The angels (fallen and otherwise) are returning for a second season of apocalyptic comedy Good Omens. Here’s what we know so far.
First announced in June, filming on the second season of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens began next week. Michael Sheen and Georgia Tennant marked the occasion by tweeting photos of Sheen and (David) Tennant’s hair dyed back to blonde and red respectively. The beards both actors have sported recently are gone too. Though in Sheen’s case, it was a gradual process over a number of weeks. He slowly cut back the magnificent beard seen in Staged. After all, his young daughter had never seen him without it. The filming also comes not long after the Tennant family have recovered from a bout with Covid-19.
Meanwhile, co-writer and co-showrunner Neil Gaiman tweeted a photo of Terry Pratchett’s chair, hat and scarf on set. Though the author died in 2015, his spirit is kept with the characters he co-created, figuratively at least, with the tribute of a seat being kept empty for him. But now that the return of Arizaphale and Crowley is well and truly underway, what do we know so far?
— Douglas Mackinnon (@drmuig) October 19, 2021
Good Omens Season 2 will draw on elements of the unmade sequel novel 668: The Neighbour of the Beast
Almost exactly thirty-two years ago, on Hallowe’en in 1989, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman were sharing a Seattle hotel room while attending a WorldCon convention. The younger writer snuck back to their room in the early hours of the morning. “What time of the night do you call this then? Your mother and I have been worried sick about you,” joked the other. With both authors struck by jet lag induced insomnia, they soon fell to discussing their massively successful novel Good Omens. More specifically, they imagined what might have happened to the angel and the demon at story’s heart next…
By morning they’d sketched out a rough outline of an entire novel. They began to tentatively refer to the potential sequel as 668: The Neighbour of the Beast. However, as their individual careers and lives became busier and busier, they never found the right time to actually write it…
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) October 19, 2021
The new story will range from before the creation of the universe to after events in the first season
Fortunately for spoiler-phobes, Gaiman and Pratchett were tight lipped down the years about the actual plot. Impressive when keeping the secrets of a non-existent novel. But we do know that it the expanded cast of denizens of Heaven and Hell as seen in the television adaptation of Good Omens had their origins in that outline. And Gaiman has suggested that it, and Good Omens Season 2, explores where exactly they came from before the creation of Humanity. But it appears that, like the original novel and series, the second season will cover a substantial time period.
Apart from those hints of a pre-history element, the poster shows David Tennant as the long haired Crowley, and the tweet his present day quiff. Gaiman himself has described the story as happening “all through time and space, solving a mystery which starts with one of the angels wandering through a Soho street market with no memory of who they might be, on their way to Aziraphale’s bookshop. (Although our story actually begins about five minutes before anyone had got around to saying “Let there be Light”.)”
As for who will be joining Michael Sheen’s Arizaphale and David Tennant’s Crowley on their new adventure, it’s still a bit of a mystery. The premise would suggest the return of Jon Hamm (Gabriel), Anna Maxwell Martin (Beelzebub) and Doon Mackichan (Michael). But for the moment that’s unconfirmed. While it doesn’t sound like the kind of direct sequel that would mean the return of Adam, Pulsifer or Anathema.
Season 2 is currently filming in Scotland, with Season 1 director Douglas MacKinnon now co-showrunner
We do know some of the behind the scenes changes though. After writing all six episodes of the original, and acting as showrunner, Neil Gaiman is still heavily involved. However he’s sharing the load with John Finnemore co-writing the second season, and Season One director Douglas MacKinnon this time acting as both director and Gaiman’s co-showrunner. Production for Season 2 has moved to MacKinnon’s native Scotland from Season 1’s South Africa. But don’t worry, they’re reconstructed A.Z. Fell’s bookshop and the whole Soho set. In fact, this time, the entire street is an enclosed set build indoors for maximum control of lighting, no matter the Scottish weather. And we even have a semi-official tagline for the sequel, with crew t-shirts and jumpers proclaiming “This Time It’s Ineffable!”
The team haven’t announced a transmission date for Good Omens Season 2 yet. But with filming beginning in October 2021, it seems very likely we’ll see the finished result by the end of 2022.