Amazon Prime Video users have been lapping up Good Omens over the past couple of weeks, the apocalyptic comedy-drama which sees Michael Sheen’s Aziraphale the angel and David Tennant’s Crowley the demon team up to avert Armageddon. The six-part miniseries is surprisingly hilarious and feelgood for a show about the end of the world, but there is some real-world parallels that make it a little uncomfortable.
For showrunner Neil Gaiman, who also co-wrote the original novel with the late Sir Terry Pratchett, it’s ended up being exactly the right time for the long-gestating adaptation of the book to make it to the screen. Good Omens was penned back in 1990, in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War, but Gaiman admitted he didn’t need to change a thing about the TV version’s explanation for how the world ends.
“The peculiarity of making Good Omens now, 30 years later… it feels more apt than it did then. Somebody said to me, ‘So what did you have to update in terms of Armageddon?’ And I was like, ‘Nothing.'”
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Gaiman then elaborated that many of the issues threatening Earth that were perhaps not as widely known about 30 years ago are now very pressing problems, which adds to the relevancy of Good Omens today.
“All of the issues that we were talking about 30 years ago that may have felt a little bit fringy then — rainforests, climate change, whales, and increase in international tension, and the idea that sorting things out with war is a really bad idea because people get killed — that stuff is just as fresh, and rather more important, than it was then, I think.”
The writer then summed up exactly why the story works just as well as it did in 1990 as it does now, saying:
“Because we’ve come 30 years down the road and haven’t fixed anything.”
Sad but true, Mr. Gaiman. And you thought this was just a fun show about an angel and a demon being secretly in love.
Anyways, as we await the real apocalypse, why not watch Good Omens again over on Amazon Prime? It’s just begging for a second viewing.