Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens adaptation confirmed for BBC Radio 4

Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and Dirk Maggs for the adaptation of Good Omens on BBC Radio 4Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s 1990 fantasy fiction classic, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch has been confirmed for an adaptation for BBC Radio 4 with what looks like a pretty impressive cast that includes Guardians Of The Galaxy star, Peter Serafinowicz. Both writers have had adaptations of their work on both radio and TV in the past, but this is the first time their joint efforts will be recreated for the airwaves.

Air dates

Good Omens has been confirmed to air in December 2014, in the run up to Christmas, with six episodes making up the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of the dramatic and fantastical comedy tale of the end of days. The official air date has been announced as the 22nd December 2014 at 11pm, with five half hour episodes planned to go out between Monday and Friday (11:27pm-ish) and an hour long climax on Saturday the 27th December 2014 at 2:30pm.

Storyline

For anyone that hasn’t already read the comedy novel, the adaptation will tell the story of two unlikely heroes who put aside their significant differences to team up together to prevent Armageddon. With the birth of the son of satan, the predicted end of the world begins in earnest, but an angel called Aziraphale and a demon called Crowley aren’t all that keen on losing their comfy lives as the representatives of heaven and hell on earth, so they join forces to make sure it doesn’t come about.

However, due to minor errors in the hospital at birth, they manage to get the antichrist mixed up, but the descendants of a 17th century prophetess witch called Agnes Nutter and the fellow that initiated her burning at the stake, have got a more accurate and apparently “nice” set of prognostications to follow, but the race against time becomes frenetic in the run up to the final judgement.

Cast

Serafinowicz will play the demon Crowley (who’s previous name was Crawley in his snake-based incarnation to temp Eve to bite into the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden), and Mark Heap, who you’ll know as Brian Topp from Spaced, will take on the role of the angel, Aziraphale. The adaptation of Good Omens also stars Colin Morgan off of Merlin as Newton Pulsifer, Josie Lawrence (Skins) as Agnes Nutter and Paterson Joseph (Peep Show) as Famine.

The production has also cast Louise Brealey of Sherlock fame, Clive Russell (Thor: The Dark World), Julia Deakin (Spaced, The World’s End), Arsher Ali (Four Lions), Phil Davis (Another Year) and recent entrant in Strictly Come Dancing, Mark Benton (The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus). There’s also talk of both Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman putting in cameo performances throughout the production, along with other mystery cameos, which whould be pretty cool, but maybe difficult to tell when or even if it’s happened for sure with the veil of radio to cover it.

Production

The first ever dramatisation of the cult classic novel has been created by the team behind Radio 4 and 4 Extra’s Neverwhere, another of Gaiman’s fantasy novels. Dirk Maggs, who previously produced new episodes of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, oversaw both the direction and adaptation of the comedy, with help in adapting the book from Gaiman. The adaptation has been produced by Heather Larmour.

First impressions

If any of the other Terry Pratchett daptations are anything to go by, this should be genius. Added to that is the radio adaptation skills of Maggs and Gaiman, along with the impressive cast and you’ve got a lot of potential for success, when Good Omens airs before Christmas 2014. With their combined fan base – Pratchett’s 2011 Discworld novel, Snuff, sold 55,000 copies in the first three days of it’s release – it’s going to be a radio event that will have a lot of listeners coseying up to their wireless this Christmas.

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