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06 January 2015 @ 12:13 am
Radio Play: Good Omens  
After several failures, Good Omens finally gets an adaptation. The radio play stars Pete Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Colin Morgan, and Charlotte Richie.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the adaptation. My largest skepticism was in the casting of Pete Serafinowicz as Crowley but I need not have worried because he rapidly became my favorite of the cast. His voice was an unexpectedly perfect match for me and I loved about 95% of his line deliveries. While radio!Crowley felt a little more typically evil to me than the book version (I mainly say this because he did in fact throw the tape with Hastur into the bucket of Holy Water), he's still probably the nicest demon you'll ever meet. I thought Serafinowicz got Crowley's demon-ness down pat while also keeping the more childish quality to him. Case in point, his entire first exchange with Anathema.

Anathema: You didn't have any lights on.
Crowley: Nor did you. Fair's fair.
Anathema: Your eyes are a funny color.
Crowley: So's your hair!

He and Mark Heap had pretty good chemistry and you could hear the banter of two creatures who have been friends for centuries. I was less enamoured with Heap's acting at the beginning but he really nailed the scene when Aziraphale was confronted with Shadwell. His mounting panic about Shadwell stepping into the circle and the quick, "Oh shit" before vanishing was perfect! Much like radio!Crowley, radio!Aziraphale felt less warm and hapless and more fussy and condescending at times. But it still worked for the adaptation and I grew to like Heap's performance a lot by the time Aziraphale was sharing a body with Madame Tracy.

I also really liked Charlotte Richie as Anathema. I was initially disappointed that Louise Brealey wasn't playing her but Richie was fantastic. Plus, Brealey was hilarious as Sister Loquacious. Colin Morgan was pretty good as Newt Pulsifer and stuff for him got better once he met up with Anathema than when he was with Shadwell. His reaction to having sex with Anathema managed to be both sweet and a little pathetic which is exactly Newt. And then here's the Them. I don't know who was in charge of finding these children but hats off to BBC Radio for not only making the choice to cast children but finding the perfect children. All of Them, especially Adam sounded exactly the way I heard them in my mind when reading the book. Right down to their rambling argument about which insects eat each other after getting married. Wensleydale was a little more vocal than I would have thought but I hardly cared because Adam was perfect.

I didn't re-read the book before listening but even so, random changes stood out to me that were interesting. Like the aforementioned Hastur dispatching by Crowley. Also, they randomly didn't make Sister Loquacious the owner of the business retreat in Tadfield which felt a little odd. I had really liked that detail in the book. And while I know it was probably cut for time, I was a little sad that we didn't get more of Azirphale and Crowley being drunk in the back Aziraphale's shop. It was stuff like that which cemented my love for their bizarre friendship when I read the book. Plus, we lost out on all the moments Aziraphale tries to pay Crowley a compliment of saying he's a nice guy deep down to which Crowley always responds with either a "Shut up!" or a "Fine, kick me while I'm down."

While a little different, the radio play was a great adaptation and has restarted my love for the Good Omens fandom. I wonder if that TV series is still happening? Anyway, in closing, some quick fire highlights:

1) The sound effects for this play were all pretty great. I loved the sound of Dog's ear going inside out and I liked the sped up/slowed down speech effect they used when Hastur was chasing Crowley through the telephone wires.

2) That entire scene of Aziraphale and Crowley meeting Anathema for the first time was perfection for me. Right down to the luggage rack and bike healing.

Crowley: We'd offer you a lift but there's no place for the bike.
Aziraphale: Except the luggage rack.
Crowley: What lugg- *RACK MAGICS INTO BEING* Oh.

Crowley: Oh Lord, heal this bike.
Aziraphale: I got carried away.
Crowley: The luggage rack isn't bad actually.

So I guess radio!Crowley doesn't object to tartan? Either that or radio!Aziraphale is more stylish than his book counterpart.

3) The defeat of the Horsemen. When I read it in the book, I was underwhelmed but during the play I got oddly tense.

4) The vocal effects for Metatron and Beelzebub were also perfect.

5) Crowley's driving. I just loved it. Especially when he was frustrated. "MOVE YOURSELF, HUMAN!" We also got a Queen cameo!