by Tabatha Golat –
The constant deluge of superhero comics turned action films can get a bit tiresome, so when The Sandman popped up on my Netflix queue I was hesitant to delve into “just another comic book show.” Thankfully, I gave the show a chance and was pleasantly surprised by the 10-episode production. I recommend watching with an open mind as it’s quite a stunning comic book adaptation.
The Sandman is a fantasy-drama based on the DC comics written by Neil Gaiman. The series came to fruition after years of failed development attempts, beginning in 1991 when it was originally pitched as a feature film, and went through many iterations until its final development in 2021 via DC Films and Warner Brother Television. The show stays true to its comic book roots without oversimplifying the characters or plot.
For those familiar with Greco-Roman mythology, you will be delighted by the reference to Morpheus – the God of Sleep and Dreams – on whom the series is based. The show begins with narration from Morpheus who speaks of his realm, the Dreaming, and his duties to humans as the Lord of the Dreaming. Morpheus is captured when a wealthy aristocrat is performing an occult ritual in 1916, an event that wreaks havoc on the human world and their ability to sleep. Many are left in dream-like comas, while others cannot fall asleep at all. Morpheus is held captive for over 100 years until he finally escapes and sets out to restore the damage done to his realm. Subsequent episodes follow Morpheus as he struggles to regain his power and rebuild his world.
Each episode of The Sandman is fairly distinct, yet flows seamlessly through the fictional universe. With references to famous historical figures, fairytales, biblical entities, mythological creatures and the human world, it was no easy feat to adapt the comic to screen; however, the creators have done a fantastic job of building the magical world. Tom Sturridge stars as Morpheus – an intriguing portrayal of the ethereal dream king.
I must warn viewers: the first episode moves quite slowly as it builds the plot, but hang in there as the story moves forward quickly after episode two and is worth your patience. There are moments where the CGI can be jarring but if you’re willing to look past these faults you are in for an entertaining ride.
Looking for other fantasy series to watch? Check out my recommendations below.
1) Lord of The Rings, The Rings of Power
2) House of the Dragon
3) Wheel of Time
4) Sweet Tooth