top of page

The Sandman: A Brilliant Comic-to-TV Adaptation

Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman was published by DC Comics. Since their release, The Sandman has captured the hearts and minds of dreamers everywhere, and in August of 2022, Netflix released season one of the comics’ TV show adaptation. Similar to many others who watched the series, I became obsessed quickly after watching.

If you’re looking for something new to watch, and you’re a fan of fantasy, interesting and diverse characters, and a bit of violence, The Sandman is my top recommendation. Season one has eleven episodes, though the eleventh was added after the original season dropped as an extra. While the first ten episodes are a more linear narrative taken from the first two volumes of the comics, the eleventh episode combines two short stories from the third volume. The series follows our main character, the Sandman, Dream of the Endless, played by Tom Sturridge. Dream, who also uses the name Morpheus, is a personification and embodiment of dreams. He is the ruler of the Dreaming, the place everyone goes when they fall asleep, and the creator of dreams and nightmares. When a human magic user tries to trap Dream’s sister Death to bring his dead son back to life, the spell goes awry and traps Dream instead, and the world suffers the consequences of Dream’s prolonged capture. The first season follows Dream as he escapes and has to bring order to his realm and retrieve his lost tools of office: three powerful artifacts that contain parts of Dream’s ancient powers.

The wildly creative fantasy world presented in The Sandman is enamoring and brilliantly adapted from the comics. The series was in Netflix’s top 10 for several weeks and received an abundance of positive reviews regarding its performances, production, and faithfulness to the original comic series. The cast is a wonderful and talented group who all hold a respect and love for the comics, which comes through in their performances. Much of the criticism the show received was due to its diversity, the very thing that also drew so many viewers like myself to enjoy the show, as The Sandman has several Black and queer characters in prominent roles.

The show quickly drew me in with its fantastical elements and beautiful cast, but the story itself is very heartfelt and well-written. Though the focus is on a billion-year-old being with powers beyond one’s comprehension, his arc is incredibly human. It is a story about family, friendship, and what it means to change and having to accept those changes. In need of more content, I quickly acquired the comic series and read them ravenously, so if you enjoy the show and/or want a new comic series to read, I cannot recommend them enough.

The Sandman was renewed by Netflix to continue the story, but show creators and actors alike are refraining from calling it a second season; we fans are unsure at the moment as to what this means for the structure of the next round of stories. However, The Sandman’s possible second season is currently in the works and will begin filming this summer. The series is set to continue with the fourth volume of the comics, Season of Mists, before skipping to volume 7, Brief Lives. The volumes in between contain short stories and less focus on Dream of the Endless as a main character, so the showrunners are likely trying to keep a more linear narrative.

Written by Alec Conwell

bottom of page