Good Omens the mini-series

NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
My first thread in the new ship, be gentle with me! But I'm truly surprised that no one has started this before.

What do we think of the new Good omens mini series? I just finished watching it yesterday, and I loved every second. Pretty much my only criticism would be that Death didn't look or sound quite the way I though he should have. But that's minor.

What does everyone else think?
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Comments

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Loved it. It struck the right middle-road between slavish reiteration of the original material and adding in so much new material you say "WTF?" The casting was right on the nose and the soundtrack synced with the material seamlessly. Most of the alterations to the story were the necessary adjustments required by moving from one medium to another.
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    Pretty much my only criticism would be that Death didn't look or sound quite the way I though he should have.

    I have wondered (and I know I'm not alone in this) if certain parts felt "different" or got paid less attention than the book because Neil Gaiman was personally involved with the project but Terry Pratchett was . . . unavailable. That's not so much a criticism as it is an acknowledgement that sometimes there's no substitute for authorial involvement.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    My curse attend all of you watching on Amazon. I see it should turn up on BBC. Sometime.

    Hummph.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    Firenze wrote: »
    My curse attend all of you watching on Amazon. I see it should turn up on BBC. Sometime.

    Hummph.

    Precisely - please bear with those of us who have to wait.
  • I'm another one who is waiting to see this.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Me too 😥
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    *sad sigh* Maybe this thread should be closed til everyone can see it? I didn't realize that it was only available yet on this side of the pond.
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    Not so much on only one side of the pond, more that not all of us subscribe to Amazon or whatever channel it is on. Though being very nearly able to quote the book probably renders most of us relatively spoiler-proof...

    AG
  • The5thMaryThe5thMary Shipmate
    I resisted the urge to read it for a very long time because my ex-girlfriend (she of the mental illness and seeing demons everywhere) was not too thrilled with the idea of the book! Anyway, I read it online from my local public library (boy, is that cool or what?!) and laughed and laughed. What a great book! I think the casting is terrific and I might just sign up with Amazon or whomever, in order to watch the series on my trusty laptop.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I agree with Croesus.

    It's a while since I read the book, so I can't remember whether the Death character is supposed to be the same as the Discword Death or not. Insofar as I had expectations of Death, they were probably based more on Discworld than Good Omens.
  • Haven’t read the book for about 25 years and finished the series yesterday (Amazon membership). Really enjoyed it, as did my family - my husband hadn’t read it previously. Loved the nods in direction of related fiction and the cameos. Won’t say anymore yet.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    A list of Easter Eggs from a very specific, other continuity. Item 1: the license plate on Crowley's beloved Bentley says "SID RAT".
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Yet another one waiting ☹️
  • Gath fachGath fach Shipmate
    I loved it
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    Given that both Deaths (Discworld and GO) are tall and wear hooded black robes, does it matter whether they are the same or not? Certainly the Death at the quiz machine is cut from a very similar cloth.

    AG
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    A list of Easter Eggs from a very specific, other continuity. Item 1: the license plate on Crowley's beloved Bentley says "SID RAT".

    Sidrat is also the Army's nickname for their new Wildcat helicopters - because they look much bigger from the outside.

    And on that tangential note...

    AG
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    edited June 11
    Not being a Christian I can adopt a morally relativistic attitude and have d/loaded all the episodes from a non-authorised place. Saw the first two last night.

    I don't know the original material at all, having never read Gaiman and only read one Pratchett novel. My verdict, fun but nothing remarkable. Preferred the 1999 film 'Dogma' which was in similar territory.

    I am wondering if David Tennant really is that skinny or if there's been a bit of subtle CGI.
  • TubbsTubbs Admin
    It's the only reason I haven't cancelled Prime yet. Good Omens is one of my favourite books - I probably read it once year - and I'm loving it so far.

    The casting is inspired. There isn't a single off character. It's sufficiently close to how I've imagined it over the years to not annoy me but different enough to make it interesting. So pleased how many of the small touches survived.

    Sad we never got the follow up they planned.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    I am wondering if David Tennant really is that skinny or if there's been a bit of subtle CGI.

    There's a farm somewhere in the UK that breeds lanky, angular men for the BBC. David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Benedict Cumberbatch all come from there. :wink:
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    Finished watching it last night. Thought it had all the grit and tension of a Scooby-Doo episode. Amused by Tennant's Mick Jagger-as-portrayed-by-Bill Nighy act, but that was about it. Showdown between forces of good and evil was utterly lame and none of the characters seemed to believe in their own jeopardy. Only scene that struck the right note for me was Hastur's re-materialisation in the call centre.

