Netflix dropped a special two-story episode of ‘The Sandman’ and in a bigger surprise – one of them was animated. Titled ‘Dream of a Thousand Cats’, the animated part of the episode was intriguing, mysterious and fascinating. The artwork was rudimentary, quite reminiscent of the works of Richard Linklater, however he uses rotoscoping for his animated films, which was clearly not the technique used in Sandman.

‘Dream of a Thousand Cats’ does a great job of explaining one of the most important concepts of ‘The Sandman’ universe – the dreams have the power to shape reality. So what if cats really ruled the world? I had hoped for a more concrete climax, instead, the story abruptly changes and the live-action version of the series take over. The other half of the episode titled ‘Calliope’ featuring the mythical Greek Goddess of the same name was a mixed bag. Melissanthi Mahut plays Calliope, one of the seven Greek Muses, who finds herself bound to a human, trapped in the mortal world against her wishes. Left with no choice, she wonders if she could seek Morpheus’ help, but little does she know that the Dream Lord is suffering a similar fate…

‘Calliope’ was a tough watch, the plot about a woman – a Goddess no less – being exploited by mortal men was disturbing. While even Morpheus is under a similar predicament, at least he wasn’t ravaged by his captors. Gaiman uses bizarre logic to convince viewers (readers in the comics) that she is ‘lawfully’ bound to a man and that nobody can do much to intervene. Regardless, his incorporation of Greek mythology to spin a tale on human greed is interesting.

The actors do a commendable job, Arthur Darvill is despicable as author Richard Madoc, who keeps Calliope under lock & key for inspiration and fame. While in the first half of the episode, Morpheus appears as a cat himself, Tom Sturridge gets to make an appearance in the second half and displays an emotional side to his character. Overall, the bonus episode was quite entertaining.

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