Mr. Sandman, bring me a show. Netflix’s The Sandman just surprise-dropped a bonus episode with some major guest stars. The new installment is divided into two sections — animated and live action — and tells two of the most beloved stories from the original Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman. The first is “A Dream of a Thousand Cats,” which is animated, starring Sandra Oh, David Tennant, Michael Sheen, and the official Dream Tom Sturridge as enigmatic magic cats. “We endeavored to make the animated version of ‘A Dream of a Thousand Cats’ as mesmerizing and hypnotic as we could by utilizing the magic of real oil paintings on canvas,” said director Hisko Hulsing. “We combined the paintings with classically drawn 2-D animation, based on realistic 3-D animation of telepathic cats in order to create a trippy world that feels both grounded and dreamy at the same time.” But what’s your digital fur technology like? And do these cats even have human breasts?
The second episode is the live-action “Calliope,” based on the Greek muse, starring Melissanthi Mahut in the titular role, Arthur Darvill as Richard Madoc, and Derek Jacobi as Erasmus Fry. On Mahut’s casting, executive producer Allan Heinberg said, “With Melissanthi, we got her self-tape, her audition. And that was it. It was nobody else.” Plus, “the fact that she’s of Greek ancestry made it even more perfect. I was not familiar with her work at the time, but I was absolutely blown away by her.” Hmm … not familiar with Mahut’s work? Someone at Netflix please do your job and force Heinberg to watch Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.