Are we dreaming? Are we in The Dreaming? Is this Morpheus’ doing? Because if, like us, you spent the last week or two bingeing Netflix’s adaptation of The Sandman and desperately waiting for more, your prayers have been answered. After the arrival of Season 1, the streaming service has delivered a surprise bonus episode – a two-parter telling a pair of extra stories in the metaphysical universe of Neil Gaiman’s creation. Yes, they’re live right now, and you can go and watch them immediately.
The bonus instalment features two additional stories: ‘A Dream Of A Thousand Cats’, an animated tale directed by Hisko Hulsing, and the live-action ‘Calliope’ directed by Louise Hooper. Hulsing’s part in particular boasts a spectacularly starry cast – featuring the voices of Sanda Oh, James McAvoy, David Tennant and Georgia Tennant, Michael Sheen, Nonso Anozie, Gaiman himself, and comedians Joe Lycett and Diane Morgan among many others. ‘Calliope’ stars Melissanthi Mahut in the title role, alongside the likes of Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill, Nina Wadia and Derek Jacobi.
“We endeavored to make the animated version of ‘A Dream of a Thousand Cats’ as mesmerizing and hypnotic as we could by utilising the magic of real oil paintings on canvas,” says Hulsing of his part of the episode. “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. Untold Studios in London created the breathtaking 3D animation of the cats. The wonderful 2D animation, oil paintings and stylising were all done at Submarine Studio’s in Amsterdam.”
Fingers crossed it won’t be the last we see of The Sandman – and going by the reception to Season 1, there should be plenty more where that came from. For now, head to Netflix, and happy Dreaming.