The Sandman review: dreamy adaptation exceeds expectations

There’s been no shortage of skeptics when it came to The Sandman, Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantastic comic-book saga revolving around Morpheus, the lord of dreams.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest series ever published, Gaiman’s comic is a massive, expertly crafted narrative that spans myriad planes of existence and encompasses a wide swath of characters, yet somehow remains powerfully human and familiar in its themes and the mythology that informs it.  Efforts to adapt The Sandman began more than two decades ago, with a multitude of starts, stops, and years spent in limbo leading many to believe the best fans could hope for is the sort of messy, soulless translation that typically results from troubled, long-developing projects.

Developed by Gaiman, David S. Goyer (the Dark Knight trilogy), and Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman), The Sandman casts Tom Sturridge (Orphans) as Dream, a.k.a. Morpheus, one of seven siblings known as the Endless who embody the basic primal forces of existence.

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The series finds Morpheus, the ruler of the dreamscape where imagination, nightmares, and inspiration are nurtured, imprisoned by a human hoping to capture his sister, Death.

Held captive for more than a century, Morpheus eventually escapes, only to find that his kingdom has changed dramatically in his absence, forcing him to embark on a far-reaching quest to reassert control over his realm.

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