10 Nice and Accurate Facts About Good Omens

HarperCollins
HarperCollins

After three decades of waiting, fans of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch recently—and finally—got to lay their eyes upon an adaptation of the classic work of comic fantasy. In 2019, all your favorite Good Omens characters—the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), his demon BFF Crowley (David Tennant), pre-teen Antichrist Adam (Sam Taylor Buck), the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and more came to life via an Amazon Prime and BBC Two co-production. On the 30th anniversary of the book's publication, here are some facts about the original, award-winning 1990 tome.

1. Good Omens has been adapted before.

The road to get Good Omens to the screen has been an arduous one (more on that later), but in 2015 a radio adaptation was broadcast on BBC 4. Among the cast were Mark Heap (Spaced), Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead), Louise Brealey (Sherlock), and Colin Morgan (Merlin).

2. Terry Gilliam was working on a movie adaptation of Good Omens for ages.

The Oscar-nominated director of Brazil and Time Bandits was working on a Good Omens adaptation for years. Per an interview with Gaiman, it finally fell apart due to bad timing, i.e., Gilliam pitched Hollywood financiers shortly after 9/11.

"[Terry] said, 'Hilarious movie about the Antichrist and the end of the world,' and they said, 'Please go away, you're scaring us,'' Gaiman told The Empire Film Podcast in 2013.

3. Johnny Depp and Robin Williams almost starred in the Good Omens movie.

When Terry Gilliam was still onboard the Good Omens movie, he had his eye on Johnny Depp for the demon Crowley and Robin Williams for Aziraphale. In the new miniseries, they're played by David Tennant and Michael Sheen, respectively.

4. There was almost a film version of Good Omens that would have been very different from the book.

In 1992, two years after the book’s publication, Gaiman wrote a Good Omens script for Sovereign Pictures, who had requested he write something with some of the same characters but substantial plot differences. "Set in America, no Four Horsemen … oh god," was Pratchett's take on what the film would have been like. Fortunately for the writers, Sovereign went bankrupt and Gaiman and Pratchett got the film rights back.

5. Good Omens was nominated for a religious fiction award.

Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens (2019)
David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Good Omens (2019).
Sophie Mutevelian/Amazon Studios

In Good Omens, Gaiman and Pratchett take a comic approach to religion that is, per Gaiman, "blasphemous against religious order, as blasphemous as you can get." Still, it ended up being embraced by some religious leaders. "When Terry and I wrote it we half-expected book burnings and bricks through our windows, and instead we were nominated for (but did not win) a religious fiction award," Gaiman wrote in 2013.

6. A sequel to Good Omens was in the works.

Certain elements from the Good Omens show are taken from a sequel that Gaiman and Pratchett talked about but never wrote. "There are a lot of characters whom I borrowed from the sequel, and had them do the things they would have done [in the sequel, but] earlier," Gaiman explained. "[The Archangel] Gabriel [played by Jon Hamm] is a prime example."

7. One interviewer didn't realize Good Omens was fiction.

For the first radio interview Gaiman and Pratchett did to promote the book, the radio host didn’t realize the book was fiction and instead assumed that the the pair had unearthed actual prophecies predicting the end of the world. "Once we realized, it was great fun," Pratchett recalled. “We could take over the interview, since we knew he didn’t know enough stop us."

8. Neil Gaiman WAS RELUCTANT to adapt Good Omens without Terry Pratchett.

Pratchett passed away 2015, leaving the future of any Good Omens adaptation—which Gaiman had previously said he didn’t want to do without Pratchett—up in the air. However, Pratchett wrote a letter shortly before he died giving Gaiman his blessing to continue without him. "I would very much like this to happen, and I know, Neil, that you’re very very busy, but no one else could ever do it with the passion that we share for the old girl," Pratchett wrote. "I wish I could be more involved and I will help in any way I can."

9. The American edition of Good Omens was originally longer.

The first American edition of Good Omens had about 700 more words than the British hardback. Pratchett explained that the book’s American publisher requested a passage on what happened to Warlock—the child who everyone thinks is the Anti-Christ, but who is actually a normal 11-year-old boy (there was a switch at the hospital).

