While you were sleeping, the world of The Dreaming expanded without notice. Netflix has released a bonus episode of The Sandman featuring guest stars Sandra Oh, David Tennant, James McAvoy, Michael Sheen, and others.
The special bonus installment arrives two weeks after the initial 10 episodes of The Sandman Season 1 hit the streaming platform. Split into two parts, the episode adapts a pair of classic tales from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic books: “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” gets a unique animated treatment, while “Calliope” is presented in live-action.
Many of the big-ticket guest stars lend their talents to “A Dream of a Thousand Cats,” such as Oh voicing The Prophet and McAvoy playing the Golden-Haired Man. Tennat and his wife, Georgia, respectively voice Don and Laura Lynn, while Sheen and his partner, Anna Lundberg, take on Paul and Marion. Other guests include Rosie Day (The Tabby Kitten), David Gyasi (The Grey Cat), Joe Lycett (The Black Cat), Nonso Anozie (Wyvern), Diana Morgan (Gryphon), and Tom Wu (Hippograff). Gaiman himself provides the voice for Crow/Skull Bird.
Director and production designer Hisko Hulsing commented on the distinctive animated style his team brought to the story: “We combined [real oil paintings on canvas] 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.”
“Calliope,” meanwhile, features a plethora of guest actors of its own, including Melissanthi Mahut as the title character, Arthur Darvill as Richard Madoc, Kevin Harvey as Larry, Amita Suman as Nora, and Derek Jacobi as Erasmus Fry. The Three Fates (Nina Wadia, Souad Faress, and Dinita Gohil) also appear.
Some of these cast members aren’t new to the world of Gaiman nor The Dreaming. McAvoy voices Morpheus himself for Audible’s The Sandman series, which also features Sheen as Lucifer and Tennant as Loki. The latter two actors also star in Amazon Prime Video’s adaptation of Gaiman’s Good Omens.
Watch a trailer for the bonus Sandman episode below.