Available today on Netflix, the Sandman series is adapted from the graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. With its luxury cast, Sandman has all the arguments to be the new summer blockbuster. Is the fantasy series worth the detour?
What is it about ?
After years of imprisonment, the Dream Lord begins his journey across worlds to find what was stolen from him and reclaim his power.
Sandman, a series created by Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, Allan Heinberg with Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook… Available on Netflix
Who is it with?
This is Tom Sturridge who embodies the famous Sandman of the title which means “merchant of sand” in French. He is also called Morpheus or Dream (Dream in French). Throughout the ten episodes that make up this first season, he meets various characters who only cross his long existence.
We thus find there Gwendoline Christie, the revelation of Game of Thrones, plays Lucifer Morningstar, Queen of the Underworld. A character a thousand miles from Brienne of Tarth! Boyd Holbrookwho played DEA agent Steve Murphy in Narcos, also switches universes to play the Corinthian, a nightmare created by Dream but which turns against its creator.
Vivienne Acheampong plays Lucienne, the Dreamworld librarian who is a female version of Lucien in the graphic novels. Lots of other familiar faces appear. So you can see there: Charles Dance (Game Of Thrones), Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck), David Thewlis (Harry Potter), Stephen Fry (The Hobbit) or even Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who)…
Well worth a look ?
More than three decades after neil gaiman wrote his first screenplay Sandman, he is still working on it. Only the medium has changed. It seems difficult to let go of the Sandman and leave The World of Dreams. And we understand very quickly why by discovering the series.
The Sandman is the Lord of Dreams, that is to say the man (in appearance at least) responsible for what goes on in our heads when we fall asleep. He is part of a family of characters called the Endless, each of whom is a sort of anthropomorphic personification of an abstract concept. They all have a name starting with the letter D in the original version: Dream (Dream), Destruction (Destruction), Delirium (Delirium), Despair (Despair), Destiny (Destiny), Desire (Desire) and, of course, Death (Dead).
They form a whole that contributes to the balance of humanity. This choice of representation, with a human form, is crucial in the success – we hope on screen – of Sandman. Because it brings an element of humanity to stories that might otherwise drift into something purely theoretical and far too abstract.
The story of the series itself is more than just a quest for Morpheus after being imprisoned for 100 hundred years. This journey serves as a pretext to travel with an extraordinary character. Not really a man. Not really a god. It rocks humans since the dawn of time both to make them dream and to make them face their worst nightmares.
Tom Sturridge is perfect in this role of a being apart, who does not respond to the traditional codes of fiction. It is not his emotions that guide him. And apart from a sulky look, they don’t really show up. The actor’s physique, with that cut à la Robert Smith from The Cure, contributes greatly to the mystery that surrounds the character. It is his interactions with humans, his librarian Lucienne, his crow Matthew, Constantine (Jenna Coleman) or even Lucifer that allow us to understand him a little better.
With a pop coating and a few gore scenes, all totally assumed, Sandman stands out from other series both in its tone and its construction. Halfway through the season, each episode seems to contain two by suddenly telling two different stories. And despite this puzzle feeling, everything is connected.
It is necessary to underline the great quality of writing and the capacity of Neil Gaiman and Allan Heinberg to make a character exist for a short time. The cast of Sandman is as prestigious as it is impressive, yet apart from a small handful, these characters are only passing through. But everyone leaves their mark.
This is a singular journey of which we do not really know where it leads. But the important thing is not the destination, it’s the journey!