‘The Sandman’ Review: A Summary of Dreams

Home » Film & TV » ‘The Sandman’ Review: A Summary of Dreams

by | Aug 25, 2022 | Film & TV

The Sandman is back! Morpheus makes his dramatic entrance onto the small screen in Netflix's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's iconic 90's comic book series.

After 33 years since issue one of The Sandman hit shelves, the first season of it’s long awaited live action adaptation finally comes to screens via Netflix. Those who are familiar with the wondrously bizarre and magical mind of Neil Gaiman will not be disappointed. The Sandman delivers all when it comes to story, characters, themes and overall general aesthetic that is not only faithful to the source material but in many ways actually surpassing it in quality. Whether you’re someone who’s just discovered Gaiman’s intriguing dark fantasy for the first time or someone who’s been dreaming of this moment for 33 years, The Sandman has so much to offer for any looking to explore a deep and well crafted mythology.

PRELUDES

The Sandman follows the story of Morpheus (played by Tom Sturridge) , the anthropomorphic personification of dreams who also goes by the show’s namesake The Sandman. Morpheus is one of the immortal beings known as The Endless. Like him they are representations of metaphysical entities. While initially a mysterious bunch, a few members of this dysfunctional family make an appearance later in the show alongside Morpheus. Shedding more light on the roles they play within humanity. If all that sounded like a lot don’t be deterred. The show has a lot of world building to explain but it does so in a way that even the most casual watcher can follow along (most likely). 

Morpheus is the King of Dreams and as such has the power to create anything he imagines from within his realm known as The Dreaming. He can craft anything from living gargoyles to beautiful dynamic landscapes with the intention of sending these creations into the dreams of mortals. But while dreams are his domain, so too are nightmares. As one of such nightmare, a serial killer called The Corinthian escapes loose into ‘the waking world’ where Morpheus pursues him. Hereby triggering the events of the show’s pilot episode.

As a character Morpheus has a very distant and opinionated view of humanity which keeps him cold and apathetic towards them at the start of the series. He is a creature that prioritises duty and order above all, averse to change. However he is still subject to human emotions such as anger and loss, often times expressing them without a full understanding of them. 

The Sandman Review

THE THEMES

Gaiman’s writings often delve into a vast and expansive lore and mythology with themes and ideas expressed not only through the story but through characters themselves. They are less black and white and more morally ambiguous than your classic fictional heroes. Morpheus is a complicated character not because he toes the line between good and evil but because to him there potentially is no line, only order and disorder. However as the story goes on Morpheus is faced with more than one ethical dilemma that challenges his long held beliefs and taps into a side of him he was unaware he had. A human side. Duty versus compassion, vengeance versus forgiveness and the power dreams have over our waking lives are all interesting ideas you’ll be contemplating when watching this series. 

CAST & CHARACTERS 

Morpheus encounters a variety of diverse and interesting characters throughout the series that aid and hinder his goals. One such early encounter is with the show’s take on DC and Vertigo Comics occult magician John Constantine. Known as Johanna in the show, her wise cracking sarcasm and prickly persona causes her to butt heads with our rather cold and reserved protagonist. Yet both in a way share a level of respect for the other that make them quite the unusual team up.

A highlight for the series is Gwendoline Christie’s depiction of the evil lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar. Now those of you familiar with Netflix’s other adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s character of Lucifer starring Tom Ellis will be shocked at the stark contrast in the two separate portrayals. Christie’s take on the character is just as charming as Ellis’s however monstrously more terrifying. That’s without the giant bat like wings protruding from her back. Her calm and manipulative demeanour could convince anyone she truly was the serpent who tempted Eve in the garden of Eden and watching her performance was captivating to say the least. One of Morpheus’ greatest challenges in the series is his stand off with The Devil herself and not an episode easily forgotten. See our full covering of The Sandman characters here.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE SANDMAN

Since it’s release The Sandman universe has inspired, influenced and fuelled the imaginations of a generation. With this adaptation it brings this creative world back to the forefront to do the same to a whole new generation. One that will feel the same emotions and experience the same magic that the original comic book series evoked all those years ago. The show pushes the boundaries with its representation of gender and sexuality, primed for a modern audience looking for a faithful yet beautiful take on a story told well ahead of its time, crafted by a team of diverse and talented professionals. It’s tones are mature, dark, playful, fantastical, emotional, horrifying, momentous, inspiring and so much more. We can only hope for more to come from a series that really shows what can be accomplished with the magnificent imaginative power of dreams.  

Check out our guide to the characters featured in The Sandman here.

The Sandman Review

Written by George Cooper

Related Posts

Netflix are cashing in on Peaky Blinders

Netflix are cashing in on Peaky Blinders

Prequels, sequels and spin-offs Netflix seems intent on turning their successful content into franchises, one supposes that they have been watching Disney and Warner Bros and want a slice of the 'cinematic universe' pie. Streaming is all about...

Read More
Dune Part 2 Trailer 3 Breakdown

Dune Part 2 Trailer 3 Breakdown

The Dune 2 Latest Trailer The much delayed Dune 2 will be released (barring any more strikes) in March 2024, promotion is ramping up with the cast starting the press tour and a new trailer, that showcases some of the action we can expect in Denis...

Read More
Furiosa Trailer, George Miller Delivers Again

Furiosa Trailer, George Miller Delivers Again

The much anticipated trailer to Furiosa is finally here! And boy, does it deliver... https://youtu.be/XJMuhwVlca4?si=9AAp6iHRFxDQdsJh   So this is the backstory of Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road, a truly powerful warrior of...

Read More
Invasion – More dull sci-fi from Apple TV

Invasion - More dull sci-fi from Apple TV

Dull aliens invade Earth and dull people react to it The premise was OK, aliens land on Earth and we are shown the effects of it from the POV of a disparate group of people around the world. Invasion gives us hints of what the aliens are after and...

Read More