When “The Sandman” announced it was being renewed for a second season, you may have noticed that they didn’t actually call it Season 2. They referred to it as “a continuation of the world of “The Sandman,” without clarifying the number. episodes or exactly how much of the source material will be covered. For most adaptations, this would be a simple question, but because “The Sandman” comics are divided into volumes of varying length and structure, there are many different approaches the show could take.
A reporter at Variety spoke with Netflix head of scripted series Peter Friedlander, and offered a theory as to why the word “season” was never used: “It’s not called Season 2 because it’s going to be handled more in line with the comics, where it’s ” volume and based on the story in the issues, rather than being labeled as a season? Is it that?”
It’s a theory that may not make sense at first. Even though the comics are divided into volumes, the volumes are still numbered, so you’d think it wouldn’t have any effect. But what makes the comics unique is the way it contains collections of one-off stories displaced from the rest of the series. While most of the comics follow a simple timeline, volumes 3, 6, 8 (and bits of volume 2) span everything from thousands of years in the past to completely different dimensions. It must be a bit difficult to choose when and how to adapt these stories.
Friedlander’s response to the theory was vague, though it makes sense considering how early they are in production. “There are decisions that haven’t been made, but we are considering batching approaches,” he explained. “Everything is on the table when it comes to ‘Sandman.’ It’s an innovative show.”
Mostly just a technique
One thing we do know is that while it’s the norm for Netflix to refer to the divisions of their shows as seasons, they’re not shy about switching titles. For example, if you click on the show “Inside Job” on the Netflix homepage, you will see that the episodes are divided between “Part 1” and “Part 2”. Meanwhile, the seasons of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” are referred to as books, just as they are in the opening credits of the show. Both of these batches of episodes basically work like a regular TV season, so it’s unlikely that any of this will have much of an effect on the actual content of “The Sandman.”
Fans are also wondering another question: will the show continue to release multiple surprise episodes separately like they did in August? “Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope” was a fantastic episode that was dropped a few weeks after the rest of the season, and it was great, leaving viewers wanting more. When asked whether he would continue to do episodes like this, Peter Friedlander gave another vague answer to Variety:
“The Sandman always follows his own path … The show, I think, was so popular because it was such a discovery and it was such an invention. That’s what we’re trying to honor as we continue to tell this story, and it shouldn’t follow any path other than his own.”
While we don’t have a concrete answer as to whether we can expect more special episodes, we can be sure that the next batch of “Sandman” episodes will at least cover “Season of Mists,” one of the most exciting and ambitious volumes throughout the series. Whatever this new chapter in the show’s history is called, we know we have a lot to look forward to.
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