“He was an American boy, you see, and she was certain that Americans would want to know what had happened to him. So we said OK, and wrote it. To the best of my recollection that was the biggest change, although there were other minor additions.” The Brits finally got that extra Good Omens sweetness once the UK paperback was set from the U.S. manuscript.

10. Floppy disks were an integral part of the Good Omens collaboration.

Pratchett and Gaiman collaborated on Good Omens by mailing floppy disks back and forth to one another. "This was back in 1988 when floppy disks really were pretty darn floppy," Gaiman wrote of the process. Initially, Pratchett focused on writing most of the stuff surrounding Adam and his friends while Gaiman focused on the Four Horsemen bits. By the time they were finished, they had both worked on everything and it was hard to know what belonged to who.

Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit

Flyxbrix/FatBrain
Flyxbrix/FatBrain

Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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6 Things We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel Series, House of the Dragon

HBO
HBO

By the time Game of Thrones wrapped up its record-breaking eight-season run in 2019, it was a no-brainer that HBO would be producing another GoT series to keep the success going. The first announced show in the works, which was reportedly picked from a few prequel ideas, was going to chronicle a time thousands of years before the start of GoT, and was set to star actress Naomi Watts. Unfortunately, that project was eventually scrapped after the pilot was shot—but a new prequel series, House of the Dragon, was announced in October 2019. Here's what we know about it so far.

1. House of the Dragon will be based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood.

George R.R. Martin's novel Fire & Blood, which tells the story of House Targaryen, will serve as the source of inspiration for the plot of House of the Dragon. The first of two volumes was published in 2018, and takes place 300 years before Game of Thrones.

2. House of the Dragon will likely chronicle the Targaryen family's tumultuous past.

Game of Thrones showed that the Targaryen family has a long-standing history of inbreeding, secrets, betrayal, war, and insanity. Fire & Blood covers topics like the first Aegon Targaryen's conquest of the Seven Kingdoms and his subsequent reign, as well as the lives of his sons. Seems like we'll probably be meeting Dany's ancestors, and Martin confirmed there will definitely be dragons present—maybe even Balerion the Black Dread, the biggest dragon in all of Westerosi history.

3. George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal are co-creators of House of the Dragon.

Co-Executive Producer George R.R. Martin arrives at the premiere of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 18, 2013 in Hollywood, California
George R.R. Martin
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Martin shared on his blog that he's been working with writer and producer Ryan Condal (Rampage, Colony), on the show. "Ryan Condal is new to Westeros, but not to me," the acclaimed author wrote. "I first met Ryan when he came to New Mexico to shoot a pilot for a fantasy western that was not picked up. I visited his set and we became friendly ... He’s a terrific writer … and a fan of my books since well before we met." In another blog post, Martin said that the show's script and bible were "terrific, first-rate, exciting." Sounds like we'll be in good hands.

5. A Game of Thrones director is returning for House of the Dragon.

Per a tweet from the Game of Thrones Twitter account announcing the show, Miguel Sapochnik, who directed many of the original HBO series' biggest episodes, such as "Battle of the Bastards" and "Hardhome," will be returning for House of the Dragon as showrunner alongside Condal. Sapochnik is also known for directing a handful of other notable shows, such as True Detective, Masters of Sex, and Altered Carbon.

6. House of the Dragon could be coming in 2022.

HBO ordered 10 episodes of House of the Dragon, and HBO president of programming Casey Bloys said he thought that the show would debut "sometime in 2022." However, with the film industry facing major delays due to safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, there's no word on when the show will begin filming.

Meanwhile, Martin revealed that he won't be writing any scripts for House of the Dragon until he finishes The Winds of Winter, which has been in the works since A Dance With Dragons, his most recent book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, debuted in 2011. The good news, however, is that Martin says he has been "writing every day" while keeping indoors and social distancing, leaving fans with the hope that The Winds of Winter will come soon.