To the World: Flashes of Love in Good Omens

It’s no secret that Good Omens is a novel based on love, adapted into a television series built on love, and inspired a fandom full of love.

Love is the driving force that propels the story forward. There are countless examples from Aziraphale and Crowley’s love for each other, to Adam’s love for Tadfield, to the love Adam’s parents have for him. There isn’t a single moment within the show that doesn’t feel loved. This is evident in the writing itself, specifically in the script for the TV adaptation.

On the October 12, 2020 episode of David Tennant’s podcast, entitled “David Tennant Does a Podcast With…Neil Gaiman,” Neil shares how he felt writing the episode three cold open. He states:

“The excitement I had at writing that stuff and the joy I had in knowing that we’re gonna watch a relationship open like a flower to us…”

David Tennant Does a Podcast With…Neil Gaiman
Writer Neil Gaiman tells David Tennant how a young boy from the south of England who wanted to be a ‘freelance religion designer’ grew up to create the ground-breaking worlds of Sandman, Good Omens, American Gods and reveals what is still left for him to conquer. 

Love is in the Details

More recently on October 17, 2020 during a Q&A panel at the online Ineffable Con 2 also featuring Rob Wilkins and Douglas Mackinnon, Neil Gaiman gives fans even more insight into the writing of the script, and how he wanted to be mindful of LGBTQ+ representation.

As transcribed by Emma (Tumblr user, journeytogallifrey) Neil states:

There are definitely people out there who seem to think that I accidentally wrote a love story, with all of the beats of a love story, including a break-up halfway through, without somehow noticing that I’d written a love story. And I may not be the brightest candle on the candelabra, but as an author who’s been doing it for a long time, I’m very well aware of when I’m writing a love story, thank you very much. And so, from my perspective, I knew that the love story would be one of the driving things that would get us from the beginning to the end.

And I also made a bunch of decisions about our angels and our demons in terms of casting, in terms of gender, that everybody backed me up on, which I loved. You know, the idea that the archangel Michael is played by Doon is something that is – or Beelzebub is Anna Maxwell Martin, whatever, there’s  – it’s not like we are going these are women, there are men. We are going these are demons, these are angels. They – this is not a thing. 

And also doing something like Pollution where you go in and go okay, well, if we were doing this in – if 1989 was now, if there were they pronouns, we probably would have done that. We didn’t think of it at the time, but that’s no reason why we can’t do it now. And we did. And I remember having a – not exactly a battle, but a – my – very tiny skirmish with one of our execs who was very nice and very bright and was like “Why are you saying they?” and I’m like (demonstrating a pause) and I – explaining, and he’s like, “Well, I’ve never heard of that before,” and I’m like “Oh, okay, but trust me. Just trust me. It’s all – it’s all fine. Just trust me.”

Shortly thereafter, director, Douglas Mackinnon states:

And you know I have to say, just following on from what Neil’s saying, I’ve been directing for quite a while, and I tend to notice if characters are falling in love. I tend to notice a love story happening in front of me. And I think it’s there. And everything is meant, guys. Everything is meant.

Later during the Q&A, Neil Gaiman discusses the perception of Aziraphale and Crowley within the Good Omens universe by other characters:

I would just say, there are some things that you do while you’re writing a script intentionally. The fact that – I wanted to do this, well, it was a thing I did that I really enjoyed doing, where whenever people accuse them of being a couple, they don’t deny it. They don’t argue. There’s no flustering on their part. They absolutely… everybody… what I’m trying to say is – yes, other people in the story are perceiving them as a couple too. And here is Uriel perceiving them as a couple. Here is wonderful Dan… you do scenes like that because that’s – you are trying to make a point here and you’re trying to make a point on how people are perceived.

The affection that the creators put into the show is returned full force by the fans who see so much of themselves in these beloved characters. The book has been a cultural touchtone for over 30 years, and the influx of fresh faces into this fandom has been a welcome, and joyous experience.

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