Wake Up, Sleepyhead, The Sandman Just Dropped Another Episode

Cats, muses, and big-time celebrity stars abound in the out-of-nowhere 11th installment of the Netflix series.

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A large black cat with glowing yellow eyes lounges on a rock in the shadows.
Screenshot: Netflix

If you’re struggling to wake up, rubbing sleep dust out of your eyes, yawning theatrically, and/or waiting for your coffee to finish brewing, you might not have noticed that Lord Morpheus (and Netflix) left a present for you to enjoy once you’ve fully awoken: a new, extremely unannounced 11th episode of The Sandman TV series, ready for your fully conscious viewing pleasure.

The episode adapts two stand-alone issues of the Dream Country graphic novel, “Night of a Thousand Cats” and “Calliope.” The former is about a cat who seeks out Lord Morpheus (who, in this particular tale, is technically The Sandcat, because cats absolutely dream) while the latter is about an author who captures a literal Muse—as in one of the ancient Greek goddesses who were said to inspire all forms of art—as his figurative muse. There’s a short trailer that’s well worth watching:

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A couple of things to note here. First, the animation in “Night of a Thousand Cats” is just stunningly gorgeous. Second, this “special event” managed to nab a great many celebrities to take part in it in addition to Tom Sturridge in the series’ titular role. You’ll likely recognize Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill and Derek Jacobi in the live-action Calliope,” but the voice cast for “Cats” includes Good Omens’ Michael Sheen and David Tennant (who was also Who, yes), The Sandman audio series’ James McAvoy, Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh, and creator Neil Gaiman as “Crow/Skull Bird.” It’s wild.

What’s also wild is how Netflix just added a new, single episode to a series that debuted a full two weeks ago, on August 5. I don’t recall the streaming service doing anything like that before, but if the show has been continuing to work on more Sandman beyond the initial 10 episodes, then I think it’s safe to assume that they’re working on a second season as well.

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