At the top of the series premiere, Netflix's long-awaited adaptation of Neil Gaiman's comics starts in the waking world, which humanity insists on referring to as the real world. "My dreams have no bearing on the decisions you make," says the main character, Morpheus.
When you close your eyes and enter my realm, a raven follows a horse-drawn carriage and then travels to another, otherworldly realm. Morpheus aka Dream, aka Lord of The Dreaming, aka King of Dreams, and a zillion other names adds, There is a different life waiting for you.
The ten Season 1 episodes that started streaming Friday take viewers deep into Dreams world, a once pristine and rich playground (think giant golden doors to a kingdom where dragons frolick) that begins to crumble when its lord departs to pursue a rogue nightmare, as he tells us, and becomes imprisoned for more than a century.
In a moment, you'll want to know what you think of The Sandmans' premiere. But first, a quick recap:
Morpheus (played by Sweetbitters Tom Sturridge) sets off to find a serial killer who goes by the name of The Corinthian (The Fugitives Boyd Holbrook). And he quickly follows The Corinthian to Berlin, where he is about to put a stop to the literal nightmare when we hear some chanting.
The Corinthian travels to Burgess' house to give the old man a few tips. First, his accounts (the helm, gem, and pouch) can give Dreams powers to those who possess them. Second, no one can fall asleep in his presence, or the dream lord will vanish.
A group of people do not wake up from their nightly slumber the next morning as a result of Morpheus' imprisonment. One of them is a young London girl named Unity Kincaid; the shell became important later in the season.
Burgess tries in vain to negotiate with Morpheus, but the otherworldly being wont speak to him. Burgess eventually impregnates a young lady named Ethel, then demands that she have an abortion. She runs away and takes Morpheus ruby with her. Later on she develops a son named Johnny.
When Burgess' son, Alex, is an old man who still has Morpheus locked up in that sphere, the prisoner accidentally rubs away some of the magical markings keeping Dream captive, leading to a series of events that culminates with a vortex opening and Dream getting sucked into it.
Soon after, Alex dreams of Morpheus giving him the gift of eternal sleep, the dream lord says, killing sand in his face and condemning his captor to a nightmare-filled slumber from which hell never awakens. Still, he monologues, he will never stop what he is doing until he reimagines the world so as me.
Morpheus, who has been greatly weakened, returns to his realm where Lucienne warmly greets him and gently informs him that their world and his palace have not changed since you left them.
The world has become a wasteland as he left it for so long. Many of the inhabitants have gone, but Dream promises to fix it all right, so that dreams and nightmares will never prey on the awakened world. I will recreate it once more.
Now it's your turn to think about the episode. Do you agree with the results? Check out the poll below to see how it went, and then send your thoughts in the comments!