Netflix released a surprise, two-part bonus episode of The Sandman on Friday morning, two weeks after the fantasy epic premiered its first season. The first part, titled "A Dream of a Thousand Cats," is animated, while the second part, "Calliope," is live-action.
Both parts of the surprise episode star Tom Sturridge as "Dream" and also feature a number of guest stars.
The voice cast of part one is a who's who of talent, including Sandra Oh, Neil Gaiman (author of The Sandman), James McAvoy, David Tennant, and Michael Sheen.
In part two, the guest cast includes Melissanthi Mahut, Arthur Darvill, and Nina Wadia.
"We endeavored to make the animated version of 'A Dream of a Thousand Cats' as mesmerizing and hypnotic as we could by utilizing the magic of real oil paintings on canvas," said director and production designer Hisko Hulsing in a statement.
"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. Untold Studios in London created the breathtaking 3D animation of the cats. The wonderful 2D animation, oil paintings and stylizing were all done at Submarine Studios in Amsterdam."
Earlier this week, Netflix accidentally released — and then deleted — footage from the bonus episode, leaving fans speculating about whether there's more to The Sandman's story.
The Sandman Season 1, plus its two-part bonus episode, is now streaming on Netflix.
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Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.