In three days I bingewatched all of Good Omens, no small achievement surely. And on the whole I loved it! For all my qualms about the casting, everyone did a good job. I especially loved David Tennant’s Crowley, way more than I expected I would, he was bang on perfect. (And delightfully channelling Bill Nighy.)
I also loved Adria Arjona as Anathema, even though she could hardly be described as “not astonishingly beautiful” like the Anathema of the books.
I think my only real qualm is that people die in the show when they didn’t in the book. That sounds like a small thing to complain about, but once upon a time I read an interview in which (I think) Gaiman said that one thing Pratchett was very adamant about was that no humans in the book should ever die because of Adam’s existence. And in the show people do die because of Adam’s existence (“it ate our trade delegation” etc) so despite the whole adaptational enterprise being an excellent tribute to Terry that quite important point was just kinda… forgotten…? Of course, I read this interview long ago, for all I know it could actually have been Pratchett talking about Gaiman’s ideas, but I agree with whichever writer said it. Adam ultimately doesn’t choose any sort of death so no-one, even completely unseen random humans, should die because of him. You know?
In addition to all that, I wish the show had done what the book did and explained what happened to the third baby. I don’t like to think of babies dying, so when I read the little footnote in the book – “See? You were right about the babies” – I was delighted because the baby was after all not dead. It was like a nice little reward for those who like to read footnotes, which I do.
I really wish they’d found a way of working in this scene, which I think is my favourite:
“Well, nice try,” he said, in a completely different voice, “only it won’t be like that at all. Not really. “I mean, you’re right about the fire and war, all that. But that Rapture stuff well, if you could see them all in Heaven-serried ranks of them as far as the mind can follow and beyond, league after league of us, flaming swords, all that, well, what I’m trying to say is who has time to go round picking people out and popping them up in the air to sneer at the people dying of radiation sickness on the parched and burning earth below them? If that’s your idea of a morally acceptable time, I might add. “
(It’s Aziraphale speaking through an awful televangelist. Think of all the fun they could’ve had with that these days.)
Loved 99% of it and I hope someone adapts Johnny and the Dead next, because that’s my favorite of all Pratchett’s works.
Now I should probably reread the book, although every time I pick my copy up I’m struck by how the Aziraphale of the cover looks absolutely nothing like Aziraphale.
Look! Who the hell is that?