THE SANDMAN on Netflix is a new fantasy horror series based on the popular comic book. Season 1 has 10 episodes and covers the first two books. I wasn’t sure I’d like it at first, but I ended up loving this series. Read our The Sandman season 1 review here!
THE SANDMAN is a new Netflix series in the fantasy and horror genres. It’s based on the beloved award-winning DC comic series written by Neil Gaiman. I haven’t read the comics, but from what I can gather, fans of the comics should love this Netflix adaptation.
It’s visually stunning, seems pretty true to the imagery from the comics, and has so much heart and soul. This first season has 10 episodes that each have a one-hour runtime (really, it’s more like 45-55 minutes).
After episode 1, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this series. By episode 2, I was completely hooked and binge-watched the season.
Continue reading our The Sandman season 1 review below. The series premieres on Netflix on August 5, 2022.
Episode 1 simply sets the stage
The first thing you need to know about the new Netflix series The Sandman is that you cannot judge it after one episode. In fact, you can’t judge it by any single episode. Despite being one complete story, each episode has its own story.
In that sense, I feel like comparing it to the likes of Black Mirror since each episode should evoke their own feeling and thoughts. Like episode 5, which will be pulling you in many different directions before it’s over.
As such, episodes range from being heartwarming and heartbreaking in the most elegant and intelligent ways – you’ll know what I mean from the second you meet “Gregory” – to having long periods of brutal horror. In other words, don’t be fooled by the somewhat gentle and slow episode 1. It is merely setting the stage!
Admittedly, all I could think was “Why does The Sandman look like Ben Stiller in Zoolander?!”. I got over this initial obsession with his look as the story progressed. The characters we meet (and get to know over several episodes) are what truly makes this story pure magic.
Each episode stands out in its own way
For the record, The Sandman is also known as Morpheus or simply “Dream”. He has quite a few siblings such as Death, Desire, Despair, and a few others I’ll let you discover on your own. Unless you’re familiar with the comics and already know them, obviously.
If that’s the case for you, then you can just look forward to seeing them brought to life in a live-action way here.
While each episode offers up something special, I still feel like highlighting episode 5. It’s almost an episode that stands on its own – like episode 8 of The Haunting of Bly Manor, but in quite a different way! Also, the episode where we meet Dream’s sister, Death, is a work of wonder. Absolutely breathtaking!
The Sandman is officially described as “a rich, character-driven blend of myth and dark fantasy woven together over the course of ten epic chapters following Dream’s many adventures”, and this is actually spot-on!
The brilliant casting of The Sandman
While I might feel that The Sandman (or Dream) resembled Ben Stiller in Zoolander, I can easily see that he looks very much like the character in the comic book. Tom Sturridge (Velvet Buzzsaw, Irma Vep) is cast perfectly in this role. His character isn’t very likable, but the other characters we meet (mostly!) are.
Well, either likable or the perfect villains that we love watching. Actually, even the villains aren’t just bad for the sake of being bad. They just tend to have their own ideas and aspirations. Usually not anything that is for the good of mankind.
In particular, I have to highlight Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian. You just never want him to leave the frame. He is so enigmatic and intense in all the right ways. And, obviously, Gwendoline Christie is all-powerful as Lucifer. I mean, come on, how could she not be simply perfect as this larger-than-life fallen angel?!
So many wonderful characters
Delivering a bit of humor of the very human kind, we have Patton Oswalt (or his voice) as Matthew the Raven. A recently deceased human being that has now become Dream’s helper traveling between The Dreaming and the Waking World.
However, the most important helper of Dream is actually Lucienne. In fact, she could do his job better than him, if he’d let her, and Vivienne Acheampong (The One) plays Lucienne perfectly! Another familiar name is Jenna Coleman who plays Johanna Constantine. Yes, as in the Constantine that fights various monsters!
Oh, actually, I do also have to mention both Razane Jammel (from the Netflix series Paranormal), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Killing Eve, Silent Night), and newcomer Vanesu Samunyai who plays the very important Rose Walker.
Also, you can look forward to seeing Charles Dance (Godzilla: King of the Monsters), David Thewlis (Landscapers), Joely Richardson (Color Out of Space), John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), and Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta). To name just a few more.
Okay, for good measure, let me also mention another familiar name: Mark Hamill. Just don’t expect to see his face!
Watch season 1 of The Sandman on Netflix now!
The creators of The Sandman as a Netflix series are Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg. It’s based on the comic book written by Neil Gaiman, so you know it is made in the same spirit as the original work.
Also, yes, this includes wonderful LGBTQ representation. There are quite a few queer characters and relationships in The Sandman. We’re talking about both sexuality and gender representation. And all of them are extremely well-executed. Then again, I’d expect nothing less from these creators.
Allan Heinberg is the showrunner and even the directors are very interesting. From Jamie Childs (Doctor Who, Willow series) to Louise Hooper (The Witcher), Mairzee Almas (Y: The Last Man), and Coralie Fargeat (Revenge).
This first season of The Sandman covers the first two books, so there is still plenty of stories left for more seasons. While the season does offer a full story arc, it also ends on a cliffhanger that could make for an awesome season 2.
Of course, with Netflix, you never know if this will come, but here’s hoping we’ll get more seasons!
The Sandman season 1 premieres on Netflix on August 5, 2022.
Details about The Sandman:
Release Date: August 5, 2022
Episodes: 10 episodes x 1 hour
Executive Producer / Showrunner / Writer: Allan Heinberg
Executive Producers / Writers: David S. Goyer, Neil Gaiman
Developed by: Neil Gaiman & David S. Goyer & Allan Heinberg
Based on the DC Comic THE SANDMAN by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, and Mike Dringenberg
Starring: Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Patton Oswalt, Vivienne Acheampong, Gwendoline Christie, Charles Dance, Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, Donna Preston, Vanesu Samunyai (formerly known as “Kyo Ra”), John Cameron Mitchell, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Joely Richardson, Niamh Walsh, Sandra James Young, Razane Jammal, and Mark Hamill
Directors: Mike Barker (101), Jamie Childs (102, 103, 104, 105), Mairzee Almas (106), Andrés Baiz (107, 108), Coralie Fargeat (109), Louise Hooper (110)
Writers: Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, Allan Heinberg (101), Allan Heinberg (102), Jim Campolongo (103), Austin Guzman (104), Ameni Rozsa (105), Lauren Bello (106), Heather Bellson (107), Alexander Newman-Wise (108), Vanessa James Benton (109), Jay Franklin (110)
There is another world that waits for all of us when we close our eyes and sleep — a place called the Dreaming, where The Sandman, Master of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), gives shape to all of our deepest fears and fantasies. But when Dream is unexpectedly captured and held prisoner for a century, his absence sets off a series of events that will change both the dreaming and waking worlds forever. To restore order, Dream must journey across different worlds and timelines to mend the mistakes he’s made during his vast existence, revisiting old friends and foes, and meeting new entities — both cosmic and human — along the way.