What happens when a demon entrusted with delivering the anti-Christ proves to be more interested in living the good life on earth rather than doing his job of tempting humans and destroying all of creation screws up? Well he teams up with his best friend, who happens to be an angel, and attempts to prevent the apocalypse. Good Omens is the long-awaited adaptation of Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s best selling novel about the apocalypse and a young boy named Adam Young.
The story is a simple one, the demon Crowley is tasked with delivering the new born anti-Christ to the hospital run by the Satanic Nuns of the Chattering Order of St Beryl. Unfortunately for demon kind, Crowley is lazy, and he happens to hand the child to the dumbest nun in the order, one placed on sandwich duty that night instead of tasked with assisting with the birth of the anti-Christ. She in turn switches the child of the completely ordinary Mr and Mrs Young from Tadfield, Oxfordshire instead of the American Ambassador. Named Adam he grows up in a perfectly stereotypical and idyllic English village instead of in the cloistered confines of a diplomatic mission, being groomed for power and privilege.
In a nutshell, the show is simply about a demon and an angel trying to prevent the apocalypse because they actually like things they way they are, humans doing humany things like cooking great food and writing books while Heaven and Hell engage in a Cold War of tempting and redeeming mankind in preparation for the coming, hopefully never to actually arrive, apocalypse. Working towards the same goal, but completely independently is Anathema Device, the descendent of the 17th Century witch Agnes Nutter, the only accurate prophet ever born. Armed with her book of prophecies, Anathema meets the young Newton Pulsifer, descendent of the very Witchfinder who killed Agnes as they too work towards stopping the Apocalypse. Caught in the middle is the anti-Christ, Adam Young, a boy who loves his life and village so much that he starts to use his powers, unwittingly, to preserve that life while still kicking off the apocalypse.
The story is a simple one, but with many sub-plots and threads, and the screenwriters have done an admirable job in translating all of that to the screen and in only six episodes. The show moves quickly, yet without any confusion or loss of detail from the book from character to character ad sub-plot to sub-plot. We not only get to see how the main story of the apocalypse plays out, but we watch as Crowley starts out tempting Eve to becoming a lazy, almost good demon in the process of going native on Earth. At the same time, we watch as the good hearted Aziraphale grows fat on crepes as he collects books.
The show moves quickly, yet without any confusion or loss of detail from the book from character to character ad sub-plot to sub-plot.
By far the best of the supporting cast is Jon Hamm as the archangel Gabriel.
Grumpy Old Man who still collects toys (THEY. ARE. NOT. DOLLS), PC Gamer lured to the Dark Side of console gaming, comic book reader and fan of all things pop culture.
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31 May 2019
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