Neil Gaiman
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Neil Gaiman says our ‘doomsday clock’ is ticking, and here's why Good Omens is the perfect antidote to that

Contributed by
Oct 6, 2018

This afternoon at NYCC, the cast and crew of Good Omens gathered on SYFY WIRE’s Live Stage to talk about the upcoming Amazon limited series based on the acclaimed 1990 novel co-written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Specifically, why their 28-year-old novel feels particularly relevant now.

"I think it’s the fact that the doomsday clock is set at about 15 seconds to midnight," Gaiman told the crowd. "It makes doing something that may be the funniest six-hour drama about the end of the world and how we’re all gonna die very appropriate for right now."

While Gaiman is no stranger to having his work adapted by other creatives, from Coraline to American Gods, just to name a few, he's taking a much more hands-on approach with Good Omens. Namely, as the showrunner. 

He credits Pratchett for doing so and explained that he only stepped into the role of showrunner when they were unable to find a writer to adapt their novel. 

"We've never done anything on our own," explained Gaiman, who said he was tasked with the role of making something that "would make Terry proud, and make me proud." 

Even though Gaiman's essentially adapting his own work for TV, he did want to differentiate the two from each another. In doing so, Gaiman said he gets to better serve the story while also giving fans of the book something new to look forward to. 

"I also built in some things for people that think they know how the book ends, and you do know how the book ends," Gaiman began. "But if I did that ending, then the book story would end and you’d still have half an hour of television while people said goodbye to one another. So I decided to reconfigure things, and now there is a plot that ticks until the final second of the final episode."

Wrapping up, Gaiman's prescience came up once again, this time in reference to American Gods. The novel, which he wrote in 2000, was adapted for the Starz network last year and is starting its sophomore season next year, and it's also seemed to resonate with today's audiences. 

"I think [it's] partly because we live in interesting times, and partly because sometimes it’s the functions of artists and art to pick up on things that are going to happen a little bit before they do happen. To bring them to people’s attention, often as a warning. Often ignored."

Good Omens premieres on Amazon sometime in 2019. In the meantime, be sure to check out SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

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