Ariane DeVere (arianedevere) wrote,
Ariane DeVere

“Good Omens” Episode 5 – ‘The Doomsday Option’ DVD commentary

“Good Omens” Episode 5 – ‘The Doomsday Option’ DVD commentary

This is not a word-for-word transcript, nor have I written up every single comment made. I hope, however, that – particularly because there are no subtitles – this may be helpful to people whose first language is not English or who struggle with audio-only dialogue.
Further extracts may be added in due course.
Please remember that some of the comments made by people may look serious in plain print but were frequently meant sarcastically or humorously.

PLEASE NOTE: If you post a comment on this commentary and you’re not registered with Dreamwidth/Livejournal, your comment will be screened automatically until I unlock it, so please be patient for it to appear on screen.

If you quote extracts from this, a link back to this page would be appreciated.

Direct links: Episode 1 / Episode 2 / Episode 3 / Episode 4 / Episode 5 / Episode 6

Commentary by Maggie Service (Sister Theresa Garrulous) and Nina Sosanya (Sister Mary Loquacious)

[Transcriber’s note: In this and the final commentary transcript, I mostly won’t repeat things that were already said in earlier commentaries.]

Terry Pratchett’s hat had its own seat in the cinema at the premiere of the series.

[Just for the benefit of those who’ve not read the book and may not see the deleted scene on the DVD] The reason there are fish raining down during the opening titles is because it was raining fish when Adam started affecting the world. One of the deleted scenes shows where the two police officers who we saw sitting outside the burning M25 also had fish falling onto their police car.

Maggie’s mother bought her
The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book. Maggie told her, “Thanks. I do actually have the script, ’cause I was in it!”

Nina has had her copy of the Good Omens book so long and has read it so often that it’s wrapped in canvas because it’s falling apart. Maggie only bought a copy when she was cast. Both of them nervously asked Neil to sign their books, and they think it’s lovely that whenever he signs a copy he also signs on behalf of Terry.

Nosh [Anne Oldham, Make-Up and Hair Designer] called Maggie before production started and said,
“We’ve done a bit of research of people who were brought up by nuns. They seemed to always have a whisper of some facial hair ...” Maggie laughed, and she thinks that Nosh then thought, ‘Oh, she’s a game girl,’ and so while Nina got a monobrow, Susan Brown [Mother Superior] had her own facial hair mascara’d in, Jasmine [Hyde, Sister Grace Voluble] had a mole (“... that quite frankly made her look like Marilyn Monroe and was beautiful”) “and I had a beard, a moustache, a wart and eyebrows!” Maggie and Michael Sheen had the same principal make-up artist and one day both of them were on set so Maggie was made up by other members of the team, and she gamely protested when they didn’t give her as many additions as usual.
Nina admits that she refused to have a moustache. Maggie didn’t realise you were allowed to refuse!

Crowley is drinking Talisker in the pub because it’s Douglas Mackinnon’s favourite whiskey [and the Talisker Distillery is on the Isle of Skye].

The ladies whimper repeatedly through the conversation between Crowley and Aziraphale in the pub.

Nina says that when she was telling friends who knew the book who had been cast in the two main roles, many of them said,
“Oh, I thought it would have been the other way around.”
NINA: [But] now I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
She finds herself picturing Michael and David now whenever she reads the book.

Maggie mentions the video machine to the left of the one on which Death is playing in the café, which has D.EATH in the 2nd to 10th highest scores and T.PRATCHETT in first place, the only man who can [beat] Death. She also notes that when Death turns to join his colleagues, the left-hand screen changes to GAME OVER.

Nina says that in the book, Death speaks in capital letters, with no punctuation. [Transcriber’s note: I know that Amazon had this pointed out to them and said that they would try to change the subtitles at some time in the future. I was annoyed (but not totally surprised) to see that the BBC DVD subtitles also aren’t in capital letters.]

When the ‘pack of nuns’ [as Maggie describes them] were in costume, they couldn’t hear very well through their wimples. One time four of them were sitting and chatting for some time and then Susan [Mother Superior] asked,
“Well, what’s that got to do with badgers?” and they realised they’d been having four different conversations because they couldn’t hear each other properly.
During Maggie’s death scene there were going to be explosions. Someone came up to her and Susan and said to Susan,
“Do you want ear defenders?” and she peeled back her wimple and said,WHAT?”
MAGGIE: And I went, “No, I think we’re okay for ear defenders. Thank you for asking, though!”
NINA (as Maggie): Just give us a signal when we need to come on! Raise a flag or something!

It was always difficult getting into the unit car without bending their wimples. Maggie’s pinned Tweet is a photo of her, Nina, Susan and Jasmine in the car in costume. Neil and Douglas both retweeted it.

MAGGIE: When I was doing that death scene, it was a night shoot, it was freezing, I’d fallen down loads of times – I mean, on purpose – rain machine, fake moon, but I was freezing, my feet hurt; and I just remember having a moment of being on my own in the courtyard and just looking around going, “I do not want to be anywhere else. This is just wonderful.” I’ve said it to Neil as well, but it’s his love letter to his friend, and so the whole thing is imbued with that atmosphere. The reason why we were all at work was because of a beautiful friendship that created an incredible thing that people love.

Maggie suggests that when the Them ride into the airbase ringing their bicycle bells, it’s the same bell sequence as in Queen’s Bicycle Race.

The Bentley’s licence plate, NIATRUC, is ‘curtain’ backwards as a nod to Terry Gilliam – who was planning to make a movie of
Good Omens for a long time – who put the word NIATRUC over a mausoleum in one of his animations [in The Meaning of Life] to signify death as the final curtain.

The Thundergun was in the middle of the tables during the script readthrough, together with a framed photo of Terry Pratchett.

Maggie was very nervous picking up a real baby. She had done her death scene the day before, and Francesco Reidy, First AD, said to her,
“So let me get this right: does her own stunts; scared of babies. Is that right?”

Nina loves how Aziraphale-in-Tracy miracles the scooter into the air but still indicates when he’s turning the corner.

MAGGIE: Here he is – Bill Paterson!
NINA: Oh, he’s so good. Can’t pick up a dog.
They giggle at how Tyler’s dog keeps slipping out of his grip while Bill tries to pick him up when the Horsemen ride into the village.

Rob Wilkins, Exec Producer and Terry’s Representative on Earth, is obsessed with motorbikes and the ladies wonder whether he kept the Horsemen’s bikes afterwards.

The guard at the airbase is reading Neil Gaiman’s
American Gods.

Nina points out that Death turns into two people in the staff car: she suggests that he’s both the General and the driver. She thinks that he has to be two people because you can never know what Death looks like.

When the Them meet in the village, the ladies [– like me –] wonder why Brian initially rides off in the wrong direction. [
The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion book says that the kids struggled to ride the bikes, so I’m wondering whether he simply couldn’t turn it round easily and had to find a wide turning circle.]

When the ladies were doing the black-and-white sort-of flashback in the nunnery, they assumed that there would be lots of clever effects put on afterwards and were a bit surprised when it was just them talking.

Transcriber’s note: This transcript is short because I’m afraid there wasn’t a lot of interesting stuff to transcribe; with the best will in the world I have to say that Nina and Maggie spent a large proportion of the time giggling and talking about things which had little to do with the series.

On to Episode 6

PLEASE NOTE: If you post a comment on this commentary and you’re not registered with Dreamwidth/Livejournal, your comment will be screened automatically until I unlock it, so please be patient for it to appear on screen.

A full list of the episode commentary transcripts can be found here.

Tags: commentaries, dvd extra, good omens, good omens dvd commentaries

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