    All in all, it felt like children's TV wearing adult clothes.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Watched the first two episodes and I am enjoying it. I enjoy pretty much everything related to Pratchett.
  • TubbsTubbs Admin
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Watched the first two episodes and I am enjoying it. I enjoy pretty much everything related to Pratchett.

    I think this one of the best adaptions of his stuff I've seen. :)
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Finished watching it last night. Thought it had all the grit and tension of a Scooby-Doo episode. Amused by Tennant's Mick Jagger-as-portrayed-by-Bill Nighy act, but that was about it. Showdown between forces of good and evil was utterly lame and none of the characters seemed to believe in their own jeopardy. Only scene that struck the right note for me was Hastur's re-materialisation in the call centre.

    All in all, it felt like children's TV wearing adult clothes.

    I think the lameness is kind of the point - AIUI, in Gaiman and Pratchett's view, good and evil don't come from external agencies acting on humans, but from humans ourselves and our own moral choices, and as soon as you imagine good and evil as possessing agency in their own right, you end up in some very odd moral places.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I’m about to start watching it tonight. I loved the book.
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    *sad sigh* Maybe this thread should be closed til everyone can see it?

    This is always a problem for those who don’t/won’t/can’t watch things in ‘real time’. It shouldn’t stop folk chatting about them imo.

    But, hopefully folks here will use the ‘spoiler’ button to good effect. :smile:

  • It's not a reluctance to watch in real time, it's a reluctance to sign up for Amazon to watch it now, when it is to be broadcast on BBC2 later. That reluctance being not wanting to support Amazon in general (whether or not I'm waiting for them to deliver a part to fix the kitchen sink as neither the trade nor home outlets in town could provide it).
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    edited June 20
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I think the lameness is kind of the point - AIUI, in Gaiman and Pratchett's view, good and evil don't come from external agencies acting on humans, but from humans ourselves and our own moral choices, and as soon as you imagine good and evil as possessing agency in their own right, you end up in some very odd moral places.

    I can see that argument and even sympathise with it, (SPOILER ALERT)
    but portraying the allegory by having three somewhat stroppy children defeat three Horsemen of the Apocalypse with fatuous SJW-style platitudes was ridiculous. Even allowing that the three horsemen were only allegories for all human greed, et cetera, et cetera, selling the world for a bucket of dollars, it should take a lot more than that to 'defeat' them. It was also, as a conclusion to all the build-up, a complete let-down.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited June 13
    @Colin Smith - I'm not sure you "get" comedy or satire. Complaining that there's insufficient "grit" in such work or that the characters aren't taking their situation seriously seems like missing the point. It's like complaining that Charlie Chaplin isn't taking the rise fascism seriously or that maybe General Turgidson shouldn't be so flippant about nuclear war. ("I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed . . . ")
  • JennyAnnJennyAnn Shipmate
    I loved it. The Them annoyed me in the book, and also in the adaptation!

    I’ve been looking forward to this adaptation since I heard about it - it was my main reason for getting prime. I’ve not been disappointed.

    I love David Tennant and felt he portrayed Crawley really well. Michael sheen as Aristaphale was a really pleasant surprise - he acted everyone else off the screen.

    I’ve re-read the book since watching (again, an annual event) and have reminded myself of the missing bits. Bits like all cassettes turning into bohemian rhapsody after 2 weeks in Crawley’s car. On the whole these are reasonable omissions - either they’ve not dated well (the book has real age now!), or would just be too intricate for a 6 hour adaptation.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    JennyAnn wrote: »
    I’ve re-read the book since watching (again, an annual event) and have reminded myself of the missing bits. Bits like all cassettes turning into bohemian rhapsody after 2 weeks in Crawley’s car.

    There is a nod to that in the form of the Queen-intensive soundtrack.
  • JennyAnnJennyAnn Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    JennyAnn wrote: »
    I’ve re-read the book since watching (again, an annual event) and have reminded myself of the missing bits. Bits like all cassettes turning into bohemian rhapsody after 2 weeks in Crawley’s car.

    There is a nod to that in the form of the Queen-intensive soundtrack.

    Oh, I know, but it just not quite the same

  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited June 20
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I think the lameness is kind of the point - AIUI, in Gaiman and Pratchett's view, good and evil don't come from external agencies acting on humans, but from humans ourselves and our own moral choices, and as soon as you imagine good and evil as possessing agency in their own right, you end up in some very odd moral places.

