Netflix have released their adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Comic Book series, The Sandman.
Launched on the streaming site on Friday August 5 Series 1 covers the first 2 graphic novels in the Sandman series, Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll’s House.
An occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps Dream instead.
Dream is imprisoned for 72 years by The Order of the Ancient Mysteries. Upon escaping, he must reclaim his objects of power while still in a weakened state, confronting an addict to his dream powder, the legions of Hell, and an escaped madman.
Hollywood has sought to find a way to bring the tale of Morpheus (aka Dream) and his siblings, the Endless, to life on the screen, without success, until now. The Sandman suits being a television series rather than being a movie they play to the episodic strengths, occasional anthology format, and shifting timelines of the source material. Having Neil Gaiman onboard to help with the development of series really helps the show stay faithful to the source material.
A being who has existed since the beginning of the universe, Dream of the Endless rules over the realm of dreams. In The Doll’s House (episodes 6-10), after his imprisonment, the Sandman has returned to find that a few dreams and nightmares have escaped to reality. Looking to recapture his lost possessions, Morpheus ventures to the human plane only to learn that a woman named Rose Walker has inadvertently become a dream vortex and threatens to rip apart his world.
I think casting Tom Sturridge as The Sandman, a relatively unknown actor was a really good decision. Morpheus is both the lead and the straight man of the series, which with the wrong actor could make him boring. The Sandman has a sadness and a loneliness to his character which are wellportrayed by Sturridge.
The Sandman has a vast cast of supporting characters. David Thewlis plays John Dee a pyjama-clad, escaped mental patient in possession of Morpheus’ Ruby, who steals the show during the first half of the season, and becomes the centre of the chilling fifth episode, ‘24/7’.
Patton Oswalt is the voice of Matthew, Dream’s raven who gives the series a little bit of humour and a lighter side. Boyd Holbrook is the primary sort-of-antagonist of the show, the tooth-eyed escaped nightmare The Corinthian. The rest of cast are solid enough even if they don’t get much screen time although they set up story lines that are to come if Netflix greenlights more series.
I have read all The Sandman books and spin-offs; I consider it one of the greatest book series of all time. Some of the scenes in Series 1 looked like they had been taken straight off the comic book page. As always with adaptations they have changed some things and left some things out. This doesn’t bother me as I know it is done for a reason and I’m sure they know what they are doing and again with the writer Neil Gaiman involved I’m sure he wants the best for this adaptation of his book series.
I hope we get more The Sandman series in the coming years,as of me writing this Netflix is yet to greenlight a second series, but I would find it strange if they didn’t, Netflix has already committed to the actors and bought the rights to the series. Plus, the way it ends sets up more to come.
My Rating: 9/10