GOOD OMENS: Neil Gaiman On The TV Show's Cameos & Expanded Story

Good Omens writer Neil Gaiman has told Digital Spy that the TV adaptation of the cult novel is likely to be a standalone series - largely because it already includes many of the ideas that he and co-author Terry Pratchett had discussed for a possible sequel. The six-part series is a co-production between Amazon Video and BBC Studios, and stars David Tennant as the demon Crowley and Michael Sheen as his angelic counterpart Aziraphale, who join forces to prevent the oncoming Apocalypse. Neil has adapted the novel for the screen and is also acting as showrunner. 

One addition that fans of the book may have noticed, for instance, is the presence of the angel Gabriel, a character absent from the original novel. Neil explained, "I wound up drawing from the planned book follow-up for this, expanding into heaven and hell, and we have Jon Hamm as the angel Gabriel, and Gabriel is not in the book, but he and the other angels, and a bunch of the other demons, come from all the conversations Terry Pratchett and I had about what we would do in a second book. So in some ways, I've already kind of used that material up."

He also looked back to Dirk Maggs' 2014 radio adaptation of the novel as almost a trial run for the TV version, and explains the part that Academy Award winner Frances McDormand will play in holding the narrative together in her role as the voice of God.

"[The radio version] was almost like letting Dirk Maggs walk through a minefield ahead of us," he said. "One of the things that Dirk had taken out was the narrator – the voice of the book. For this, I knew we had to have a voice of God that kept us going through the story. Insisting on that narrator voice was something I probably wouldn't have done if I hadn't missed it so much in the radio version."

The TV series has attracted a starry cast, with Miranda Richardson, Adria Arjona, Jack Whitehall, Michael McKean, Daniel Mays, Josie Lawrence and Sir Derek Jacobi among those taking part, with cameos by Nick Offerman, David Morrissey and the cast of The League Of Gentleman. 

"Nick Offerman has the tiniest part," said Neil. "He's the US ambassador, the father to the kid that they think is the Antichrist, and he came in at no notice, because the original actor who was meant to play that part had a family tragedy and suddenly we had to recast...And it was magic. He's so funny and so true." 

Currently Neil is in the middle of post-production with director Douglas Mackinnon, and says of the show, "It has a beginning and a middle and an end. Right now, all I'm thinking about is just getting to the end and getting out of the cutting room!"

The comic fantasy Good Omens is due to launch worldwide on Amazon Prime in early 2019, with a terrestrial broadcast on BBC Two about six months later. BBC Worldwide are currently handling distribution to other broadcasters with details yet to be announced.  

Read the full article on Digital Spy