You Can Now Watch a Bonus Episode of The Sandman

In an unusual but entirely welcome move, Netflix just handed us more Sandman. The ten-episode series premiered in full—or so we thought!—two weeks ago, on August 5th. But today, the streamer dropped a two-part, hour-long, hybrid animation/live-action bonus episode that adapts two stories from the Dream Country arc of the comics: “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” and “Calliope.”

Also, a lot of people lent their voices to the animated adaptation of “Cats.”

Sandman star Tom Sturridge returns to voice Dream in the animated episode, and is joined by:

Sandra Oh as The Prophet
Rosie Day as The Tabby Kitten
David Gyasi as The Grey Cat
Joe Lycett as The Black Cat
Neil Gaiman as Crow/Skull Bird
James McAvoy as Golden-Haired Man
David Tennant as Don and Georgia Tennant as Laura Lynn
Michael Sheen as Paul and Anna Lundberg as Marion
Nonso Anozie as Wyvern
Diane Morgan as Gryphon
Tom Wu as Hippogriff

So, yes, this episode features Gaiman himself, alongside Good Omens’ Crowley (Tennant) and Aziraphale (Sheen), and both Sheen and Tennant appear alongside their real-life partners, Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg. Sheen is also the voice of Lucifer in the star-studded audio version of The Sandman, in which James McAvoy voices Dream. It’s just a big happy actorly family over here.

This is The Sandman‘s first animated episode, and the series brought Dutch animator Hisko Hulsing on board as director and production designer. At Netflix’s Tudum blog, Hulsing said, “We endeavored to make the animated version of ‘A Dream of a Thousand Cats’ as mesmerizing and hypnotic as we could by utilizing 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.”

For “Calliope,” the series returns to live-action for a story about Richard Madoc (played by Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill), who imprisons the muse Calliope (Melissanthi Mahut) in order to use her powers of artistic inspiration for himself. She calls on a trio of witches (played by Nina Wadia, Souad Faress, and Dinita Gohil, seen in two of the initial Sandman episodes) for help. The story also stars Kevin Harvey, Amita Suman, and the legendary Derek Jacobi as Erasmus Fry.

“A Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope” is on Netflix right now for your viewing pleasure.

 

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