5 ways Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ is different from the comics

How do you adapt an award-winning comedian e book sequence that is thought of unfilmable? If you are the artistic workforce behind Netflix’s The Sandman, you progress some issues round, however principally you hew intently to the beloved supply materials.

The Netflix adaptation of The Sandman is remarkably trustworthy to Neil Gaiman’s comics, regardless of the appreciable challenges posed by very nature of the story. Showrunner Allan Heinberg and government producers David S. Goyer and Gaiman have tailored the first 16 problems with the comics into a ten episode-long season that, whereas most definitely not excellent, clearly works arduous to do justice to and keep the spirit of the originals.

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This Sandman nonetheless tells the story of Dream, performed by Tom Sturridge, the lord of the dreaming realm who is imprisoned by magic-hungry people at the starting of the sequence. Upon his escape a long time later, he should restore order to the Dreaming whereas contending with the chaos that ensued each in his world and the waking world whereas he was gone. One of the most noticeable adjustments the sequence makes early on is updating the date of Dream’s escape from the late Nineteen Eighties to the current day, setting the remainder of the story in 2021 — with some flashbacks, after all.

But that is not the solely method during which The Sandman diverges from its supply materials. Here are 5 extra ways Netflix’s The Sandman is different from the comics.

Shifting comedian storylines round

A man and a woman sit on a park bench.

Death and Dream have a chat.
Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Season 1 of The Sandman follows the comics’ first 16 points, which incorporates arcs from each Preludes & Nocturnes andThe Doll’s House. It principally takes a “one issue per episode” method, however at solely 10 episodes lengthy, some storylines needed to be moved round.

In some circumstances, this works higher than others. Episode 4, titled “A Hope in Hell,” follows Dream’s journey to Hell to search out his helm; to up the dramatic pressure, this episode incorporates the storyline from Passengers, the concern of the comics following A Hope in Hell, whereby John Dee (David Thewlis) escapes from a psychological establishment to search out Dream’s ruby. Having the tales play out concurrently provides us a strong A plot and B plot as our protagonist and our antagonist seek out Dream’s magical instruments, teasing the inevitable showdown.

Episode 6, “The Sound of Her Wings,” is a much less efficient try at combining comedian storylines. The first half of the episode is an especially trustworthy adaptation of the comedian concern of the similar title, which sees Dream and Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) strolling round and having a dialog about humanity. The second half of the episode is an especially trustworthy adaptation of concern 13, Men of Good Fortune. There, we find out about Dream’s once-a-century assembly with the immortal human Hob Gadling (Ferdinand Kingsley).

The tales are each pretty and transferring on their very own, however once they’re awkwardly stitched collectively one proper after the different, the consequence is one disjointed episode of TV. This episode is clumsily making an attempt to offer us a deeper understanding of Dream’s relationship to people and to vary, however at the finish of the day, these are two comedian points which will have labored higher by themselves.

Going off-panel

A woman speaks to a man seated on a hospital bed in a white room.

A brand new scene, however an fascinating one.
Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

In an interview with Den of Geek, Heinberg and Gaiman talked about that one among the most fun components of the adaptation course of was the undeniable fact that they may painting occasions from The Sandman that do not occur on the web page however that are nonetheless essential. For instance, in the comics, we by no means see Hal carry out in drag as a consequence of the truth, Gaiman explains, that comics aren’t the greatest medium for musical performances. The present takes that chance for brand new materials and runs with it, incorporating a number of of Hal’s numbers into the present and casting Hedwig and the Angry Inch author/director/star John Cameron Mitchell as Rose Walker’s drag-performing landlord.

Another nice new addition is the ultimate dialogue between John and his mom Ethel Cripps (Joely Richardson) in the present’s third episode. In the comics, Ethel dies off-page and bequeaths John her protecting amulet. In the present, Ethel provides John the amulet straight after which dies onscreen as the protections fade away. Before that, we additionally get an illuminating dialog between her and John about Dream. This helps set up John’s motivations going ahead, which is extraordinarily helpful as a result of…

No main DC tie-ins

A man with a mustache looks at a golden necklace with a ruby pendant.

John Dee on his option to trigger chaos.
Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

It may not be bursting at the brim with Justice League references, however The Sandman is nonetheless a DC comedian. For instance, John Dee is stored in Arkham Asylum alongside Batman villains like Scarecrow. He is additionally the supervillain often known as Doctor Destiny, who will get as much as numerous evil shenanigans in different DC comics, and whose look is monstrous and scabby and throughout scary. The Sandman sequence forgoes this path, as a substitute cementing John as a human and tweaking his backstory.

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Lyta and Hector and Rose and Jed

(*5*)

Lyta and Rose meet a bit of earlier in the present.
Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

Two different DC comics characters showing in The Sandman are Lyta (Razane Jammal) and Hector Hall (Lloyd Everitt). In the wider DC comics, they’ve superhero identities of their very own, however in The Doll’s House arc of The Sandman, they serve a selected goal. Hector is useless, however rogue nightmares Brute and Glob have trapped his consciousness. They prop him up as their very own model of the Sandman in an try and create a brand new head of the Dreaming. Hector visits his pregnant spouse Lyta in the dream realm so the two have extra time collectively, and infrequently Lyta is visited by Jed Walker (Eddie Karanja), the little brother of Rose Walker (Kyo Ra). However, when Dream finds out about what Brute and Glob have achieved, he casts Hector again to the land of the useless and declares he’ll return for Lyta’s youngster — who, by advantage of its time spent gestating in the Dreaming, is now his.

Most of this storyline seems in Netflix’s The Sandman, however there are a number of tweaks. Now, Lyta is a detailed good friend of Rose’s, touring along with her searching for Jed. Jed, trapped by a brand new nightmare named Gault, really takes on the function of the pretend Sandman. It’s a poignant selection that emphasizes his need to flee from his abusive adoptive father. I additionally appreciated the connection between Lyta and Rose, because it pulls collectively characters from essential early threads of The Sandman and offers us one other probability to see the results of Rose’s function as the dream vortex.

More of the Corinthian

A man in sunglasses rests his hands on a diner table, talking to another man at the table.

What do you name having extra of the Corinthian? More-inthian!
Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

One of the largest and greatest ways during which The Sandman diverges from its supply materials is the way it introduces the nightmare often known as the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) earlier in the story. The present makes the sensible resolution to embrace him as a villain proper from the begin. From his confrontation with Dream in the first episode to his manipulation of Rose and Jed at the serial killer conference, it is clear he is the season’s most important antagonist. His function in the comics is contained to The Doll’s House arc, which is efficient as we transfer from concern to concern. However, in a TV sequence that is launched abruptly, it is good to have one other throughline we are able to observe as we binge. Plus, the Corinthian’s encouragement of people’ worst impulses makes him a fantastic foil for Dream all through. The Corinthian could also be the stuff of nightmares, however his expanded function is what adaptation desires are made from.

The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix.

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