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Good Omens - Pratchett, Gaiman, Amazon, BBC, SPOILERS

It’s on Amazon now, and on the BBC in six months or so.

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I posted in the ‘What Are you Watching?’ thread that the show didn’t work, for me.

Reading up on the development, it seems that the attempt to turn the book into a feature film had got quite advanced, with screenplays that were considered ready for filming.

I’d be interested to know that they changed to tell the story in 120 minutes or so rather than 350 minutes?

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I think that overall…the show has a lot to offer.
But as a fan of the book, it just feels too stodgy. A lot of the time I felt that I’d rather be reading the book, especially because Frances McDormand isn’t really getting any good lines as God, but more just acting as an audiobook narrator. It’s kind of a wasted opportunity, and feels to slavishly devoted, as I’ve said.

That said, I do think most everything else was at least depicted well. And I appreciated a lot of the ways they found to consolidate or go through with a few gags.
But the final episodes drag on forever. It was a shame to not include the OTHER Four Horsemen, the pay-off to where the Third Baby went, the Them actually acting in place of the Four Horsemen and having counterpart weapons and other such things.
Also a bit weird that they went so goofy with Newt’s first time. It felt really out of place.

But yeah. My brother read the book only once, over a decade ago, and he got a lot more out of it than me.

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I just finished Episode 3 and fuuuuuuuck, the pacing is glacial. Honestly, the first half hour of Episode 3 (Aziraphale and Crowley through the ages) could have been cut to a five minute montage.

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Those scenes might’ve been better as separate content.

If viewers wanted to see more of the backstory, they could watch these little skits starring those characters? Streaming offers the chance to do stuff like that.

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I’m only a couple of episodes in so far, but I’m mostly enjoying it.

I’m surprised at the complaints about the diversions and padding. It feels like that’s the whole point of the show - it’s a bit of a shaggy dog story, and all of these interludes are a deliberate part of its rambling, whimsical flavour (which occasionally gets a bit too much, I admit).

What it reminds me of most is The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - overly so in places. Saying that the show could cut out all the backstory and diversions feels a bit like saying you could cut all the excerpts from the guide out of H2G2. That is to say that you could, but it would remove a lot of what makes it what it is.

Like I say, I’m only a couple of episodes in at the moment, so maybe I’ll feel the drag more in future episodes.

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This is the one part of the show that isn’t really working for me. Her reading feels oddly flat, as though she’s reading these lines for the first time. It really makes the show feel like an adaptation of a book rather than its own thing.

A shame as I usually really enjoy her performances.

Yes, maybe, possibly, but if you’re fine with the pace of episode two you’ll probably be fine with the rest of it.

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The pacing is … Ineffable.

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Yes, I think this was my biggest issue with it. She acts much more like Peter Jones as the Book in Hitch-Hiker’s, and the opening of the first episode in particular is just SO Hitch-Hiker’s it I think affected my perception of her all the way through.

I enjoyed it; good, not great.

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Yes, this was the first thing I said to my wife as we were watching it.

Having not read the book, I don’t know if that’s a faithful adaptation or just the way that the TV version handles it, but it’s so Hitchhiker’s that I thought it must be a conscious influence.

It’s TV.

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It has made me want to watch ‘Dogma’ again, for the first time in years.

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I utterly adore Alanis Morrissette as God

Miranda Richardson in episode 5 is ace by the way.

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The casting is excellent, and you can see that Richardson took that role because of the scenes later in the series. She does wonderful work in those “conversations”.

I don’t know, it could have been 5 minutes but I really enjoyed the travels through time with the pair of them.

I don’t think this kind of story is really about getting on with plot progression, this genre of story is really as much about the asides and interludes. I never felt at any point it dragged or got boring, even if it went off to the side, that’s part of the charm of the books too.

As I mentioned in the other thread, my biggest problem and it seems Tom, Mike, Dave etc agree that the voiceover doesn’t really work and is ‘off’. It feels like someone reading.

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I’m two episodes in. I agree with the Hitchhikers feel, but it’s not up to the same standard. It’s alot like Dr Who too - which I guess is to be expected given the production.

Michael Sheen is one of the main problems for me. I get that the book wanted to poke fun at angels and devils and that might have been edgy 30 years ago, but today it feels like an old idea. Making an angel some weedy tubby awkward book seller, like a personification of the English writer hero made flesh, just feels like it belongs to a previous era. David Tennant is slightly better as Crowley, he actually feels slightly unnatural and inhuman, but he’s also as rock and roll as Billy Mack in Love Actually. I’d have preferred a stronger Aziraphale.

The rest of it has that lazy Sunday afternoon storytelling feel to it. Every scene goes on a bit too long, the dramatic bits are less exciting than it should be, the effects have that cheap BBC feel to them. The paintballing scene is a decent example of it all being just a BBC kids TV show rather than something more current. Something the whole family can watch (meaning it’ll work for 10 year olds). It’s like they made the show 25 years ago, and it would have been great then, but in this golden era it’s all a bit ropey. I don’t know if many people will be happy with it. Much like the cast itself, it feels caught up in that 90’s British wave of creators who keep doing the same thing as the world has moved on.

I have to admit, it kinda put me off the idea of a Discworld show too as I imagine it’d be too much like this.

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I was really disappointed in the Paintball scene.
In the book it leads to some great gags about how exactly the office workers miraculously survive shooting each other - but here…all Crowley says is that they do.
Like, alright then. Pretty boring and an unnecessary detour. I mean, they even spend time in the second episode setting that scene up in Newt’s introductory scenes.

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I think they would have worked better if they had been spread out over the series and not just clumped together. For me, it just stopped the show dead.

I agree with this. Conceptually, I don’t have a problem with the idea of a narrator. I like Frances McDormand but she just doesn’t work with this. I think someone like Alex Kingston would have been a better fit.

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Judy Dench would be the default UK choice.

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