor bikes. Well, they had to modernize their rides for the current century, right? They were supposed to align with Adam in ending the world. Instead, they end up facing off against him and the ‘Them’. I actually like the representation here. Adults learning from children is an often neglected theme and this is highlighted when the Horsemen face the ‘Them’.
Finally, we have our last pair of important players: Anathema Device and Newton Pulsifer. Anathema is a witch who is the descendant of Agnes Nutter. Agnes can predict the future in a ‘nice and accurate’ way. Anathema follows these prophecies to prevent Armageddon. On the other hand, Newton is a descendant of Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery Pusifer, famed witch hunter. Whenever Newton fixes computers, he ends up destroying them instead. The only odder couple in the series than them is Aziraphale and Crowley themselves, but these two participate in and contribute to the final outcome of the story. On a side note, I’ve always loved the name, Anathema Device. Love the play on words there.
There are other characters in the story, but the ones mentioned above are all you need to know heading into watching Good Omens. You’ll get to know more of them as you watch the show. A little angel or demon here or there, and of course the occasional odd supporting character will show up. They all revolve around these named characters.
What of the story itself? All the banter in the novel is here, and it doesn’t make it any less funny seeing it rather than reading it. In fact, it just gets funnier seeing how it’s interpreted before your eyes. That ‘finger of oblivion’ is still funny so as that holy water bit. You have to remember though that some elements of the novel were updated to the current times. There are also scenes that do not form part of the novel itself, and are used here to expand on certain story elements. With Neil writing it, it’s not a concern. He meshes it will with the narrative beautifully and it adds more flavor to the visual hilarity of the series.
‘Good Omens‘ presents the end of times in a very comedic way. The way the series portrays certain aspects of religion might not be for everyone. If that’s the case, then this series is not for you. You need to be a little bit open-minded to fully appreciate the beauty of the series. It’s either a damn good show or a blessing from heaven. Or both. The end of the world is nigh and ‘Good Omens’ shows you how funny it can be.