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How Amazon’s Good Omens series pays tribute to author Terry Pratchett

Neil Gaiman refused to consider an adaptation — till Terry Pratchett sent him a posthumous letter

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After Terry Pratchett’s death in 2015, Neil Gaiman famously refused to consider working on an adaptation of their joint novel Good Omens — that is until he received a posthumous letter from Pratchett urging him to adapt the novel. The duo had tried to adapt the novel many times prior, but the Amazon Prime series out now is the first time Good Omens has made it to the screen.

The book — and series — follows an angel (Michael Sheen) and a demon (David Tennant) who’ve grown fond of life on earth and must work to stop the impending apocalypse, ushered in by a precocious 11-year-old antichrist. Though Pratchett never got to see the adaptation come to screen, the series pays several loving homages to the author beyond bringing his words to life.

In the second episode of Good Omens, Newton Pulsifer (Jack Whitehall) reads an advert in the paper for the Witchfinders, given to him by Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell (Michael McKean). The paper only appears for about five seconds, but you’ll notice to the right of the circled Witchfinder ad (BE A MAN!) there is a little advertisement for Uncle Terry’s lost hat.

Amazon

Terry Pratchett was famously in the habit of wearing a black, wide-brimmed hat. During the show’s premiere, an empty seat was even reserved for Pratchett’s hat. “GO 28.04” is also a reference to Pratchett’s birthday (April 28).

South Bank Sky Arts Awards Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

The hat is not the only homage . In the fifth episode, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse meet up at a diner, where Death (voiced by Brian Cox) plays on the arcade machines in the back. If you look at the adjacent machine, you’ll see that Death has the top scores — but that the number one spot belongs to T. Pratchett, who beats Death at his own game as his stories live on.

Amazon Prime

Good Omens is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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