A new production base for writer Neil Gaiman’s hit show will be created in Scotland while location filming on the six-part series, which stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen, will be carried out across the country.
The first series, which Gaiman adapted from the best-selling novel he wrote with the late Terry Pratchett, was launched in 2019 after being filmed across the south of England, as well as in and around Cape Town in South Africa.
Its Scottish director, Douglas Mackinnon, is said to have been “instrumental” in relocating the production north of the border. Mackinnon, whose other work includes Doctor Who, Outlaner, Sherlock and Knightfall,originally from the Isle of Skye, where Gaiman has a home.
Good Omens is the second major Amazon series to be lured to Scotland after filming began on a new supernatural thriller, The Rig,earlier this year. The new announcement, believed to be the most significant for Scotland’s screen industry since Outlander, has emerged during an unprecedented boom period.
Productions filming under strict Covid protocols recently include Ken Loach’s My Son, which saw James McAvoy and Claire Foy in the Highlands, Vanessa Hudgens’ new Princess Switch movie for Netflix, the videogame biopic Tetris, with Rocketman star Taron Egerton, and Steve Coogan’s new film on the discovery of Richard III’s remains, The Lost King.
Isabel Davis, executive director at Scottish Screen, said: “Douglas Mackinnon has been instrumental in bringing this series to Scotland and it’s been a pleasure to support Amazon, Douglas and his team in setting up here.
“This is a transformational moment for the Scottish industry, with momentum building across the country through increasing large scale productions using our highly respected crew base and rich depth and variety of locations to a global audience.”
An official announcement about the new season, which will see Sheen and Tennant return to play main charactes, said it would “explore storylines that go beyond the original source material to illuminate the uncanny friendship between Aziraphale, a fussy angel and rare book dealer, and the fast-living demon Crowley. Having been on Earth since The Beginning and with the Apocalypse thwarted, Aziraphale and Crowley are getting back to easy living amongst mortals in London’s Soho when an unexpected messenger presents a surprising mystery.”
Gaiman said: “It’s 31 years since Good Omens was published, which means it’s 32 years since Terry Pratchett and I lay in our respective beds in a Seattle hotel room at a World Fantasy Convention, and plotted the sequel.
“I got to use bits of the sequel in Good Omens — that’s where our angels came from. Terry’s not here any longer, but when he was, we had talked about what we wanted to do with Good Omens, and where the story went next. And now, thanks to BBC Studios and Amazon, I get to take it there."
Posting on his blog, Gaiman added: “We've been keeping it secret for a long time, but we are now at the point where sets are being built in Scotland (which is where we're shooting, and more about filming things in Scotland soon), and we can't really keep it secret any longer.”