Good Omens TV Show vs Book

Andrea Viola, Reporter

Good Omens was a book that was written by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett. It is a story about an angel and demon named Aziraphale and Crowley respectfully, working together to stop Armageddon from happening. They both like Earth and its people and all the other things such as Sushi and the band Queen while the other angels and demons believe that Armageddon is necessary to the Great Plan God has apparently provided.

They both have decided that the best way to prevent it is to raise the Antichrist, the starter of Armageddon, to be neither on Heaven’s or Hell’s side. This does not go out as planned as they have both raised the wrong child while the Antichrist is somewhere in Europe and no one knows where he is.

This book has been rated during 2003 for number 68 for BBC’s survey The Big Read. The book itself has also been put into other pieces of media such as a radio adaption of the book on the BBC radio 4 broadcast and a bit of theater production.

However, the most prominent of the media adaptations would be the Good Omens TV show released on May 31st 2019 on Amazon Prime Video and was created and written by Neil Gaiman.

The TV show itself also follows the same plot of the book however it has also added a few adaptations to it such as new interpretations on the characters, extra scenes, and fleshed out characters.

A prime example would be the friendship between Crowley and Aziraphale being fleshed out in the TV show in comparison to the book. The book only shows Crowley and Aziraphale’s friendship starting in the Garden of Eden and then cuts to Aziraphale and Crowley’s friendship during the book. In the TV show, there is a 30 minute long exposition of both Crowley and Aziraphale’s friendship over the years and how it developed to what it is in the present day of the show. It gives the watchers a more defined version on the value of what their friendship is and the lengths they would go for each other.

Another example of a difference is how the angels and demons are much more fleshed out in the TV show rather than the books. The demons and angels in the books are more like Crowley’s and Aziraphale’s bosses that show up rarely and don’t care what they do on Earth as long as they do what they are supposed to be doing they’re good. They are also one-dimensional as at best they just act as lackeys for their own bosses and are just there to move the story along at best.

The angels and demons in the TV show are more fleshed out and have personalities with Beelzebub and Gabriel being some examples. Gabriel in the books wasn’t even shown at all but in the TV show he is Aziraphale’s boss. The angels and demons have personalities and there are scenes that show that Aziraphale and Crowley aren’t the only ones who are “fraternizing” with each other as Michael and Ligur are shown to have contact with each other in one scene.

While there are many differences between the two there are also many things that are kept the same with one of them being that Crowley in both versions still threatens and yells at his plants to grow better and his taste for Queen music. There is also the challenge of having Aziraphale become  incorporeal and his bookshop being burned down. As well as my personal favorite, Crowley driving the 1926 Bentley through a ring of hell fire.

The differences between the novel and the tv adaptation may not be very noticeable but it uses them to its advantage to bring more story and character development to the screen without changing the story drastically,  making it true to the book and overall satisfying both fans of the TV show and books.