For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Review- The Sandman Ep. 1: Sleep of the Just

Image: Netflix

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman took the comic world by storm when it debuted in January 1989 and over the years grew into a cult classic, introducing readers to the world of The Endless. The Sandman Universe continues in comics today, but its biggest battle has always been getting onto the big or small screen. Fans have waited decades and lived through many false starts since development began in 1991 with Joseph Gordon-Levitt even being attached to the project at one point. Finally, though Morpheus has arrived. Has it been worth the wait?

As the episode opens, we get to witness Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) apprehending a nightmare known as The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook). Just as he is successful Morpheus himself is captured in an occult ritual by British aristocrat Sir Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), who was attempting to capture Death. With Morpheus captured The Corinthian escapes. Sir Roderick takes Morpheus’s totems of power: his helm, a pouch of sand, and a ruby. He then imprisons Morpheus for what will eventually be 106 years. This causes an epidemic of sleep sickness across the world.

We witness the growth and development of Sir Roderick’s son Alex (played initially by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth and then Laurie Kynaston) and his relationship with Morpheus as well as witness the theft of Morpheus’ totems by Roderick’s angry partner Ethel Cripps (Niamh Walsh), who leaves Roderick while pregnant with his child.

Finally, we get to the year 2021, Roderick’s son, Alex, is now an old man (played by Benedick Blythe) who continues to keep Morpheus imprisoned. Alex is cared for by his partner Paul (Christopher Colquhoun). Alex offers to set Morpheus free in exchange for his and his lover’s protection, and one final time, Morpheus does not respond. As they leave Paul deliberately erases part of the rune circle keeping Morpheus magically bound with the wheel of Alex’s wheelchair. He exchanges glances with Morpheus, with Morpheus realising he has allowed him to escape…

Verdict: 9/10. As far as adaptions go, this remains tight to the source material. Gaiman said he would be updating some aspects of the story and having Morpheus imprisoned longer just adds to his plight. Director Mike Barker weaves stunning visual effects throughout the narrative and keeps both balanced when either could run away from the other. As a first episode we get a clear introduction of our main character and his capabilities with a cliff-hanger ending that leaves us wanting to watch more. I do wonder though if non-readers would feel the same way?

Related Posts
The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country trailer released

Writer James Tynion IV discusses a terrifying travelogue through a nation recognizable and obscene, showing you things never seen in a Sandman series, with spectacular art by Lisandro Estherren (Redneck, Read more

Preview- The Sandman Universe presents Hellblazer #1

The second year of the Sandman Universe begins with the long-awaited arrival of one of DC's most iconic characters...John Constantine, Hellblazer! He's cheated death and damnation more times than he Read more

Locke & Key/Sandman Universe crossover trailer released

IDW have released a trailer for their Locke & Key /DC comics' Sandman Universe crossover...

Preview- The Sandman Complete Box Set

Weaving together ancient mythology, folklore, and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision, Neil Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death. The Read more

Sandman Vol 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

Neil Gaiman weaves the story of a man interested in capturing the physical manifestation of Death but who instead captures the King of Dreams. The chapter '24 Hours' is worth Read more

Sandman Vol 2: The Doll’s House

Collecting The Sandman issues #9 to 16, Lord Morpheus tracks down three dreams who escaped to the waking world, while a young woman searches for her little brother. As their stories Read more

Sandman Vol 3: Dream Country

Volume 3 collects issues #17  to 20 including the wonderful Shakespearian “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which won a World Fantasy Award for short fiction (the first time a comic had Read more

Sandman Vol 4: Season of Mists

This collection begins with an Endless family meeting, wherein Desire taunts Morpheus about his intolerant treatment of a former lover, the African queen 'Nada' ("Nada" is "Nothing" in Spanish), whose Read more

Preview- The Sandman: Act II (Audible Audiobook)

Enter the Dreaming again as the blockbuster audio adaptation of “the greatest epic in the history of comic books” continues in The Sandman: Act II. James McAvoy returns to voice Morpheus, Read more

Absolute Sandman Overture (Hard Cover)

Neil Gaiman's legendary series is back in DC's Absolute Edition format! From the birth of a galaxy to the moment that Morpheus is captured, THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE features cameo appearances Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014. Some would describe him as a teacher, writer, dream weaver, and visionary... some would not...

%d bloggers like this: