Netflix's 'The Sandman' Drops a Star-Studded Two-Part Bonus Episode

'The Sandman' Bonus Episode
Kurt Krieger - Getty Images/Netflix/Alberto E. Rodriguez - Getty Images

The two-parter features appearances by Neil Gaiman, Sandra Oh, James McAvoy, David Tennant and Michael Sheen.

The Sandman fans are getting an extra treat! Netflix dropped a special two-part episode at midnight on Friday, featuring the stories of "A Dream of a Thousand Cats" and "Calliope." 

The first half of the bonus episode is an animated feature with series star Tom Sturridge reprising his role as Morpheus, known as Dream and the titular Sandman. The voice cast also includes creator and executive producer Neil Gaiman as Crow/Skull Bird, Sandra Oh as The Prophet, Rosie Day as The Tabby Kitten, David Gyasi as The Grey Cat, Joe Lycett as The Black Cat, James McAvoy as Golden-Haired Man, David Tennant as Don, Georgia Tennant as Laura Lynn, Michael Sheen as Paul, Anna Lundberg as Marion, Nonso Anozie as Wyvern, Diane Morgan as Gryphon and Tom Wu as Hippogriff.

Directed by Louise Hooper, "Calliope" is live-action and stars Melissanthi Mahut as the titular character. Arthur Darvill also stars as Richard Madoc, as well as Nina Wadia as Fate Mother, Souad Faress as Fate Crone, Dinita Gohil as Fate Maiden, Kevin Harvey as Larry, Amita Suman as Nora and Derek Jacobi as Erasmus Fry.

Hisko Hulsing, director and product designer of "A Dream of a Thousand Cats," said in a statement that the production team worked to make the animation "as mesmerizing and hypnotic as we could" through the use of real oil paintings on canvas.

"We combined the paintings 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," Hulsing explained. "Untold Studio’s in London created the breathtaking 3D animation of the cats. The wonderful 2D animation, oil paintings and stylizing were all done at Submarine Studios in Amsterdam."

Netflix released The Sandman on Aug. 5 and the (originally) 10-episode series quickly topped Netflix's Top 10 TV list (English) for two weeks in a row. The long-awaited adaptation of Gaiman's beloved comic book series tackles the comic's story from the beginning, following Morpheus (Sturridge) as he breaks free from decades-long imprisonment by humans to return to his kingdom of the Dreaming.

The anthropomorphic personification of dreams discovers that his home has fallen into disarray in his absence and, to restore order, he must journey across different worlds and timelines to mend the mistakes he’s made during his vast existence, revisiting old friends and foes, and meeting new entities -- both cosmic and human -- along the way.

The series features a star-studded cast alongside Sturridge that includes Kirby Howell-Baptise, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Stephen Fry, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson, Mason Alexander Park, and voice work from Patton Oswalt and Mark Hamill. 

Fans are still waiting for news on season 2, but the cast and crew are hopeful for a second installment. Gaiman played coy when ET posed the question of another season to him and Sandman co-creator Allan Heinberg, but the latter teased that the "groundwork" has been set in case the opportunity for another installment arises.

"We're laying the groundwork in case we are asked to make one," he said. "How about that?"

Gaiman added, "We would love there to be a season 2... Right now, I love Sandman, Allan loves Sandman [and] David Goyer loves Sandman. We know the cast loves Sandman because they've seen it. I just ran into Stephen Fry and he told me how much he loves Sandman. Now, we need to see if that applies to the rest of the world or if it's just us."

"[This story] hadn't been told before on television, and so many things have. People know what hospital dramas or legal dramas and things alike because they've seen them before. They've seen space operas. They've not seen Sandman, and the opportunity to actually do something completely new on television, it doesn't come along very often, and we've got to do it," Gaiman concluded. "And we got to do it for ourselves because we didn't know if anybody else was going to like it, but we knew we had to make something that we would love. And now, people are seeing the episodes, and the response is honestly actually kind of a bit overwhelming. And I feel like, 'OK, good. We made it for us, and they like it too.'"

The Sandman is streaming now on Netflix.