Director: Douglas MacKinnon
(THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE AMAZON PRIME|BBC SERIES BUT THOUGHT IT FITTED BEST HERE)
I hated the Hitchhicker’s Guide To The Galaxy film so very much. It was like having your favourite jokes told to you very slowly in pidgin English. And perhaps some people will feel the same about the long gestated adaptation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s 1990 novel ‘Good Omens: the Nice & Accurate Prophesies Of Agnes Nutter: Witch’ – what was once quicksilver comedy becomes flat footed farce. I wouldn’t know as I haven’t read either man’s work. Not for any reason other than a vast unwieldy back catalogue that I wouldn’t know where to begin. Guess people feel the same about Van Morrison but I digress
The basic plot isn’t the most original – the devil puts his son, the Antichrist, on earth to be unknowingly bought up by human parents of some influence so he can eventually bring about the apocalypse with the help of the Four Horsemen. Yet the course of true evil never runs smooth. From the garden of Eden to a sort of present day the opposing sides are represented by plummy angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen pitched somewhere between his Blair and Kenneth Williams) and fallen angel Crowwley (David Tennant using his Doctor voice) who have struck up a relationship over the years which involves them doing a bit of each other work to cut down the workload. Their attempts to correct a mistake made at the very beginning of the devils plan and to precvent both sides discovering a) that they are fratanising and b) that there is anything awry is what drives the narrative
The cast is to die for – Jon Hamm as Archangel Gabriel, Anna Maxell Martin as Beelzebub, Michael McKean as Witchfinder General Shadwell with the League Of Gentlemen, David Morrissey, Bill Patterson, Miranda Richardson, Jack Whitehall (not being shit), Nick Offerman, Adria Arjona and Frances McDormand as the voice of God. There are plenty of surprise appearances and voices to watch out for too.
The two leads have a wonderful chemistry together and its a series that has a wonderful sense of ambition. Yet the quality is also there in the SFX, MacKinnon’s visual flair, David Arnolds wonderful score with (as it seems de rigeur at the moment) dollops of Queen throughout as Queens Greatest Hits is the CD that always appears to be in the glove compartment particularly when the devil rides out. I thought it was funny, smart (a bit preachy maybe) and ripped along nicely
The 6 episode series is available now from Amazon Prime Video or coming soon to BBC2 over six weeks. I devoured it over 2 days but your mileage may vary.
You might love it and will be your TV binge of the year or you might hate it. Either way its time to pick a side.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Doctor Who, Dirk Gently, Hitchhikers Guide, Time Bandits and fantasy