Netflix has released a surprise bonus episode of The Sandman, available to stream now (August 19).
Based on the series of comic books by Neil Gaiman, The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge as Morpheus/Dream, the personification of dreams and nightmares who sets out to restore order to his realm after being locked away for over 100 years.
The two-part bonus episode is divided between animated story A Dream Of A Thousand Cats and the live-action Calliope. The former features a voice cast that includes Sandra Oh, Rosie Day, David Gyasi, Joe Lycett, Gaiman, James McAvoy, David Tennant, Georgia Tennant, Michael Sheen, Anna Lundberg, Nonso Anozie, Diane Morgan and Tom Wu.
Speaking about the episode, director Hisko Hulsing said: “We endeavoured to make the animated version of A Dream Of A Thousand Cats as mesmerising and hypnotic as we could by utilising the magic of real oil paintings on canvas.
“We combined the paintings with classically drawn 2D animation, based on realistic 3D animation of telepathic cats in order to create a trippy world that feels both grounded and dreamy at the same time.”
Calliope, directed by Louise Hooper, stars Melissanthi Mahut, Arthur Darvill, Nina Wadia, Souad Faress, Dinita Gohil, Kevin Harvey, Amita Suman and Derek Jacobi.
The Sandman showrunner Allan Heinberg previously told NME about plans to adapt the entirety of the comic series in potential future seasons.
Asked how many seasons they’ve got planned, Heinberg said: “We’ve got as many as they’ll let us have. If enough viewers show up, we can go for quite a long while. We want to do all of it, we want a spin-off miniseries. We’d love to make it for as long as they’ll have us.”
In a four-star review of the show, NME wrote: “Stick with The Sandman through its biggest excesses and there’s enough imagination to fuel another 30 years of waiting for anything half so original to come along again.”