Mild spoilers follow for The Sandman. You have been warned.
Netflix has announced a new surprise episode for its TV adaptation of The Sandman – and it’s available to stream now.
Revealed in a press release, Netflix confirmed that a two-part bonus episode will include tales from the third volume of Neil Gaiman’s iconic dark fantasy romance series, also known as The Sandman: Dream Country. The book contains four standalone stories, and fans of The Sandman will be delighted to know that the additional Netflix episode covers two of Dream Country’s most popular stories: Calliope and A Dream of a Thousand Cats.
Interestingly, episode 11 of The Sandman will feature animated and live-action elements. A Dream of a Thousand Cats will be a fully animated affair, with Hisko Hulsing (Undone, Junkyard) at the helm and London-based animation company Untold Studio developing its fleeting, dreamy state-style graphics.
In a statement, Hulsing teased what fans can expect from Netflix’s interpretation of the beloved tale: screen.
“We’ve combined the paintings with classically drawn 2D animation based on realistic 3D animation of telepathic cats to create a traveling world that feels both realistic and dreamy. Untold Studios in London created the breathtaking 3D animation of cats The wonderful 2D animation, oil paintings and stylization were done at Submarine Studios in Amsterdam.”
Tom Sturridge reprises his role as Dream/Morpheus in the animated short and leads an all-star voice cast. Sandra Oh, David Tennant, James McAvoy, Michael Sheen, Diane Morgan and Joe Lycett are just some of the talents linked to A Dream of a Thousand Cats. Additionally, Neil Gaiman will voice a character in the short, with the acclaimed author lending his vocals to Crow/Skull Bird.
In contrast, Calliope will follow the other 10 entries of The Sandman being a fully live-action production. Louise Hooper, who directed the Lost Hearts episode in The Sandman season one, leads Netflix’s approach to the tale.
Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who), Anita Suman (Shadow and Bone) and Derek Jacobi (Murder on the Orient Express) are among the cast of Calliope. Meanwhile, Nina Wadia, Souad Faress and Dinita Gohil will reprise their roles as the destinations of Sandman Episodes 2 and 7. Finally, Melissanthi Mahut (Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, The Other Me) will star as Calliope.
It’s unclear whether Netflix will release another surprise episode in the near future. The Sandman: Dream Country also contains short stories called A Midsummer Night’s Dream (based on William Shakespeare’s iconic play) and Façade, so it would make sense for a 12th episode of The Sandman to cover these tales ahead of a possible second season.
According to showrunner Alan Heinberg, the potential second season of the hit Netflix series will adapt the fourth volume of the book collection, i.e. Season of Mists, if the series is renewed (for weekly entertainment (opens in new tab)). With the first season of The Sandman covering the first two volumes – Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll’s House – it stands to reason that Netflix would adapt the Dream Country tales into an extra episode or two. However, it’s still a wonderful surprise – one that will delight Sandman fans until Season 2 is greenlit.
Given the Sandman’s dominance of the Netflix charts since its August 5th release, it would be quite a shock if a second season wasn’t coming. Netflix subscribers consumed nearly 200 million hours of The Sandman in its first 10 days after release – numbers that catapulted it to the top of the list. List of the 10 best Netflix TV shows (opens in new tab) in the UK and US, as well as appearing in the Top 10 in 93 countries. Expect an announcement on that front in the not-too-distant future, then.
For more content on The Sandman, read our spoiler-free Season 1 review. Alternatively, check out our exclusive chat with Gaiman, Heinberg and the show’s cast to learn more about its development or learn more about the TV adaptation’s unusual aspect ratio.