The upcoming release of Good Omens will be a bittersweet one, given that co-creator Terry Pratchett is no longer with us. No expense was spared to make his narrative contributions come to life, especially under the watch of co-creator Neil Gaiman.
io9 reports that Gaiman was keen on filming a small, yet expensive scene during the TV series’ production. The scene featured one of Pratchett’s characters, Agnes Nutter, played by Josie Lawrence, getting burned at the stake in front of a village crowd for practicing witchcraft.
Image via io9
Agnes’s character is more important to the backstory and world-building of Crowley and Aziraphale’s journey to stop the apocalypse than the story itself. However, when production raised concerns about the scene’s cost and proposed a budget-friendly solution, Gaiman couldn’t bring himself to exclude Pratchett’s creation. (It would also be a little awkward to remove the Agnes Nutter character from a book called Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.)
It was a huge, complicated and incredibly expensive shoot, with bonfires built and primed to explode as well as huge crowds in costumes. It had to feel just like an English village in the 1640s, and of course everyone asked if there was a cheap way of doing it. One suggestion was that we could tell the story using old-fashioned woodcuts and have the narrator take us through what happened, but I just thought, ‘No’. Because I had brought aspects of the story like Crowley and the baby swap along to the mix, and Terry created Agnes Nutter.
So, if I had cut out Agnes then I wouldn’t be doing right by the person who gave me this job. Terry would’ve rolled over in his grave.
Image via Amazon
It’s touching to see Gaiman’s consideration and loyalty to his beloved co-writer. A deal originally dictated that an adaptation would only be possible if both creators were attached to the project, until Gaiman received a posthumous from Pratchett himself, requesting that he adapt it.
Good Omens hits Amazon on May 31st.
Featured Image via The Verge