Dreams do come true. The Sandman fans woke up to a pleasant surprise this Friday as, two weeks after the 10-part first season premiered, Netflix dropped an unexpected bonus episode of the hit show. The hour-long, two-part episode comprises two distinct standalone stories, one of which is animated. And its guest voice cast includes someone who should be very familiar to followers of Dream of the Endless.
Yes, it’s Sandman creator Neil Gaiman himself. Gaiman provides the voice of Crow, also known as Skull Bird, in the animated portion of the episode, titled “A Dream of a Thousand Cats.” EP Allan Heinberg, who acts as co-showrunner on the adaptation of the seminal Vertigo comics alongside Gaiman, explained that the writer went extremely method with his voice role while recording. As Heinberg told Netflix‘s Tudum blog:
“He’s got one of the best voices. Once we got into the booth, there was nothing reticent about him. He really wanted to be more crowlike and would flap his arms and fearlessly work for it.”
Gaiman is no stranger to voice acting, of course, having appeared in a couple of episodes of The Simpsons — once as a version of himself and then as a talking cat in a Coraline spoof in a Treehouse of Horror special. This also isn’t his first time lending his vocals to an adaptation of his own characters. Gaiman provided the voice of God in an episode of Lucifer season three.
The “Dream of a Thousand Cats” cast also includes several of Gaiman’s previous collaborators, including Good Omens stars David Tennant and Michael Seen, as well as James McAvoy, who voices Dream in Audible’s Sandman audio dramas. Tom Sturridge likewise reprises his role as Morpheus, while in the form of a cat. The live-action half of the episode, “Calliope”, features Melissanthi Mahut, Arthur Darvill, and Sir Derek Jacobi.
Go watch this bonus episode of The Sandman season one on Netflix now.