Terry Pratchett’s Smiling Down From Wherever He’s At…
If you’re not an Amazon Prime member this would be a great time to try out their 30-day Free Trial! Amazon Studios joined forces with BBC Studios to create the mini-maximallist kind of filming budget, six-part mini-series of the iconic 1990 comedic fantasy novel of the same name, written by the late Terry Pratchett (Disc World Series of books) and Neil Gaiman (American Gods) about an Angel, a Demon, impending Armageddon and the birth to teen years of the Antichrist. The book is the authors comic take on The Bible’s Book of Revelation. Gaiman wrote the adaptation screenplay and produced the series, insuring us the series will remain faithful to its origins. That the book be made into a movie or TV series was Pratchett’s last request of Gaiman before he passed away in 2015.
The Angel Aziraphale is played by the impeccably witty Michael Sheen (CBS’s The Good Fight S3 & SO much more) and the Demon Crowley is depicted by the connivingly devious David Tennant (The Venerable 10th Dr Who from 2005-2010). These two bring to life the maxim that opposites do attract, in that over the course of millenniums they have developed a bromance and both have fallen in love with the World and its inhabitants, much to the chagrin of their bosses.
Jon Hamm plays Aziraphale’s handsome idiot boss the Archangel Gabrielle, whose boss God is delightfully given voice by Frances McDormand, just as Benedict Cumberbatch brings the Fallen Angel Satan to life. Along with Brian Cox‘s voice (HBO’s Succession) as Death and Miranda Richardson as the kindhearted courtesan and medium Madame Tracy.
Aziraphale and Crowley are the respective representatives of Heaven and Hell to Earth. They’ve both been here since the beginning of creation, forming a professional agreement not to meddle in each other’s affairs, yet in their spare time they’ve enjoyed a series of rather nice clandestine lunches and all of their on screen together time is bursting with witty, sometimes cutting dialogue Pratchett and Gaiman are known for. In the process becoming so acclimated to life on Earth they decide to join forces to stop Armageddon from happening, but there’s one little issue, they’ve been “looking after” the wrong kid for ten years, while the real Antichrist, a lad ironically named Adam (Sam Taylor Buck) is left to his own recourse and discovery.
At the end of the day, however (and according to Agnes Nutter (Josie Lawrence), time is short), Gaiman has created a love letter to the book, combining his and Pratchett’s brilliant characterization and quippy jokes with vivid, gorgeous sets and memorable costumes,. keeping the series within the parameters of the book with Gaiman adding more dialogue here and there for the screenplay that I felt was an enhancement of the work. Pair the great script, star studded cast, CGI effects along with the music of Queen and Amazon & BBC Studios has another hit on their hands.
I’m outta here! ~ Zadie G.