The Sandman premiered on Netflix on August 5 with 10 episodes. The TV adaptation of the comic book series by Neil Gaiman and many artists brought the story faithfully to the screen. Many scenes in the show reflect their comic book counterparts directly in dialogue and framing. The show brought Dream and his world and siblings to the screen, even giving us entirely new versions of the characters to love. And while we don’t know whether Netflix will grant The Sandman a second season, the streaming service dropped a surprise bonus episode of The Sandman on Friday. This two-part bonus The Sandman episode tells two stories from the comics.

Morpheus and Death sit on a bench on The Sandman

The two parts of the episode will be animated and live-action. “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” will be animated and “Calliope” will be live-action. Both parts feature all-star casts, too.

“A Dream of a Thousand Cats” was issue #18 of The Sandman written by Gaiman with art from Kelley Jones, inks by Malcolm Jones III, colors by Robbie Busch, and letters by Todd Klein. It tells the story of a kitten who meets some interesting cats in a grave yard and learns the history of cats. The episode’s director, Hisko Hulsing, said in the release, “We endeavored to make the animated ‘A Dream of a Thousand Cats’ as mesmerizing and hypnotic as we could by utilizing the magic of real oil paintings on canvas. We combined the paintings with classically drawn 2D animation, based on realistic 3D animation of telepathic cats in order to create a trippy world that feels both grounded and dreamy at the same time.”

DC Comics

The cast for “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” includes:

  • Tom Sturridge as “Dream”
  • Sandra Oh as “The Prophet”
  • Rosie Day as “The Tabby Kitten”
  • David Gyasi as “The Grey Cat”
  • Joe Lycett as “The Black Cat”
  • Neil Gaiman as “Crow/Skull Bird”
  • James McAvoy as “Golden-Haired Man”
  • David Tennant as “Don”
  • Georgia Tennant as ”Laura Lynn”
  • Michael Sheen as “Paul”
  • Anna Lundberg as “Marion”
  • Nonso Anozie as “Wyvern”
  • Diane Morgan as “Gryphon”
  • Tom Wu as “Hippogriff”
DC Comics

“Calliope” is from The Sandman #17 written by Neil Gaiman with art from Kelley Jones, inks by Malcolm Jones III, colors by Robbie Busch, and letters by Todd Klein. It tells a brutal story about a writer who kidnaps Calliope and exploits her as a muse. I hope they’ll dial some of the story’s violence back for the on-screen adaptation. The guest cast for “Calliope” is as follows:

  • Melissanthi Mahut as “Calliope”
  • Arthur Darvill as “Richard Madoc”
  • Nina Wadia as “Fate Mother”
  • Souad Faress as “Fate Crone”
  • Dinita Gohil as “Fate Maiden”
  • Kevin Harvey as “Larry”
  • Amita Suman as “Nora”
  • Derek Jacobi as “Erasmus Fry”

The two-part bonus episode of The Sandman is available on Netflix now.

Amy Ratcliffe is the Editor-in-Chief for Nerdist and the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, The Jedi Mind, and more. Follow her on  Twitter and Instagram.