After years of hopes to see the series brought to life, The Sandman fans were given a treat when the first season of the series debuted on Netflix earlier this month, only to be given another surprise when a bonus episode was released after the debut of Season 1, though creator Neil Gaiman admits he almost spoiled the surprise. The excitement surrounding the upcoming adaptation saw fans keeping a close eye on all of Gaiman's remarks in interviews and on social media, with the writer admitting he hinted at the surprise episode inadvertently, potentially revealing more about the bonus installment than he had intended to.
"We managed to keep that secret despite the fact that I came very close to blowing it twice," Gaiman recently shared with Rolling Stone. The outlet noted that Gaiman shared the name of an actor who appears in the bonus episode, with the writer then pointing out, "Also I tweeted, back before we were thinking about how secret we were going to need to keep this, the cover to the book Here Comes the Candle [which appears in the Calliope half of the episode, and the comic-book version as well]. And I tweeted the fact that we'd cast some of the cats. So that was 18 months ago. Fortunately, enough people had forgotten that or thought maybe we'd cancelled it or maybe it was just something else that we got away with it."
The bonus episode is a self-contained experience, so audiences don't necessarily have to watch the 10-episode season to appreciate it, with it also featuring both live-action and animated adaptations of beloved Sandman stories. Even though these adaptations took audiences by surprise, the concept of releasing a 10-episode season and then unveiling a bonus episode wasn't a last-minute idea, with Gaiman previously noting that this was the strategy from the early stages of developing the show.
"It was [producer] David Goyer's suggestion. but we immediately embraced it," Gaiman previously shared with Entertainment Weekly. "We were just about to pitch the show to streaming platforms, and the decision was made that we were going to be pitching 11 episodes. We would do 10 episodes and then there would be an 11th, a special that no one would know about. That's what everyone knew they were buying. It also meant we could begin the process for those stories very, very early on."
Season 1 of The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think of the bonus episode? Let us know in the comments!