Good Omens fans know what it means to pine for a couple to be together. Season two adds more shipping to the mix with Nina (Nina Sosanya) and Maggie (Maggie Service), shopkeeper neighbors of bookselling angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen). If their names and faces are familiar, that’s because you’ve seen them together before: as Satanic nuns in Good Omens season one.
(This interview was conducted prior to the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike.)
This time around, of course, they are completely different characters who just happened to be named after the actors who play them. They were “beyond thrilled” to return to Good Omens, Service told io9 at a recent press day.
Sosanya agreed. “There was a sort of shock when we first heard that the second series was happening, a bigger one when we realized that we would be in it,” she said. “Then there was the adjustment that you have to make when you’re not going to be playing the previous characters. And then, just delight when you find out you’re going to be playing something new and named after our own selves, which is unprecedented, really.”
Without getting into plot spoilers, we can say that Good Omens season two acknowledges the queer subtext that fans read into Aziraphale and Crowley (David Tennant) in season one, and brings it out into the open with these new characters. Maggie, who runs a record shop, has a huge crush on Nina, who runs a coffee shop and is unfortunately already partnered up. They’re lesbians, but Good Omens doesn’t make a big deal out of that fact; that’s just who these characters happen to be.
“Season one [really] connected with people,” Service said. “The Good Omens universe, it’s a place where you can just be—you know, you’re welcome, whoever you are, however, whatever. If something makes you feel ‘other,’ you’re not. You’re fine. You’re welcome. That reaction from the fans has painted into what they wanted to write in season two, to just absolutely make that message more than 100% clear and tell some more stories. It’s not a big deal [that they’re gay] it’s just who they are.”
Added Sosanya, “I think that’s what Neil does with a lot of his writing and with a lot of the graphic novels as well. Those characters, they’re not explained particularly, they just are. It doesn’t have to be justified in any way.”
Maggie and Nina are unique in Good Omens season two because they’re both mortals—even if they don’t realize at first that they’re surrounded by characters who are actually angels and demons. “They didn’t really know particularly that there are ‘sides’ to be taken, so they’re sort of working their own moral compass,” Sosanya said. “Following instincts, and trying to do the best they can and look after the people who look like they might need help,” Service added.
Said Sosanya, “And then, [once they do realize what’s going on], it’s not actually clear which side they would be on. They’re well-rounded characters—they could go either way. They’re just sort of experiencing it in the moment and seeing what occurs because nothing is as it seems.”
Both actors agreed they’d love to return for a hypothetical Good Omens season three, either as Nina and Maggie again or as another set of new characters—“any chance to spend any time in the Good Omens universe will be a great day in the office,” Service said. And they both think the themes of Good Omens are important ones.
“In both seasons, the question of what makes a good person, what makes a bad person is prevalent. I think much more in season two, [also] something about authenticity. But lots of parties seem to be searching for something and it might be within themselves,” Service teased.
Added Sosanya, “I also think that perhaps as a theme about learning to trust another individual. You can’t operate as an island. No angel is an island, and no demon is an island.”
Good Omens season three arrives July 28 on Prime Video.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.