Quick! The apocalypse has just been uploaded into the calendar, and you only have days to prepare. Where's the Antichrist gone off to? This is the problem facing the protagonists of Amazon's upcoming miniseries Good Omens, based on the best-selling novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
The book is something of a cultural touchstone among a particular set of science fiction and fantasy nerds, as well as one of Gaiman's most thoroughly British pieces. Starring David Tennant as Crowley, Satan's representative demon on Earth, alongside Michael Sheen as Aziraphale, his counterpart on the heaven side of the equation, these two Earthbound misfits realize they rather like this place after all and team up to cancel the apocalypse the best they can.
As is the way with the end of the world, all of this was already foreseen by one Agnes Nutter, a 17th-century witch. She is the author of the book The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, because creativity wasn't a thing in publishing back in the 1600s. This may have been one of the reasons the book never went anywhere on the Times bestseller list (either New York or the U.K.), despite being the only book of prophecies that ever knew what it was on about. Well, New York wasn't really invented yet, but I'm sure New Amsterdam had a perfectly reasonable bestseller list and the book never made it onto that either.
Luckily, her great-great-great-etc-granddaughter Anathema Device (Adria Arjona), kept a copy, and she's here to help the otherworldly pair to stop the Four Horseman from going through with the Apocalypse. But as noted, Crowley and Aziraphale have been careless about the Antichrist. The kid they thought was the real deal (I mean, his name is Warlock and everything) is just a kid. The actual Antichrist is named Adam, residing in Lower Tadfield in Oxfordshire, having created himself a little pack of followers (Pepper, Wensleydale, and Brian) who have become a collective menace known only as "Them." The Four Horsemen may look impressive, but my money's on Them. Check them out.
While not all of Tennant's ginger wigs work for me (what is that curly mop?), the giant slit-eyed contacts -- which I assumed are enhanced by CGI -- are fantastic.
One of the useful things about working with Amazon is that they have deep coffers and are willing to spend the money to make a show look good. From Satan's entrance, I'd say they have succeeded. (This is more than one can say for Gaiman's other prestige television series, American Gods, whose second season begins on STARZ this month, and has several sequences where the ambition definitely didn't match the budget.)
Good Omens also now has an official synopsis to go with it:
With Armageddon just days away, the armies of Heaven and Hell are amassing and The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, agree to join forces to find the missing Anti-Christ and to stop the war that will end everything. Based on the best-selling novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens follows an unlikely duo and their quest to save the world.
All six episodes of Good Omens available for streaming starting on May 31, 2019. Will you give the apocalypse a go? Let's discuss.