Good Omens: How does the TV series compare to the book?

Amazon Prime has made a TV series adaptation of Good Omens, the classic novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Good Omens the Amazon Prime series takes a lot of its material from the book but there are some major differences, including the omission of a whole group of characters. Good Omens showrunner and co-author Neil Gaiman has also spoken to about how the TV series compares to the book.

How does the Good Omens TV series compare to the book?

“The novel was the guiding light,” Good Omens producer Rob Wilkins told

“The novel was the thing that Douglas [Mackinnon, director] and Neil [Gaiman] turned to on the days where things weren’t quite working as well on set as they should.

“The novel was the touchstone and it was the thing that they always went back to.”

However, the TV series does make some changes to the novel, published in 1990 and once named one of the UK’s top 100 books.


For example, Good Omens the Amazon series introduces the Archangel Gabriel (played by Jon Hamm) as a character, who is the angelic boss of Aziraphale (Michael Sheen).

Neil Gaiman told that when he sat down to write the scripts for Good Omens: “We never wrote a sequel, but we plotted a lot of stuff.

“So I stole stuff from the sequel we never did and put it in this series.

“The angels, Jon Hamm’s character, all of that stuff it all feels like its a part of the Good Omens world.”


As well as introducing new characters, the Good Omens TV series also gets rid of a group of characters.

In the book, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse War (Mireille Enos), Famine (Yusuf Greenwood), Pollution (Lourdes Faberes) and Death (Brian Cox) are followed by four members of a biker gang named Big Ted, Pigbog, Greaser and Scuzz

These characters, who rename themselves Grievous Bodily Harm, Ansaphones (who then renames himself as Really Cool People), Cruelty to Animals and Embarrassing Personal Problems (AKA No Alcohol Lager/Things Not Working Properly Even After You’ve Given them A Really Good Thumping/All Foreigners, Especially the French/Treading in Dogs***/People Covered In Fish), are all cut from the series.

The series, like the books, does always have Queen playing in the demon Crowley’s (David Tennant) car, but readers get more explanation as to why this is.


The novel explains: “Admittedly he [Crowley] was listening to a Best of Queen tape, but no conclusions should be drawn from this because all tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums.”

Other than this, the series and the book are closer than most adaptations are to their source material.

Explaining why, Wilkins said: “the novel IS the novel with a capital ‘I’ and a capital ‘s’.

“The novel will always be the thing that remains long after the series.”

Good Omens is released today by Amazon Prime.

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