The Sandman is a critically acclaimed series of comic books written by Neil Gaiman.
Now the graphic novels have been transformed for the small screen by Netflix with Tom Sturridge starring as in the title role (also known as Morpheus or Dream of the Endless).
The reviews are in and critics are already describing the first episode as "the single greatest hour of TV drama” in 2022.
Here’s everything we know, including what The Sandman is about, how to watch the trailer, what critics including The Guardian have said and who is in the cast.
What is The Sandman?
The Sandman is a small-screen adaptation of DC Comic’s run of the comics of the same name. In total there were 10 paperback Sandman volumes published between 1989 and 1996.
The titular character The Sandman (played by Tom Sturridge), who also goes by the names Morpheus and Dream of the Endless, is a ‘godlike being who personifies dreams and rules over the realm of sleep’.
When Morpheus is captured by cult members who want to use him in a bid for immortality, his absence from his realm causes devastation both in the dream and waking worlds.
When he is finally free - more than a century later – The Sandman must try to recover the power taken from him.
That journey, chronicled in Netflix’s new series, follows him around the globe (and into the depths of hell) as he faces off with wizards and nightmares...as well as his rather complicated family.
The Sandman reviews including The Guardian and IGN
The first reviews for Netflix’s The Sandman starring Jenna Coleman and Tom Sturridge are in.
The Guardian gave the 10-part fantasy drama a glowing four-star review: “This dark, engrossing comic book adaptation is utterly lavish, and features an emotional depth that’s almost unheard of in fantasy epics. It should delight fans and newcomers alike.”
IGN said, in a spoiler-free review, “It’s beautiful, rich, lush, and magnificent and everything fans have been waiting for.
"Tom Sturridge is utterly ethereal as Dream, and his co-stars seem to keep pace with him with ease. Meanwhile, stunning, sweeping images from The Dreaming to Hell itself keep us immersed in the fantasy.”
In another four-star review, The Daily Telegraph wrote: “Netflix’s dark fantasy series is the perfect antidote to the never-ending stream of smirking superhero romps.”
And Empire Magazine, also in a four-star review, concluded: “"With its attention to the source material, its impressive cast, and the kind of expansive world-building that surely demands more seasons, The Sandman is what dreams are made of.”
The Sandman Netflix trailer
You can watch the trailer for Netflix’s The Sandman on the streaming platform as well as on social media and Youtube.
What has Neil Gaiman said about The Sandman on Netflix?
Writer Neil Gaiman has said he spent the last 30 years preventing interpretations of The Sandman, but feels the upcoming series is the “adaptation of their dreams”.
The new dark fantasy drama series is based on Gaiman’s beloved award-winning DC Comics series and is set to air on Netflix from August 5.
It will follow the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the mistakes he has made during his vast existence.
Gaiman told the PA news agency on the red carpet for the UK premiere of the series: “I spent the majority of the last 30 years stopping adaptations of Sandman and hoping that they didn’t happen.
“So all of a sudden, here we were actually making an adaptation of Sandman and it was the adaptation of our dreams.
“We had the money to make it, we got to put together the cast of our dreams, and that it was just a matter of not messing it up and I really don’t think we have messed it up.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve made so it’s been awesome.”
The writer added one thing that fans will be familiar with but new viewers might find “very strange” is that no episode will be like one another.
He explained: “Some of them are going to get really dark, some of them are going to be warm and human and inspiring.
“Some of them are you’re going to go to Hell, and you’re going to go to a serial killers convention but you’re also going to wind up in a little London pub once every 100 years from 1389 onwards, watching the Sandman Morpheus meeting a friend in a pub, and it’s just not going to be the same thing but it’s always going to take you to places you’ve never gone before.”
Who is in The Sandman cast?
Tom Sturridge will star as Morpheus with Gwendoline Christie playing Lucifer Morningstar, the ruler of Hell.
Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Lourdes Faberes and Joely Richardson will also all star in the series.
Netflix reported auditioned about 200 actors before casting Tom Sturridge as Dream.
The actor, nominated for a Tony Award for his stage performance in Sea Wall/A Life, had never previously read The Sandman but consumed Gaiman’s source material for the role.
“I just fell in love with Sandman as a piece of literature,” Sturridge says. “What became terrifying about the audition was not so much trying to become him, but being so excited to potentially be a part of this world. Now I’m an obsessive Sandman fan. I feel I may have read it all the way from start to finish several times now, and I feel like I know it intimately.”
Gwendoline Christie will play the fallen angel Lucifer and Boyd Holbrook is starring as escaped nightmare The Corinthian.
Occultist Roderick Burgess is played by Charles Dance, Desire – Morpheus’ sibling – is played by Mason Alexander Park and John Dee, who uses Dream’s stolen power, is played by David Thewlis.
Some of The Sandman's allies and friends include Lucienne, played by Vivienne Acheampong, janitor Mervyn Pumpkinhead who is played by Mark Hamill, Dream's older sister, Death, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and raven companion Mathew is played by Patton Oswalt.
All 10 episodes of The Sandman TV series will air on Netflix from today (Friday, August 5).