September 11, 2014
Radio adaptation of Pratchett-Gaiman collaboration coming from the BBC
by Nick Davies
In 1990, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman collaborated on a fantasy novel about the apocalypse, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. This week, the BBC announced that it will be airing a radio play version of the book, following the success of a Radio 4 performance of Gaiman’s Neverwhere starring Benedict Cumberbatch and James McAvoy.
Pratchett and Gaiman met in 1985, relatively early in both their careers, and both say that it was their own idea to work together on a book (not their publisher’s). They’ve also both said that Pratchett did most of the actual writing on Good Omens, but that they spoke on the phone to brainstorm at least once a day during the writing.
The story of the book follows an angel and demon — good friends, naturally — who are are trying to prevent an eleven-year-old, who doesn’t realize he’s the Anti-Christ, from bringing about the end of days. BBC Radio 4 is turning the novel into a six-part drama starring Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz, and directed by Dirk Maggs, who also did the radio adaptation of Gaiman’s Neverwhere last year.
Good Omens is scheduled to hit British airwaves in December; Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams says that the performance will be “a splendid Christmas treat.”
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.