Neil Gaiman has an unusual way of admixing mythology, philosophy, and many other literary elements into his masterful storytelling.
The Sandman is considered to be his magnum opus for this speciality. Since the 1990s, several attempts to adapt the graphic novel series for a film have failed due to creative differences as well as a lack of technology required to depict the world of Sandman.
But this time, Netflix adapted this masterpiece into a TV series, which finally ends Gaiman's wait of 32 years for a perfect adaptation. Netflix also included him as one of the developers of this show. After all, nothing could go wrong when the creator himself is involved with the production.
The Sandman world is too complex to be transformed into a TV show. The key characters of this series work above mankind, and their motives might be beyond human understanding.
Seven anthropomorphic entities named Endless existed even before the start of the universe, and their interactions are full of mysteries and riddles. Yet, developers David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg directed the show masterfully and as understandable as possible while also staying true to the original source.
The first season of The Sandman consists of 10 episodes. In the beginning, the lead protagonist, Morpheus, ruler of the dreams, is seen captured by occultist Roderick Burgess while chasing after a rogue nightmare. He is also stripped of his weapons - a pouch of sand, a helm of an unknown creature, and a ruby.
His captivity has the dreaming world decaying, dreams and nightmares going rogue, and humanity suffering from eternal slumber.
Escaping from captivity after 100 years, Morpheus embarks on a journey to reacquire his possessions, which spans the first half of the show. Morpheus must deal with his siblings Lucifer and Desire, as well as the descendants of his former captor Roderick, on this difficult journey.
But not all siblings mean harm to him. Death, the older sister, empathises with a hapless Morpheus and reminds him of his duty as the ruler of the dreaming world.
Kirby Howell-Baptiste plays the role of the compassionate and pragmatic grim reaper perfectly. Not to mention, Tom Sturridge as Morpheus/Dream is a chef's kiss, perfectly portraying the pale-skinned, occasionally smirking dream lord.
Even though Dream got back his powers, his kingdom still remains and needs to be rebuilt. With the rogue nightmare Corinthian and other siblings Desire and Despair seeking to destroy the dreaming world, Dream must find a way to return the rogue dreams to his kingdom and fend off his vengeful siblings. But can he finally restore the dreaming world to its former glory? Only the end of the show can tell.
The Sandman remains true to its source material, even including the memorable dialogue from the comics. The show's 5th episode is a direct adaptation of the 1989 story ‘24 hours,’ which is considered the darkest and most nightmarish story in the series where humans are stripped of their hopes and dreams and sunk into despair and death.
The show has a stellar cast to portray the characters gracefully. Boyd Holbrook as the Corinthian is perfect. He made the serial killer nightmare look menacingly suave in this show and a perfect problem for Morpheus.
Also, the visualisations of the worlds of the Endless are breathtaking and accurately portrayed like in the comics.
The perfect adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel opens the path for further seasons, and the fans will surely be eager for them.