Last night, I dreamed of The Sandman season two. Earlier today, I dreamed of The Sandman season two. And as I’m typing this, I’m dreaming of The Sandman season two. In case you can’t tell, I really loved Netflix’s The Sandman, and I’m anxiously awaiting more episodes. The Tom Sturridge-starring television series was a beautiful update of Neil Gaiman’s classic comic book series, and it didn’t take me long to consume all ten episodes (and its recently released bonus chapter). But like most wonderful dreams, you feel that sense of loss when you wake up. I loved The Sandman, and I want this dream to continue. Which has led me to wonder, what would season two of The Sandman look like?
Before I go any further, let me just state that there has been no official season two announcement yet, and even if there was, I’m in the dark just as much as you are. I don’t work for DC, other than what I write for you here on DC.com. I have no insights into the future of the Sandman series, or the crazy dreams the showrunners are cooking up. So, these speculations are just that—speculations. Think of it like a dream, maybe it will come true, maybe it won’t. Either way, here are some things we might be seeing in The Sandman season two.
Mists and Games
Since season one of The Sandman covers the first two trade paperbacks (“Preludes and Nocturnes” and “The Doll’s House”), we could assume that a potential second season would cover the next two major installments, “Season of Mists” and “A Game of You.”
Yes, I realized that I skipped The Sandman’s third volume, “Dream Country.” “Dream Country” is a collection of four standalone short stories, and we actually saw the first two adapted in The Sandman’s surprise bonus episode, “Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope.” Of the two remaining short stories, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” seems like a must-adapt for season two. It’s one of the best-loved single issues of the entire comic run and is the only comic book to have ever won the prestigious World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. Plus, if you know the comic book, you know that it also ties directly in with how Morpheus’ story ends.
The fourth and final “Dream Country” story—“Façade”—is more of a question mark. It’s centered around a fairly obscure DC superhero, Element Girl, and The Sandman season one seemed to largely eschew traditional superheroes. Still, it does feature the ever-popular Death and not too many stories from the main comic do, so maybe we’ll see a version of it.
At this point, if you haven’t read The Sandman past “A Doll’s House,” consider this a spoiler warning, because we’re going to talk about what happens next in the series.
“Season of Mists” deals with Morpheus becoming the new ruler of Hell, while “A Game of You” introduces a new land in the Dreaming where Barbie (you might remember her from “A Doll’s House”) finds herself at the center of a potential disaster.
A big part of “Season of Mists” resolves around Dream’s quest to liberate his ex-lover, Nada. That name might not ring a bell if you’re a new fan, but we actually met Nada in season one, during Dream’s journey into the underworld in “A Hope in Hell.” During that episode, we see Nada (as portrayed by Deborah Oyelade) beg Morpheus to free her from Hell, but the dream lord says he hasn’t forgiven her yet. As he walks away, he tells his raven Matthew that he was the one who originally condemned Nada to Hell…which is pretty messed up.
In the comic series, we learn the history of Nada’s romance with Morpheus in issue #9, which essentially kicks off “The Doll’s House” storyline. The Netflix series didn’t adapt that issue, but I have a feeling we might see it in a potential season two.
One of the reasons “Season of Mists” is so popular with Sandman fans is because it’s the story where we finally get to meet most (but not quite all) of Dream’s siblings, the Endless. The storyline begins with a gathering of nearly all the Endless siblings—and personally, I can’t wait to see how this scene is brought to life in live-action. We’ve already met Dream (Tom Sturridge), Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), Desire (Mason Alexander Park) and Despair (Donna Preston), but the awkward family gathering also introduces the somber Destiny and the absolutely delightful Delirium. Destruction, the black sheep of the family, doesn’t show up.
Mason Alexander Park absolutely ate up the screen as Desire, so frankly, we’re for as many scenes of them as we can get in season two. I’m especially excited to see them play off of Howell-Baptiste’s Death and see all of the other family dynamics in play. Plus, who doesn’t want to know who might be cast as Delirium and Destiny? The casting department has been knocking it out of the park, so I can’t wait to see who fills out the rest of Morpheus’ eclectic brood.
A New Big Bad
The Sandman’s debut season gave the Corinthian a larger role than he had in the source material. In the comics, he’s only seen in “The Doll’s House,” but Netflix had the nefarious nightmare pulling the strings starting with episode one. So, perhaps season two will go down a similar route, giving us another big bad. The question is, who would that big bad be?
The biggest possibility is that the conflict between Lucifer and Morpheus will play out differently than it does in “Season of Mists.” The ending of season one certainly teased Lucifer as a threat, and more Gwendoline Christie is always a good thing.
Another possible big bad is the Cuckoo, a dream who invades the waking world. She physically manifests as a child version of Barbie, which should be pretty unsettling in live action. If you’ve seen enough horror movies, then you know how scary creepy little kids can be. Perhaps we’ll see the Cuckoo storyline spread out throughout the season, much like the Corinthian’s storyline was. Or maybe that’s why we won’t. It might feel too similar to season one. Too much like The Sandman is repeating itself. We don’t want that.
It’s easy to look at the comics for a hint at what might happen in a potential Sandman season two, but the truth is, anything can happen. While the first season closely followed the source material, it also threw in enough changes to keep us guessing. Jessamy the Raven was shot by Alex Burgess, John Dee spared Rosemary, Dream missed his appointment with Hob, and Rose Walker had a larger role. Some characters might be utilized in unexpected ways, while others might unexpectedly die.
In that way, The Sandman season two isn’t dissimilar from a dream. Dreams can have familiar imagery, but take unexpected twists and turns. Dreams can be exciting, unpredictable and beautiful. Time will tell what sort of dream The Sandman season two will be. But more than anything, let’s hope it’s a dream that comes true.
All eleven episodes of The Sandman, starring Tom Sturridge as Morpheus, are now streaming on Netflix. For more dreams, fables and recollections, visit our official Sandman TV page.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.