“Good Omens” Panel Makes for Positive Feelings at NYCC

David Tennant Good OmensAlthough I have attended many different panels at Madison Square Garden for New York Comic Con over the past few years, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a response like the one “Good Omens” got when they were introduced.  It was well and truly impressive.

Of course, I shouldn’t have been surprised.  This was like a perfect storm of fandom, throwing so many segments together that it was always sure to be huge.

Specifically, this is a TV series written by Neil Gaiman, who was present.  It is based upon the book by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  The panel was moderated by Whoopi Goldberg, who isn’t just awesome, but was on “Star Trek:  The Next Generation.”  Also present were Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Miranda Richardson, and Jon Hamm alongside director Douglas Mackinnon.

Tennant, obviously, was The Doctor on “Doctor Who.”  Sheen is not just a great actor but has done tons of Comic-Con fan friendly things.  The same is true for Miranda Richardson.  And Jon Hamm.. well, not only is he in “Bad Times at the El Royale,” which is out next week, but he’s Jon Hamm.  He’s funny and clever and handsome and the star of “Mad Men” and rumored for to be the next Batman.

The point though is this, the crowd was so incredibly hugely into it and the panel definitely responded. They were hysterical and engaging and seemed to feed off the crowd.  When David Tennant first got to speak there were, naturally a couple of “Doctor Who” references came up and Hamm fed into it, asking if Tennant was a doctor and gave a “Doctor who?”  Hamm knew what he was doing and everyone loved it.

Those who don’t know the story of “Good Omens” though may have been a little left out, because not a lot of the specifics were discussed.  The upshot, as presented in the panel, is that Tennant and Sheen play Crowley and Aziraphale, respectively.  The former is a demon and the latter an angel and they have to save the world.  From what? Not discussed (read the book if you want answers like that).

The six episodes that comprise “Good Omens” will air on Amazon in 2019 and Gaiman offered some insight into how it finally made it to the screen after other attempts didn’t pan out.  As he explained it, Pratchett called him when Pratchett was ill and asked Gaiman to write it himself.  Pratchett said that he wanted to see it on the screen before he passed away. Although that, sadly, didn’t take place, Gaiman honored the request to write the script.

The few clips we saw were intriguing and Sheen and Tennant looked to have a great on screen rapport and while I could give more specifics about the panel, quite honestly, it feels a little silly.  This panel was truly all about the mood, all about the feeling of it all.  Everyone on the dais was having a great time (or acting like they were) and ribbing each other to the point where when one person asked both Gaiman and Hamm a question, each answered the question for the other. Yes, Gaiman did this partially to help Hamm from answering a Batman question at this, Hamm’s first Comic-Con, but it was all handled in such great fashion (and Hamm answering Gaiman’s question about writing in comics vs. novels vs. screen was truly great). Tennant, to get Hamm back for the “Doctor Who” thing got the audience to applaud the notion of the “Mad Men” actor becoming Bruce Wayne.

Some panels at Comic-Con feel like they last too long or are more than a little dull.  This was not one of them.  The house could have listened to this group talk for hours. All too soon, though, it came to an end. We’ll just have to wait for the show to stream next year for more.

photo credit:  Amazon

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