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

How do you adapt an award-winning comedian ebook collection that is thought-about unfilmable? For those who’re the inventive group behind Netflix’s The Sandman, you progress some issues round, however largely you hew carefully 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 govt producers David S. Goyer and Gaiman have tailored the primary 16 problems with the comics right into a 10 episode-long season that, whereas most actually not excellent, clearly works onerous to do justice to and keep the spirit of the originals.

This Sandman nonetheless tells the story of Dream, performed by Tom Sturridge, the lord of the dreaming realm who’s imprisoned by magic-hungry people initially of the collection. 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 vital noticeable modifications the collection makes early on is updating the date of Dream’s escape from the late 1980s to the current day, setting the remainder of the story in 2021 — with some flashbacks, in fact.

However that is not the one approach by which The Sandman diverges from its supply materials. Listed below are 5 extra methods Netflix’s The Sandman is totally different from the comics.

Shifting comedian storylines round

Demise and Dream have a chat. Credit score: Courtesy of Netflix

Season 1 of The Sandman follows the comics’ first 16 points, which incorporates arcs from each Preludes & Nocturnes andThe Doll’s Home. It largely takes a “one problem per episode” strategy, 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 rigidity, this episode incorporates the storyline from Passengers, the difficulty 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 offers 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 primary half of the episode is an especially trustworthy adaptation of the comedian problem of the identical identify, which sees Dream and Demise (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) strolling round and having a dialog about humanity. The second half of the episode is an especially trustworthy adaptation of problem 13, Males of Good Fortune. There, we study Dream’s once-a-century assembly with the immortal human Hob Gadling (Ferdinand Kingsley).

The tales are each beautiful and shifting on their very own, however once they’re awkwardly stitched collectively one proper after the opposite, the result’s one disjointed episode of TV. This episode is clumsily attempting to provide us a deeper understanding of Dream’s relationship to people and to alter, however on the finish of the day, these are two comedian points that 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 score: Courtesy of Netflix

In an interview with Den of Geek, Heinberg and Gaiman talked about that probably the most thrilling components of the variation course of was the truth that they might painting occasions from The Sandman that do not occur on the web page however that are nonetheless necessary. For instance, within the comics, we by no means see Hal carry out in drag as a result of reality, Gaiman explains, that comics aren’t the very best 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 Indignant Inch author/director/star John Cameron Mitchell as Rose Walker’s drag-performing landlord.

One other nice new addition is the ultimate dialogue between John and his mom Ethel Cripps (Joely Richardson) within the present’s third episode. Within the comics, Ethel dies off-page and bequeaths John her protecting amulet. Within the present, Ethel offers John the amulet straight after which dies onscreen because the protections fade away. Earlier than 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 strategy to trigger chaos. Credit score: Courtesy of Netflix

It won’t be bursting on the brim with Justice League references, however The Sandman continues to be a DC comedian. For instance, John Dee is saved in Arkham Asylum alongside Batman villains like Scarecrow. He’s additionally the supervillain often known as Physician Future, who will get as much as lots of evil shenanigans in different DC comics, and whose look is monstrous and scabby and throughout horrifying. The Sandman collection forgoes this path, as a substitute cementing John as a human and tweaking his backstory.

Lyta and Hector and Rose and Jed

Two women stand in front of a black car.

Lyta and Rose meet slightly earlier within the present. Credit score: Liam Daniel/Netflix

Two different DC comics characters showing in The Sandman are Lyta (Razane Jammal) and Hector Corridor (Lloyd Everitt). Within the wider DC comics, they’ve superhero identities of their very own, however in The Doll’s Home arc of The Sandman, they serve a selected function. Hector is lifeless, 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 to create a brand new head of the Dreaming. Hector visits his pregnant spouse Lyta within the dream realm so the 2 have extra time collectively, and infrequently Lyta is visited by Jed Walker (Eddie Karanja), the little brother of Rose Walker (Kyo Ra). Nonetheless, when Dream finds out about what Brute and Glob have finished, he casts Hector again to the land of the lifeless and declares he’ll return for Lyta’s baby — who, by advantage of its time spent gestating within 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 an in depth pal of Rose’s, touring along with her looking for Jed. Jed, trapped by a brand new nightmare named Gault, really takes on the position of the pretend Sandman. It is a poignant alternative 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 necessary early threads of The Sandman and offers us one other likelihood to see the results of Rose’s position because the dream vortex.

Extra 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? Extra-inthian! Credit score: Liam Daniel/Netflix

One of many greatest and greatest methods by which The Sandman diverges from its supply materials is the way it introduces the nightmare often known as the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) earlier within the story. The present makes the clever choice to embrace him as a villain proper from the beginning. From his confrontation with Dream within the first episode to his manipulation of Rose and Jed on the serial killer conference, it is clear he is the season’s major antagonist. His position within the comics is contained to The Doll’s Home arc, which is efficient as we transfer from problem to problem. Nonetheless, in a TV collection that is launched , 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 an excellent foil for Dream all through. The Corinthian could be the stuff of nightmares, however his expanded position is what adaptation goals are manufactured from.

The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix.