Neil Gaiman Doesn't Rule Out Writing Original Material For The Sandman

Despite the impressive viewership numbers, it's still not clear if "The Sandman" will get a second season. If it does, it's also not clear how much of the Neil Gaiman comics they'll be adapting. Based off of season 1, the most likely route they'll take is covering "Season of Mists" in the first half of season 2, then "A Game of You" in the second half, with maybe an episode or two in the middle covering some one-off adventures from "Dream Country" and "Fables & Reflections."

When asked if he would consider writing an original story for the show, Gaiman responded, "Yes," but followed it up with the caveat that he's painfully aware of how much material the show needs to get through. "We have 2,600 pages to go," he said, mentioning that in addition to the original 10 volumes of the series, he hopes to adapt the extra volumes "Overture," "Dream Hunters" and "Endless Nights." 

"So I don't look at this going, 'Wouldn't it be fun to add something else in? I tend to look at this and go, 'We have a long road to travel, with a lot of places that we have to stop on the way.'"

The fact that Netflix has made it a habit of prematurely canceling good shows also adds to the sense of urgency. It makes sense to combine volumes 4 and 5 into a single season, because otherwise they might not get to cover volume 5 at all. On the other hand, if Gaiman ever were to add something else into the show, this is the place to do it. "Seasons of Mist" is a volume that gives the adaptation plenty of room to expand.

The case for taking things slow

Mild spoilers from the "Sandman" comics below.

"Season of Mists" centers on Lucifer (played by Gwendoline Christie in the show) deciding to leave hell and expel all the demons from it. We only get one issue in the comics that explores the effect this has on the regular mortals; it's an eerie but somewhat uplifting short story about a kid trapped alone during the holidays at a boarding school full of dead spirits. It's one of the best issues in the volume, but it raises the question: What if the show dove into more stories like this one?

After all, there are also plenty of memorable characters in season 1 that don't make any major appearances in volumes 4 or 5, like Rose (Vanesu Samunyai) or Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman). There's also Delirium, an Endless sibling who's introduced in "Season of Mists" but doesn't get a whole lot to do until volume 7's "Brief Lives." The concept that volume 4's based around would naturally give all these characters material for a one-off story. How does the demon fighter Johanna keep sending demons back to hell if the demons are no longer bound there by Lucifer? What if Rose and Jed are visited by their dead abusive father? What if we get to see more of how Delirium and the other siblings interact with this massive change in the world's status quo? 

Taking advantage of the TV medium

One of the best episodes of season 1 was "The Sound of Her Wings," which was great not just because of how it was faithful to the source material, but because of how it wasn't. The episode took three issues that came at different parts in the comics and combined them into a single episode. They also worked around the timeline change; because Dream in the show doesn't escape his captivity until the modern day, the writers had Dream miss his meeting with Hob (Ferdinand Kingsley) in the '80s. It helped to give their argument more of an emotional impact, and made the catharsis of Dream showing up again off-schedule feel even more earned than their final meeting in the comic. 

It was one of the first times where it felt like the show truly had a life on its own. It wasn't just trying to make the TV version of the comics, but it was bringing its own unique spin to things. The writers were expanding and changing around the source material in bold, inspired ways, and it made for one of the best entries of the first season.

While it makes sense for Gaiman to want to barrel ahead to adapt as much as the comics as possible before a potential cancellation, we hope that doesn't stop them from continuing to let the story breathe when it needs to. "Season of Mists" in particular is a gold mine of material to work with, so let's hope they take full advantage.