The Core Worlds
Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Gaming

Souvenir Omens

June 29, 2021

I was initially dubious when I heard that Good Omens was getting a second season. I’d loved the book, season one covered the whole story, it had a beginning, a middle & an end. More importantly, the late, great Terry Pratchett isn’t around to write half of the story.

Neil’s blog has alleviated most of my worries.

It’s a nice entry and I encourage you to read it. The sections that cheered me up the most were:

we plotted the sequel to Good Omens. It was a good one, too. We fully intended to write it, whenever we next had three or four months free.

and

Terry was clear on what he wanted from Good Omens on the telly. He wanted the story told, and if that worked, he wanted the rest of the story told.

And he has a new collaborator:

I asked John [Finnemore] if he’d be willing to work with me on writing the next round of Good Omens, and was overjoyed when he said yes.

This delights me no end; I’ve been a fan of his work since I discovered Cabin Pressure (which is sadly off-air, but available on compact disc and the individual seasons are on Audible) — it is, in the words of one of the characters, Brilliant!

Last week I caught up with the latest series of John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme which, thanks to COVID-19 (which has impacted everything for the past year or so) has a different format to usual.

Rather than the standalone sketches, with some running themes and returning characters throughout the series, it follows the lives of members of a family over the years. Well, I say follows, but it skips about in time. Each episode focuses on one of the characters, in reverse order of age, and each scene takes place earlier then the preceding one.

It is lighter on laughs than the regular format, but this approach means that what seems strange and amusing in one scene is explained in a later one (often in a subsequent episode). The resulting story is quite beautiful and putting it together is a joyous puzzle.

I strongly recommend it. The series is available on BBC Sounds, for free, around the world, now. Series 8 is also available and has a side-splitting story about the Windows XP startup sound.

John writes about it in his blog and mentions well.since-you-ask.me which is a glorious website where Jamie Humphries has summarised every scene with filters for characters & storylines and the option to sort by broadcast or chronological order. It’s excellent, but spoilerific, so have a listen to the show first.

And yes, I realise that gushing about mostly contemporary set comedy is a little off-topic for this blog, but I can’t help myself. Neverwhere is among my favourite books, Stardust is endlessly rewatchable, but the prospect of a new work by John excites me more than one by Neil.