Good Omens

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Videogames/ Miscellaneous -

An­tichrist In The UK

Re­lease Date: 15 Jan­uary

195 min­utes | CD Direc­tor: Dirk Maggs Cast: Peter Ser­afi­now­icz, Mark Heap, Colin Mor­gan, Char­lotte Ritchie Pub­lisher: BBC Au­dio

It’s a tricky busi­ness,

bring­ing a much- loved book to life on screen or ra­dio. Teas­ing out the essence of the story while keep­ing what made it great and not alien­at­ing the fans… it’s a dif­fi­cult bal­ance, and one we’re not sure this Ra­dio Four adap­ta­tion of Terry Pratch­ett and Neil Gaiman’s 1990 novel com­pletely achieves.

Ar­maged­don is ap­proach­ing, and the An­tichrist is in the world – though no one knows ex­actly where he is. The an­gel Azi­raphale and de­mon Crow­ley are meant to help hurry things along, but they’ve grown to quite like this world, so are se­cretly try­ing to pre­vent ar­maged­don with­out alert­ing their su­pe­ri­ors. Pre­dict­ing ev­ery­thing that’s to hap­pen along the way is The Nice And Ac­cu­rate Prophe­cies Of Agnes Nut­ter, Witch, a handy if opaque guide to events by a psy­chic 17th cen­tury witch.

It’s a lot to cram in, and the adap­ta­tion copes with this by fol­low­ing the book very closely – there’s not much left out, and the pre­cise, witty notes and de­scrip­tions are of­ten turned ver­ba­tim into dia­logue, not al­ways suc­cess­fully. The voice cast is great: Peter Ser­afi­now­icz is pitch per­fect as Crow­ley, though Mark Heap is just a tad too fussy as Azi­raphale. Clive Rus­sell as Shadwell and Phil Davis as Has­tur stand out, and a first episode cameo from the au­thors is a treat.

This is a good adap­ta­tion of a great book. It’s just a shame it didn’t have the con­fi­dence to stamp more of its own per­son­al­ity on the source ma­te­rial. Rhian Drinkwa­ter

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