It took over 30 years for The Sandman to get out of development hell, but now the show is going strong as Netflix’s number one viewed or top streamed title since it dropped on August 5.
Over 80 countries tuned in to watch the highly-anticipated debut of the beloved story of Dream and his siblings and under Neil Gaiman’s (Good Omens, Stardust) watch, it did not disappoint.
Adapted from the first two books, Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll’s House, it introduces us to Dream (Tom Sturridge), the Lord of The Dreaming that is symbiotic to The Waking World of the humans. Dream creates and draw from all the nightmares and dreams people have, until going after a rogue nightmare, The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook). During the hunt, Dream finds himself a prisoner for a century under Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) after taking his helm, ruby, and sand.
Because of this, a rare disease call The Sleepy Sickness puts hundreds of thousand of people in a coma like sleep and sets off a series of events that plays out after Dream escapes. Returning to his kingdom, Dream reunites with his faithful librarian, Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong), and put on task to reclaim his tools, rebuild his world, and his purpose as an Endless.
The Sandman comic crosses many genres, so viewers will have a favorite story line to choose from. The plot threads weave seamlessly, introducing characters you will see in future episodes, but the spine of the story revolves around hope and growth. We get to see Dream learn to see outside of himself and his duty, and the people he interacts with meet the same fate.
Fair warning for those not ready for it, they turned the most graphic story of the series into episode 5, ’24/7′, which was toned down from the comic but loses none of the impact.
Though true to the source material, Gaiman kept his rule of blind casting (used on the show Good Omens), bringing together a talented group of actors to the table. This brought a few changes, and ire of some fans that wanted a pure adaptation, and the most notable are Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie), Joanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman), the Kinkaid family line, and Lucienne.
Desire (Mason Alexander Park), a fan favorite, lights up the screen as the non-binary younger sibling of Death and Dream. Along with their twin Despair (Donna Preston), who sadly doesn’t have much screen time but brings a heavy ‘whew!’ act as Dream’s foil, using whatever schemes to make him fall.
The differences and highlighting of race and gender lent for a richer story, point of view, and realistic tapestry. It allows people who might not have felt welcome in the world of The Sandman if kept to what the comic showed when first released. That, combined with the beautiful cinematics and ‘ripped-from-the-pages’ set designs and scenes, makes it one of the best comic to streaming adaptations, and Gaiman is just warming up.
The 10-episode series packs story that will satisfy the diehard Sandman fans while welcoming new viewers into the world and something you wouldn’t want to miss. Plus, a bonus episode and animated drop may happen soon, so monitor Netflix for more information. And #JusticeforGregory #JusticeforJessamy
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