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Good Omens: Everything We Know So Far

Welcome to the End Times

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Amanda Bell

The small screen scene is about to get very apocalyptic once Amazon Prime's Good Omens miniseries hits the airwaves. Premiering May 31, the cheeky series will bring the forces of heaven and hell to Earth to either prevent or fulfill the end-time prophecies of its central soothsayer. And yes, it'll all be pretty hilarious.

Here's everything we know so far about Good Omens.

It's adapted by Neil Gaiman from his book of the same name. Gaiman, whose works have inspired a number of previous television series (including Lucifer and American Gods) and who has also penned several teleplays (episodes ofDoctor Who and Eternals among them), wrote the scripts for Good Omens. It's based upon his satirical 1990 novel with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. He also serves as showrunner on the series.

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It'll presage the coming of the Antichrist. The story centers on an angel named Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and a demon named Crowley (David Tennant) who've both been on Earth since the beginning of time and decide they'd like to see it have a future. Crowley is a representative of hell and was responsible for Original Sin, while Aziraphale is from the good place. They've always been on opposite sides until now, but they decide to join forces to prevent the rise of the Antichrist -- who is, at the time, an 11-year-old boy named Adam (Sam Tyler Buck) -- and the final battle of Armageddon that will follow.

"It won't be the war to end all wars," Crowley warns in the series' otherwise upbeat trailer. "It will be the war to end everything."

Good Omens
Amazon

It's got a bevy of A-listers. In addition to Tennant, Sheen and Buck, the series will also feature Jon Hamm as the angel Gabriel, Frances McDormand as God (in voice, at least), Anna Maxwell Martin as Beelzebub, and Josie Lawrence as Agnes Nutter, the witch who is burnt at the stake for her prophecies. Other stars of the show include Miranda Richardson, Adria Arjona, Mireille Enos, David Morrissey, Nick Offerman, Yusuf Gatewood, Michael McKean, Derek Jacobi, Jack Whitehall, Ned Dennehy and others. Count on seeing everyone from the four horsemen to William Shakespeare (Reece Shearsmith) show up in the supporting squad of characters.

Benedict Cumberbatch will also be playing Satan. On top of the already amazing cast, Gaiman announced at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in February that the Sherlock star will be taking on the role of a 400-foot tall Satan in the sixth and final episode of the miniseries. "As many of you know, Frances McDormand is playing God in this. And we suddenly realized we have Satan turning up in Episode 6 and we needed somebody who could give Frances McDormand a run for her money," Gaiman explained.

Gaiman will make a cameo. The author-producer has confirmed that he'll be appearing in the show. "[In] Episode 4, look out for a scene in a small movie theater where Crowley is watching a cartoon about bunnies," he explained in a video Q&A session. "Not only will you see me passed out dead drunk in the audience, but all of the voices of the bunnies are me."

We already have our first look at Death. Brian Cox, best known for Succession, X2, and The Bourne Identityfranchise, will be taking on the role of the motorcycle-loving Death -- and Neil Gaiman shared our first look at the terrifying dark angel.

The show almost didn't happen. After Pratchett's death in 2015, Gaiman decided to call it quits on any plans to produce an adaptation of their story, but his co-author sent him a note from the grave insisting that he should still see it through.

Gaiman is expanding the roles of other angels. While the novel featured only brief mentions or appearances by characters like the angel Gabriel, Gaiman decided to bulk up their roles in the small screen telling so that he could continue the story with a sequel that he and his partner were working on.

He told Radio Times, "Once we had finished writing Good Omens, back in the dawn of prehistory, Terry Pratchett and I started plotting a sequel. There would have been a lot of angels in the sequel. When, almost thirty years later, I started writing Good Omens for TV, one thing I knew was that our angels would have to be in there. The leader of these angels is Gabriel. He is everything that Aziraphale isn't: he's tall, good-looking, charismatic and impeccably dressed. We were fortunate that Jon Hamm was available, given that he is already all of these things without even having to act. We were even more fortunate that he's a fan of the books and a remarkable actor."

In addition to Gabriel, viewers can also expect to get to know Paul Chahidi's Sandalaphon, Doon Mackichan's Michael and Gloria Obianyo's Uriel.

The official trailer is fun as hell. The first in-depth look at the series is everything fans of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's novel could hope for. There's angels, demons, some very interesting hair choices, hell hounds, and of course, a whole lot of Queen.

There's some great key art too. The image shows Aziraphale and Crowley sitting on top of the world (literally) in front of the tree of knowledge. Fans of the books will also be excited to see teensy, tiny depictions of the Four Horseman as well as some of the humans who factor into the war to end all wars.

​Good Omens
Amazon

The settings will change dramatically. The previously acrimonious relationship between Crowley and Aziraphale will have spanned several millennia by the time they decide to join forces -- the present-day portions of the series will be set in 2018 -- so the story will span far and wide in both time and locations. From the Garden of Eden and a small London bookshop to a weirdly childlike bedroom, the sky is literally the limits on where the show will go.

Gaiman has been photo-documenting several of the set locales ever since the series went into production to give fans a glimpse at just how varied the show's look and feel will be throughout.

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Good Omens, Neil Gaiman

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Good Omens, Neil Gaiman

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Good Omens, Neil Gaiman

We'll get a lot more insight into Aziraphale and Crowley's relationship. The third episode will start with a half-hour "exploration of Aziraphale and Crowley's relationship through the ages," executive producer and director Douglas Mackinnon said.

"It's the longest cold open in the history of television, I think," David Tennant joked.

"Theres definitely been a few times when we've played Episode 3 to people who hadn't seen it before and we get up to the point where you're half an hour into the episode and the opening titles haven't [aired]," Gaiman said, noting it prompted several viewers to wonder, "What's going on?"

It won't be updated too much to fit into present day. Despite the book being released in 1990, Gaiman said he didn't actually have to do too much to bring the miniseries into the modern age. "We didn't really need to do much time updating," Gaiman said. "We played around with a few things. We sort of set [the book] in a kind of nostalgic present anyway, because Crowley is driving around in this glorious, ancient Bentley, because Aziraphale is in a book shop that has obviously been unchanged, including stock, since probably the 1840s. That kind of stuff felt very consistent."

The show has a trippy, beautiful title sequence. Three months ahead of the series premiere, Amazon released the opening credits for the series. The stunningly animated video follows Crowley and Aziraphale throughout the ages, culminating in the fiery End Times that they're both working so hard to prevent.

It'll be available stream this spring. All six episodes of Good Omens are slated to hit Amazon Prime on Friday, May 31.

Welcome to the End Times.