There’s a lot of new TV to look forward to in 2019, from returning shows like Big Little Lies and Game of Thrones to reboots such as Veronica Mars and The Twilight Zone. Then there are the newbies, the series that we’ve never seen before… one of which is Good Omens, an upcoming fantasy comedy based on the novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
With no official release date yet, Amazon Prime Video has only unveiled one short teaser trailer to whet fans’ appetites since production wrapped back in March 2018. Because it takes its story from a book though, we know a fair bit about the characters — of which there are many — already.
While Good Omens looks to be heavily centred on the complicated friendship between Aziraphale and Crowley (more on those guys later), there’s plenty of other supporting players to meet. So let’s get on with the introductions…
Played by: Michael Sheen
Aziraphale is an angel, who has seemingly been on Earth since the beginning of time. He has lived during many eras from Ancient Rome to Victorian England, all the way through to present day. Heck, he was even around when Eden existed. Despite being studious and highly intelligent, Aziraphale is a pretty nervous, fussy character who’s very proper, dresses smartly and doesn’t enjoy meddling in things that are bigger than himself. He’s not into things that are over-the-top, either — which isn’t great considering he thinks most things in 2018 are — and runs a bookshop in Paris.
Despite angels being described as sexless in the book, it is mentioned that whenever someone meets Aziraphale, they conclude to themselves that he’s “gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.” While that line is full of implications, it could just as easily relate to his relentless cheeriness as opposed to anything else.
Played by: David Tennant
Anthony Crowley, in almost every sense, is Aziraphale’s counterpart. He’s a demon. However, it is said that he’s not so much an angel that ‘Fell from Heaven’ but rather ‘Sauntered Vaguely Downwards’, and the pair came together after making an ‘Arrangement’ to occasionally work together. He was also the snake who offered Eve the apple in Eden and still to this day, has yellow eyes with slitted pupils.
He loves sleeping — so much so that he once snoozed through a whole century — and he’s also fond of music, from soul to classical. His most prized possession is his 1926 Bentley, which can actually be seen in the show’s first trailer. If a tape is left in his car for longer than two weeks, it turns into a ‘Best of Queen’ cassette; something that’s also touched upon in the teaser as it’s set to the band’s track, “You’re My Best Friend”.
In Good Omens, old ‘friends’ Crowley and Aziraphale come together once more to try and put an end to a world-ending event that would destroy the planet they’ve both come to love in the millions of years they’ve been living on it. Talking to Bustle about their characters’ relationship, Tennant described their bond as marriage-like, in the sense “it’s almost deeper than a friendship, because they’ve known each other for such a long time. For all of history. They’re two halves of the same being by the end of the story.”
Played by: Sam Taylor Buck
So what’s the thing that Aziraphale and Crowley are attempting to stop? A villainous entity? Satan? Aliens? Well, no, none of those scary-sounding things… The twosome are actually trying to prevent an eleven-year-old boy named Adam Young from becoming the Antichrist and bringing about the end of days. You know, the usual Tuesday tasks!
Due to a mistake made by a clumsy nun called Sister Mary Loquacious at the hospital when he was a baby, Young — who was actually intended to be the son of a prominent American diplomat stationed in Britain — went on to live with a family in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire. Meanwhile, Warlock Dowling, the child believed to be the Antichrist (as he went on to live with the diplomat), is just an average boy.
Young is described in the book as charismatic and otherworldly. He’s a member of a gang called ‘the Them’ along with his three friends Brian, Wensleydale and Pepper and he’s largely unaware of his supernatural powers. That is, until one day, when he naively tinkers with his abilities and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rise and threaten Earth. Uh oh!
Played by: Jon Hamm
In Good Omens: The Novel, the Archangel Gabriel was merely mentioned, but in Good Omens: The TV Show, writer Gaiman — who has been developing the television series solo since Pratchett sadly passed away in March 2015 — decided to include him in the action because he wanted to play around with portraying Good and Evil outside of Aziraphale and Crowley’s polarised representation.
Speaking at a Q&A during Amazon’s European showcase in London a few months ago, Gaiman explained: “There aren’t any other angels in the book, but Terry [Pratchett] and I had this whole idea of what Heaven was like and what Hell was like and I thought – Gabriel.
“And in order for Gabriel to be Gabriel, he needed to be the best-looking, coolest, the most irritating angel that you could possibly imagine, and I thought, ‘I just need somebody who can do humour’. And I thought, obviously the good-looking bit is going to be a stretch for Jon – but he can do the other bits!”
In one scene that was screened during the event, Gabriel attempts to buy a pornography book. Something tells us, he’s not your typical angel.
Played by: Adria Arjona
When it was published, the full title of the book on which the show is based was Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Nutter was a prophet, who lived in the 17th Century and used her future-seeing skills to help prevent sickness and cure those who were ill.
Despite her good intentions, it is believed that she was burned at the stake by her local townspeople; not before she shoved a ton of gunpowder and roofing nails into her petticoat and blew up the pyre and injured everyone near it though. Anathema Device is a descendant of Nutter.
Having pored over her distant relative’s book of predictions since she was a child, Anathema travels to Tadfield and seeks out Adam Young in the hope of thwarting the end of the world.
Played by: Michael McKean
Sergeant Shadwell is many things: a drinker of condensed milk, a lover of Sunday lunches and, frankly, a bit of a pig. But above all else, he’s a member of the Witchfinder Army, an organisation that hunts down beings who practice dark magic — he often chooses to ignore supernatural occurrences that might be described as ‘good’ — and offs them.
Shadwell’s right-hand man is Newton Pulsifer, a young man who had a brief romantic relationship with Anathema Device. He will be brought to life by comedian-turned-actor Jack Whitehall in the show.
Hastur and Ligur
Played by: Ned Dennehy and Ariyon Bakare
Hastur and Ligur are the demons that deliver Warlock AKA The Child Who Isn’t The Antichrist to Crowley when he is just a baby. According to their descriptions in the book, Hastur and Ligur always had a taste for evil, even when they were angels, as Crowley includes them among those who take “such dark delight in unpleasantness you might even have mistaken them for human[s].”
When they discover that Warlock isn’t the bringer of the Apocalypse, the duo are sent for Crowley by the Infernal Authorities which ends disastrously for someone involved in the “collection.”
Harmony and Glozier
Played by: Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton
Lastly, we have Harmony and Glozier, two book-buyers who aren’t very nice guys so we’ve heard. Gaiman was said to have written the roles just for them.
“Glozier and Harmony are a small piece of the jigsaw but hopefully one which will fit nicely into place,” Pemberton told Digital Spy back in February. During the same interview, Sherlock actor Gatiss added: “”I’m delighted to be working with David and Michael again and of course with Steve – bringing a little film noir menace to such an exciting project. Being bad never felt so good!”