Good Omens star David Tennant has explained why the message of inclusivity in the hit fantasy series has connected so strongly with viewers.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Good Omens season two.
The series follows the apocalyptic escapades of angel-turned-rare-bookseller Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) who strikes up an unexpected bond with snarky demon Crowley, played by Tennant, and the second season of Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s comedy fantasy dropped at the end of July.
The romantic chemistry between the “polar opposite” leads in season one, released in 2019, cultivated a committed LGBTQ+ following for the series. In the second season, the pair finally share a bitter-sweet kiss, sending fans into a frenzy as they praised the queer moment.
In an interview with the Radio Times podcast, Tennant discussed why the show’s inclusivity was vital in the current political climate, and what viewers can learn from Aziraphale and Crowley’s unlikely connection.
“It’s a show about an angel and demon finding common ground, about two polar opposites helping each other out and making life easier,” he said. “If there’s a message for this fractious moment, then it’s that it’s quite a nice place to live, in that world of commonality.
“They both come from fundamentalist backgrounds – it doesn’t get more fundamentalist than heaven and hell – yet they both reject that because what they enjoy is living in the murkiness of humanity, that is where the joy of life is.
“That’s why this show connected with a certain group of people. There is an inclusivity to the world view of Good Omens, there’s a joy in celebrating whoever you happen to be.
“And that’s something Neil is very keen to communicate: a message of kindness and openness. That is why the tone of Good Omens is positive, open, joyful and fun.”
Tennant also addressed accusations from angry Christians that Good Omens mocked religious ideology, arguing that it is actually pro-religious because it promotes values of “kindness, community, tolerance and understanding”.
In 2019, more than 20,000 Christians signed a petition calling for the show to be scrapped for “making satanism appear normal, light and acceptable”.
Michael Sheen (L) and David Tennant spread their wings in season two of Good Omens. (Prime Video)
However, Tennant argued: “It’s not areligious, it doesn’t mock religion. It mocks some of the attitudes that religion vomits forth. In terms of what Christianity is about, it doesn’t mock that.
“It’s the idea that there is good and evil. We have to find a balance and look after one another, find that commonality. It’s arguably quite pro religion in many ways.”
Tennant’s own Christian upbringing – his father was a Church of Scotland minister – irrevocably shaped his world view.
“My parents were Christians in the proper sense of the word and that was about values. Kindness, community, tolerance, understanding, helping each other out, going the extra mile, being charitable.
“That’s the version of Christianity I got from them,” he went on. “I may not call it Christianity any more but I certainly think it is a way of living and that is something I am grateful for.
“I find it difficult to recognise some of the versions of religion that are a bit more unforgiving, fundamentalist and unbending. That’s not the way I understood the Bible.”
Season one and two of Good Omens are streaming on Amazon Prime now.