The Sandman Season 1 Review: A Brilliant Adaptation That Brings to Life One of the Greatest Literary Works of Our Time
Netflix‘s The Sandman hits the streaming service today and as one of the most highly-anticipated TV series to be dropping this year, all eyes will be on the adaptation of the popular comic book series by Neil Gaiman. It has been over 30 years since we were introduced to The Sandman universe and throughout that time it became a sensation among readers and remains one of the greatest literary works of our time. This has kept fans on edge as adapting such a beloved series, as we have seen time and time again, can either be a dream or a nightmare.
The dark fantasy comic series from Gaiman follows a powerful being who is in control of all dreams, nightmares, and his influence on the human world as he traverses throughout history, influencing key events. We also witness his travels to otherworldly realms that include Hell. The series’ first season focused on Gaiman’s The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes & The Doll’s House.
The series adaptation stars Tom Sturridge, Vivienne Acheampong, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, David Thewlis, Boyd Holbrook, Gwendoline Christie, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Donna Preston, Jenna Coleman, Niamh Walsh, Joely Richardson, Kyo Ra, Stephen Fry, Razane Jammal, Sandra James Young, and Patton Oswalt.
The series adaptation by Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg is by our experience, truly a dream. Much like the comic book series, the TV series adaptation takes an idea and polishes it to a level of brilliance that exceeded our expectations in every form. There have been many adaptations of other mediums prior, but this series adaptation seems like the entire cast & crew wrote a love letter to The Sandman universe. That being said, casting director Lucinda Syson deserves an award for masterfully casting the series. Each talent involved looks to have been curated for their specific role and it goes well beyond the main cast.
Netflix‘s The Sandman might have put together a formula that may very well set up a series adaptation that could span as many eons as Sturridge’s Dream has explored. Although we don’t know what the future will hold for the deal with Netflix and Warner Bros. as they collaborate on the series adaptation. The magic is there.
It is tailored to honor the source material with small but significant tweaks that will make it a mystery to some longtime readers while opening the door to a new world for those jumping into The Sandman for the first time through the series. Just as Gaiman did before with the comic book series, this adaptation takes the genre and elements within to new levels and shows us a world with one of the strongest presences in existence discovering the best and worst parts of human life.
Overall, to call this an adaptation feels criminal as it embodies every element of the source material and brings it to life in what is nothing short of a dream come true for fans waiting a long time to see the series come to fruition. The entire cast and crew showed nothing short of love and respect for the work they were adapting and Sturridge looks to have been born for this role. The pacing of the series might seem a bit confusing for those experiencing The Sandman for the first time, but it’s a minor inconvenience that is foreshadowed by the faithful adaptation that is a beautifully stunning immersion into dark fantasy.