Entertainment The Sandman season 1, episode 3 review, recap, and analysis: 'Dream A Little Dream Of Me'
Get ready for the dark new Netflix fantasy series we’ve all been waiting for
For more than 30 years now, Neil Gaiman says he’s tried to do one thing when it comes to his DC Comics title The Sandman: To prevent bad adaptations from making it to either the big screen or to TV sets. “We got to 2020, and Sandman was the biggest DC comics property that still had not been adapted,” Gaiman said, in an interview with Netflix included in press material ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated debut of the streamer’s TV series The Sandman. “It was widely considered one of the jewels in the crown. It was the adult comic that changed everything.
How you feel about "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" will likely depend on how you feel about what’s been done to the occultist formerly known as John Constantine. No, we’re not talking about the gender flip or name change – here to Johanna, played by Jenna Coleman – but the fact that this version of the character is rocking a cockney accent. Constantine’s scouse! That’s important!
In fairness, this is hardly the first time the character’s background has shifted for the screen – remember 2005’s Constantine, which starred the famously Canadian Keanu Reeves? – and Coleman does a decent job of selling the character’s laconic humor and bruised heart.episode acts as a deep dive into her world and the perils of life as an occultist for hire. At night she’s plagued by nightmares from her past, while her waking hours are filled with exorcisms, exploding torsos, and annoying business calls from the royal family.
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Enter Morpheus. The Lord of Dreams is here to find his totems of power following a tip-off from the Three. He immediately butts heads with Johanna but they eventually strike a bargain – Dream will take away the nightmares that plague her every night if Johanna will help him find his pouch of sand. She was the last person to see it, having bought it in an estate sale without really knowing what it was, but it's long gone now, left in the flat of ex-girlfriend Rachel (Eleanor Fanyinka), who she walked out on some time ago.
The scenes between Sturridge and Coleman crackle with energy. Something about Constantine seems to bring out both Morpheus's dry sense of humor and a reflective streak. When Johanna reveals that she fled her relationship with Rachel because love "never ends well" and he replies, "No, I suppose it doesn't," it's clear that he's talking from personal experience.
Netflix's The Sandman Finally Brings the Dreaming World to Life
Neil Gaiman has a certain style about it, there is no denying that. Over the course of many years, the idea of bringing his hit Read MoreNeil Gaiman has a certain style about it, there is no denying that. Over the course of many years, the idea of bringing his hit graphic novel series, The Sandman, to life has been toyed with. There have been many projects that were never completed due to reasons such as creative differences, but in all honesty, this is a difficult series to pull off.
These scenes also provide some necessary exposition. One ofwas that the motivations for Dream's quest were too vague to be dramatically satisfying. Here we get a concrete explanation for why all of this is important - if he doesn't get his vestments back then the Dreaming "will cease to exist and if dreams disappear, then so will reality". Cool. Got it.
Meanwhile, back in Buffalo New York, Ethel is talking with her son John (David Thewlis). She's come to pass on her amulet of protection and to warn him that Dream is coming for his stolen possessions. Thewlis is terrific in the role of John Dee, radiating menace. At the same time, there's a gentleness and naivety there that makes the character sympathetic as well as scary. Hey, it's not his fault that those guards exploded – they shot first!
The episode closes on a bittersweet note. Rachel has wasted away, consumed by the sand in Dream's pouch. Morpheus is at least able to give her a peaceful end, granting her a blissful dream of a happy ending with Johanna as she passes away, but Johanna is left heartbroken.
Why The Sandman TV Show Is Not Set In the DC Universe
Neil Gaiman explains why the Sandman series on Netflix forgoes characters and connections to the wider DC Universe that the comic book featured.During the early issues of The Sandman, the series featured appearances from DC characters like John Constantine, Martian Manhunter, and Justice League villain Doctor Destiny. The series forgoes many of these characters. The show does include a new character named Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman), and Doctor Destiny (David Thewlis) appears as John Dee, but does not resemble his comic book counterpart.
This is a big improvement over "Imperfect Hosts", largely thanks to its strong focus on both Morpheus and Constantine. Finally, we’re getting a sense of who Morpheus is as a protagonist and how his perspective is often quite different from our own. He has to be convinced to grant Rachel a peaceful end and it's clear that his view of humanity, following his imprisonment, is still rather jaundiced. Constantine, though, manages to change his mind, even if just a little. There's more to us mortals, he finally realizes, than Roderick Burgess.
Analysis: How it compares to the comics
The way that Rachel obtains the pouch is slightly different. In the comic, she’s a junkie who habitually steals from Constantine. She takes the sand and is eventually consumed by its power, but it's clearly not Constantine’s fault. The TV show blurs those lines interestingly. Johanna didn’t know the power of the sand, but Rachel’s death is – at least in part – down to her simply taking off and abandoning her. That's bound to haunt her a little.
Matthew (voiced by Patton Oswalt) doesn't appear in the comics until The Sandman #11. We get to see much more of him in the next episode.
Will 'The Sandman' Return for Season 2?
We sure hope so. The next installment of the source material, 'Season of Mists,' is largely considered Neil Gaiman's finest work on the series.For everyone already buckled up for more insane tales from the world of The Sandman, we have some good news to share. Though Netflix still has to officially renew the new comic book adaptation for a second season, executive producer David S. Goyer confirmed this week that he was already at work on the script for Season Two.
The scenes between Ethel and John have been greatly expanded, adding some nice character beats, like John coming to terms with his heritage. Both Joely Richardson and David Thewlis are acting their socks off, fully selling this weird mother and son relationship.
Finally – and for the third episode in a row – the Corinthian shows up to try and manipulate events. This time by, er, giving John a coat.
Fables and reflections
Dream says to Johanna, "I’ve known your family for centuries." And indeed we will meet another Johanna Constantine, also played by Jenna Coleman, very soon…
The episode opens at the Casanova Club, originally reference in Hellblazer #11. In the comics this was a punk venue where John Constantine’s band, Mucous Membrane, once played a show. Now, as far as we can tell, Johanna Constantine doesn’t have a band – at least not any more – but keep an eye on the posters on the walls. One advertises a gig by the similarly-named Muchas Membrane, while other posters say Occult Circles, Birth of a Nightmare, and Run, Now!
The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix. For more streaming options, check out our list of theavailable right now.
6 Biggest Differences Between Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Comics .
Netflix's The Sandman is a hugely faithful adaptation of the comic book series by Neil Gaiman. Of course, as it is made in the modern day there have been some changes to the story to modernize it. And no, I’m not talking about the added diversity. There are a lot of minor changes, but these are six of the biggest, in my opinion. © Provided by The Mary Sue The Sandman Dream with helmet ***SPOILER ALERT: These reveals are spoilers for the The Sandman.*** 1. The amount of time Dream is captured: The original graphic novel series begins in 1989, the year of publication.