In One Word

In One Word, The Quite Nice and Mostly Accurate Good Omens Scriptbook by Neil Gaiman is…

good omens scriptbook

  • Published in 2019 by Headline
  • Format: Hardback
  • Reading Time: 10 ineffable days

Great

  • Good Omens is one of my ultimate favourite books and one of my ultimate favourite book-to-screen adaptions. Technically, it was adapted for TV and not for film but I say it still counts for the ‘favourite book to movie’ prompt for the Pretty Mess Reading Challenge. The scriptbook gives a fascinating insight into the adaption with deleted scenes, funny stage directions and all the hijinks around the classic tale of the representatives of good and evil joining forces to prevent Armageddon.
  • Rather interested to note that it’s mostly the scenes of the Four Horsemen that got axed. There were other random lines and miscellaneous scenes here and there that got the chop but a large number of the establishing scenes of the Horsemen on their day-to-day duties were done away with. After a bit of thought, you can see why. They weren’t that important to the story and it would have slowed the show down. Not to mention, from certain perspectives, some of War’s scenes could have been slightly offensive so it’s probably for the best that they were junked.
  • Enjoyable for fans of the show and the book, of course. I think someone who hadn’t experienced both would enjoy it too but this is definitely better for fans. There are a lot of in-jokes and references that newcomers might not get. Heck, I would recommend reading the original book and watching the show anyway.
  • Added among the stage directions are some extra funny moments that seemed to be included simply to give the crew a laugh e.g. a delivery man who wishes he had a line, the insistence that Madam Tracy’s actress should be talented enough not to need any CG trickery to show when Aziraphale arrives and the statement that they could definitely CG in all the animals on Noah’s Ark but they just don’t want to. This is definitely not just a dry list of directions with dialogue sprinkled in. It’s like Gaiman was writing it with the knowledge that it would be turned into a widely-published scriptbook so he wanted to add as many sneaky jokes as possible (and, knowing him, that’s probably just what he did). As well as laughs, there were some heartwarming mentions of what the late Terry Pratchett wanted in the show. It turns out that there were a lot more tributes to Terry in the show than I thought and it’s utterly adorable.
  • Turns out that the other four bikers were originally written to be part of the show and the book provides some funny updated nicknames. I still think that an updated version of the TV evangelist scene should have been written into the show. I wouldn’t mind seeing a deleted scene of that. That aside, this is a great way to revisit the show and the story. If you loved the book and/or the show, this is perfect for you.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know with a like, share or comment.

3 thoughts on “In One Word, The Quite Nice and Mostly Accurate Good Omens Scriptbook by Neil Gaiman is…”

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