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Amazon, BBC Studios Create Miniseries Adaptation of ‘Good Omens’ With a Neil Gaiman Script

Amazon, BBC Studios Create Miniseries Adaptation of `Good Omens' With a Neil Gaiman Script
PHOTOGRAPH: Neil Gaiman | Photo shows author Neil Gaiman with Aziraphale’s flaming sword. Aziraphale is the angel in `Good Omens.’

Famous author Neil Gaiman will showrun a six-part apocalyptic comedy miniseries, Good Omens. Amazon, which has teamed up with BBC studios, announced a 2018 release on Amazon Prime Video.

The series, also scripted by Gaiman, will be based on the 1990 novel he co-wrote with the late Terry Pratchett (who passed away in 2015). Earlier attempts to adapt Good Omens into a feature film have fizzled out in the past.

The American Gods author had revealed last year that he was adapting Good Omens into a six-part television series to accommodate a posthumous request by Pratchett, his co-author of their first and last, well-received collaborative novel.  Good Omens is Gaiman’s first prose fiction novel.

Being a journalist, he had only previously written three non-fiction books. These are Duran Duran: The First Four Years of the Fab Five, Ghastly Beyond Belief, (co-written with Kim Newman), and Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion.

Angels and Demons

When the two British writers Gaiman and Pratchett first set out to collaborate on the book, they created a plot from a simple enough premise from which comedy would ensue: The Antichrist has been born and the apocalypse is going to happen. The demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale do not want the world to end just yet, however, so they will do everything in their power to avert the apocalypse – even if it means switching the Antichrist baby with another.

Throughout his career, Pratchett had been known for comedy in his books, particularly in the Discworld series (an illustrative example is in Colour of Magic, the first Discworld novel) in which character misunderstands the word “insurance” as “inn-sewer-ants.” The fan-favorite Sandman writer, for his part, had also exhibited a penchant for comedy in the comics he had penned.

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Good Omens miniseries, primarily because Gaiman wrote the script. Even when he had only translated the animated film Princess Mononoke into English, viewers made much of his involvement in it.

Nearly Thirty Years in the Making

Considering that Good Omens came out in 1990, it is interesting to note that readers who had been familiar with it, and the younger generation who have only just discovered it, consider the book a favorite. The realization is not lost on Gaiman: “Almost thirty years ago, Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel about the end of the world…I can’t think of anyone we’d rather make it with than BBC Studios, and I just wish Sir Terry were alive to see it.”

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