    I can see that argument and even sympathise with it, (SPOILER ALERT)
    but portraying the allegory by having three somewhat stroppy children defeat three Horsemen of the Apocalypse with fatuous SJW-style platitudes was ridiculous. Even allowing that the three horsemen were only allegories for all human greed, et cetera, et cetera, selling the world for a bucket of dollars, it should take a lot more than that to 'defeat' them. It was also, as a conclusion to all the build-up, a complete let-down.

    But the story isn't about defeating evil or the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Aziraphale doesn't want good to triumph, he just wants the world not to end. The story is about Heaven and Hell both being just bit-parts against human choices. It's a humanist fable cleverly disguised as fluff.
    In any case, the Horsemen aren't defeated as such. Adam just restores the status quo, so war, pollution and famine still exist.

    A point of mild interest is that Good Omens started off as a Just William parody called 'William the Antichrist'. This is quite obvious in the novel, less so in the mini-series (although there is a shout-out in one scene in Aziraphale's bookshop).
  • I'm enjoying it very much. A lot of the criticism seems to be about its tweeness (which, I think, is related to @Colin Smith's comment about it being "like children's TV"). I rather like its tweeness, but then I also like twee pop.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    @Colin Smith - I'm not sure you "get" comedy or satire. Complaining that there's insufficient "grit" in such work or that the characters aren't taking their situation seriously seems like missing the point. It's like complaining that Charlie Chaplin isn't taking the rise fascism seriously or that maybe General Turgidson shouldn't be so flippant about nuclear war. ("I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed . . . ")

    I totally get both. I love Chris Morris's work, The Trip (with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon) and 2012 and W1A and Hot Shots (part deux) is one of my favourite films. But I didn't watch Good Omens expecting satire. I suspect I like my comedy with a lot of black existential bleakness. For me, the perfect amalgam of bleakness, comedy and satire was Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
  • TubbsTubbs Admin
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I think the lameness is kind of the point - AIUI, in Gaiman and Pratchett's view, good and evil don't come from external agencies acting on humans, but from humans ourselves and our own moral choices, and as soon as you imagine good and evil as possessing agency in their own right, you end up in some very odd moral places.

    I can see that argument and even sympathise with it, (SPOILER ALERT) but portraying the allegory by having three somewhat stroppy children defeat three Horsemen of the Apocalypse with fatuous SJW-style platitudes was ridiculous. Even allowing that the three horsemen were only allegories for all human greed, et cetera, et cetera, selling the world for a bucket of dollars, it should take a lot more than that to 'defeat' them. It was also, as a conclusion to all the build-up, a complete let-down.

    But the story isn't about defeating evil or the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Aziraphale doesn't want good to triumph, he just wants the world not to end. The story is about Heaven and Hell both being just bit-parts against human choices. It's a humanist fable cleverly disguised as fluff.
    In any case, the Horsemen aren't defeated as such. Adam just restores the status quo, so war, pollution and famine still exist.

    A point of mild interest is that Good Omens started off as a Just William parody called 'William the Antichrist'. This is quite obvious in the novel, less so in the mini-series (although there is a shout-out in one scene in Aziraphale's bookshop).

    The Them are definitely pinched from Enid Blyton as well as William.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I'm half way through watching this and enjoying it even though I'm not a huge Pratchett fan, Gaiman I like a little more. I read the book a few years ago and the thing I liked best was the Just Williamness of it.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    edited June 20
    Sorry about the double post but this from The Guardian made me smile.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Oh good grief, that's too wonderful, Sarasa!
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I am wondering if David Tennant really is that skinny or if there's been a bit of subtle CGI.

    There's a farm somewhere in the UK that breeds lanky, angular men for the BBC. David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Benedict Cumberbatch all come from there. :wink:
    I think they just stretch them from regular people.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Sarasa wrote: »
    Sorry about the double post but this from The Guardian made me smile.
    Bless their hearts.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    But I didn't watch Good Omens expecting satire.

    Yeah, I get that. That's the problem.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited June 24
    Sarasa wrote: »
    Sorry about the double post but this from The Guardian made me smile.

    It looks like that petition worked! Netflix has promised not to produce any further episodes of Good Omens.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    In return, Amazon Prime promised not to make any more episodes of Stranger Things.

