Good Omens: Eps 1-3

“Hell may have all the best composers, but heaven has all the best choreographers.”

Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

YES.

Finally, the long-awaited adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens  has come to Radio 4. At 11pm, for reasons best known to the BBC. I can only surmise that someone is trying to hide all the blasphemy deep down in the broadcasting schedule. Or something.

There’ve been three half-hour episodes (out of six) so far, so I’m reviewing all three of them together, because, to be quite frank, I can’t remember where one ends and the next begins. For those unfamiliar with the original, it’s a humorous tale of Armageddon, in which the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale team up to prevent the Biblical end of the world.

It’s good. Actually rather good, if not measuring up to the greatness of the original. In most cases the voices are spot on: Peter Serafinowicz as demon Crowley is perfect, though Mark Heap as Aziraphale can occasionally be a little too…genial, I think is the word I want. Ideally, the angel should be sharper and more sarcastic.

I also think the programme would work better with a narrator as well as the various character voices – much of the genius of Pratchett and Gaiman’s amusing little asides is that they are, well, asides, things we all think but don’t quite know how to voice. But that’s a minor niggle, really, which probably springs from knowing the book too well. While not perfect – and, let’s face it, few adaptations are – Good Omens is at least mildly enjoyable, and thankfully not too much tampered with.

Oh, and there’s a nice little cameo by the authors in the first episode, too.

I won’t be reviewing tomorrow, for obvious reasons, so have a very happy Christmas, one and all!

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