David Tennant and Michael Sheen are once again unfurling their wings in defense of the cosmos, reports Deadline’s Peter White on Tuesday. The crew was already setting up green screens in Scotland when co-creator Neil Gaiman blew the news wide open on his blog; Amazon Prime had renewed celestial epic Good Omens for a second season while Gaiman fans were still grieving the loss of American Gods, which was cancelled in March.
Gaiman, who co-wrote the book Good Omens with the late Terry Pratchett, tells Deadline: “I have enlisted some wonderful collaborators, and John Finnemore has come on board to carry the torch with me. There are so many questions people have asked about what happened next, and also, what happened before, to our favourite Angel and Demon. Here are the answers you’ve been hoping for.” He adds: “We’ve been keeping [the second season] secret for a long time (mostly because otherwise my mail and Twitter feeds would have turned into gushing torrents of What Can You Tell Us About It? long ago) but we are now at the point where sets are being built in Scotland (which is where we’re shooting, and more about filming things in Scotland soon), and we can’t really keep it secret any longer.” You can read the rest of Gaiman’s statement here.
Various religious groups had protested the David Tennant led series and petitioned for its cancellation all the way back in season one, but the show persisted thanks to the book’s legions of devoted fans, widespread industry backing, and the many critics who vouched for its quality.
The next saga in the adventures of Crowley (David Tennant) and Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) will be a Holmesian mystery, surrounding the identity of an angel wandering around London’s Soho district with no memories. And they’re heading straight for Aziraphale’s (presumably refurbished) bookshop. It’s a decidedly compressed storyline, and surprisingly more intimate, considering the first season involved a war between Heaven and Hell, the Antichrist, and the very fabric of reality morphing with the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Last time we saw our would-be superheroes, David Tennant’s Crowley, a demon, and Aziraphale, an angel, had teamed up to determine the fate of the universe, defying their unholy/holy superiors and reevaluating their centuries-long friendship along the way. Agnes Nutter’s unnervingly spot on “nice and accurate” prophesies featured largely in the plot, and were instrumental in helping the Antichrist repel his father, Satan himself. The season ended on a terrifically feel good note, with a Nightingale singing in Berkeley Square.
Pratchett and Gaiman’s Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch didn’t originally have a sequel. The authors carved out a detailed concept in 1989 while attending the World Fantasy Convention in Seattle, Washington and fighting jet lag, but the two parted ways soon after — Gaiman to America and Pratchett to the U.K. — and the next book never came to fruition. Gaiman was preoccupied with The Sandman while Pratchett busied himself with Discworld.
Those notes, however, would eventually come in handy when Gaiman was hired to pen the screenplay to Good Omens, the small-screen adaptation of his own fantasy comedy; some elements to the show, like the identities of a few of the angels as well as David Tennant’s demon cohorts, were derived from that fateful Saturday night. The next chapter will be completely original.
Neil Gaiman didn’t want a Good Omens adaptation made without Terry Pratchett involved, but a letter from the grave, read posthumously after the latter passed away in 2015, changed his mind. The Beaconsfield satirist urged Gaiman to do whatever it takes to make a Good Omens television show happen and the Stardust author decided to honor his friend’s memory by spearheading the project himself. And he plans on taking it to places Pratchett would have actualized if he were still alive.
Michael Sheen was a little iffy about a sequel, but was reportedly “very excited” when Gaiman explained the plot. Sheen tells Deadline: “Personally I’m against it, but the world isn’t going to just save itself, is it? If David and I can manage to not fall out too badly this time, it may even have a chance of getting finished.” David Tennant was a tad more enthusiastic. He adds: “The return of Good Omens is great news for me, personally. As I get to work with Michael again, and I get to say Neil’s wonderful words once more. It’s probably less good for the universe as it almost certainly means there will be some fresh existential threat to its existence to deal with, but, you know — swings and roundabouts.”
The second season of Good Omens has David Tennant and Michael Sheen reprising the roles of Crowley and Aziraphale, respectively. Jon Hamm, Jack Whitehall, Miranda Richardson, Adria Arjona, Michael McKean, and Sam Taylor Buck played central characters in the first season and may feature in the next as well. Neil Gaiman will be co-showrunning season two with director Douglas Mackinnon and executive producer John Finnemore.