    I watched Good Omens without having read the book (I've read and loved some of Gaiman's books and loved others less; haven't read Pratchett at all). I really enjoyed it. I adore David Tennant in everything and he was perfect in this, and the rest of the casting was great (hadn't seen Michael Sheen before but loved him). We got to watch it by signing up for the one-month free trial of Amazon Prime so we can cancel it at the end of the month.

    Although it's clearly meant to be lighthearted and fun I thought there were some really deep and interesting issues raised, especially for someone like me who comes from a brand of Christianity that puts a lot of emphasis on the End Times. Questions such as:
    • We say we want the end of the world, but do we really? Why?
    • Does our vision of eternity actually offer anything more appealing than the best of this earth? (A quandary often evidenced, though not always articulated, by churchgoing teens who secretly pray Jesus won't return before they've had a chance to have sex).
    • If we are actively engaged in promoting the idea of the end of the world rather than making the currently-existing world a better place to live, whose side are we really on?
    • Do extremes of holiness and extremes of evil end up being uncomfortably similar to one another despite supposedly being opposite? A bit like communism and fascism? And if so, do we buy the humanist answer that the ideal is somewhere in the middle (which is certainly the answer offered by Good Omens)?

    Perhaps the Christians who complained about the series don't like thinking about those kinds of questions too much.

    I did find the showdown with the Four Horsemen and Satan vs the kids a bit anticlimactic, but the real ending where we discover
    how Crawley and Aziraphale survived their respective punishments was perfectly satisfying. And I was so relieved that the bookshop was OK in the end!!

    Quick question for those who know London well: where is the little park/square/garden place where Crawley & Aziraphale meet on the bench near the end of the last episode and
    switch back to their own bodies?
    Husband and I thought we'd been there on our last trip to London, but we weren't sure.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    We have finished watching and loved it. I didn't believe Jack Whitehall was in it till I saw the credits. Everyone was good I thought but Tony Blair was the best.

    I wonder if you have read much Pratchett @Colin Smith . It struck me as a story right in the middle of his light, weird yet incisive writing. It particularly reminded me of Small Gods, if I have the title right.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    We have finished watching and loved it. I didn't believe Jack Whitehall was in it till I saw the credits. Everyone was good I thought but Tony Blair was the best.

    I wonder if you have read much Pratchett @Colin Smith . It struck me as a story right in the middle of his light, weird yet incisive writing. It particularly reminded me of Small Gods, if I have the title right.

    I read the first two of the Discworld series but didn't care for them. I only 'know' Gaiman through his endorsement of Susanna Clarke's brilliant Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It may well be that both writers are too 'light' for me.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    yeah. Horses for courses. The show caught the mood of his books so your reaction makes total sense.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    Trudy wrote: »
    Quick question for those who know London well: where is the little park/square/garden place where Crawley & Aziraphale meet on the bench near the end of the last episode and
    switch back to their own bodies?
    Husband and I thought we'd been there on our last trip to London, but we weren't sure.

    I've not seen the last episode, but in the book it's in St James's Park (near Whitehall, and according to the book the sort of place members of the foreign office might meet members of the press, or where the CIA and FSB can have a discrete chat). In the first episode, I was pretty sure it was there.
    I have legitimately picked up something (it was a suit jacket) in the night there, I was left hoping no-one got the wrong idea.


    I don't think it's childish, the classic Armegeddon play forces things to become more black and white, even if there is more violence (although you do have the equivalent of Failsafe). My favourite part is where they exchange lists of terrorists/freedom fighters, or similarly the justifications for paying the witchfinder army.

    And yes, I think it raises Trudy's questions, some where we can disagree with Pratchett&Gaiman, some where it shows our theology isn't quite right.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    I think they even identified St. James' Park in the series when they met there, but this was a different place -- a square surrounded by houses on all sides, with a few trees in the middle. It looked very like a place just a few blocks away from our Soho Airbnb where we stayed last summer.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Wasn't it Berkeley Square, hence the song?
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    It was Berkley square. I never thought of 'angels dining at the Ritz' would be like Crowley and Aziraphale(sp?)
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Because of the song, I thought it must be Berkley Square, but the place my husband thought it was turns out to be called Fitzroy Square.
  • Glad to see so many of you enjoyed it; sadly I found it rather flat. The low point for me was the half hour of extra material from the Bible at the start of episode 3. Not only was that unnecessary padding but, in the case of the crucifixion, I found it offensive as well.

    If you want an alternative adaptation, can I recommend the Radio 4 version, available on CD? To my mind that was excellent - and it includes cameos from Gaiman and Pratchett!
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