April 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The Sandman “The Doll’s House”

Season One, Episode Seven.

So, the original Sandman comic series was set in the DC Universe.  There were a handful of cameos by characters from the superhero books.  Not many, and most of them come from early in the series.  This series apparently doesn’t have permission to use those characters, leading me to think if/when a second season is announced, that it will probably not be adapting the Element Girl issue.  It also explains the almost certainly necessary changes made to the Lyta Hall character, appearing here for the first time.

But this issue shows young Jed Walker has Batman and Superman action figures, so that’s probably as close to the “regular” DCU as this series is going to get.

Actually, as always, there’s a lot going on here, and some of that involves straying from Gaiman’s original story.  Much of that is necessary.  Given the timeframe, Unity Kincaid would probably have been a bit too old to be Rose Walker’s grandmother, so she’s a great-grandmother.  Rose also seems to be an orphan this time around, having recently lost her mother.  That change is more of a dramatic shortcut, like having it be known there are three dream entities missing from the Dreaming instead of the four from the source material.  Now there’s less for Dream to do while still doing more or less the same thing.  But the basic story idea is here:  Unity, after waking up from the sleeping sickness that infected a lot of people during Morpheus’s imprisonment, asked to meet her descendants since she apparently got pregnant and gave birth while sleeping.  Rose comes to meet the (great) grandmother she didn’t know she had, but she really wants to go find her missing kid brother Jed.  Jed seems to be in the custody of an abusive step-parent.  The “cereal convention” is being planned and wants the Corinthian to give the keynote address because among collectors, he’s a legend.  Morpheus is on the lookout for both a Vortex that apparently is inside Rose and some missing dreams, one of whom is a bit of a surprise.  The others are nightmares.

And off to the side, Desire and Despair are plotting…something.

So, this is the usual good stuff I have come to expect from The Sandman with one noteworthy exception:  I am not really a fan of the Lyta Hall character as depicted here.

Yeah, this is one instance where the show’s usual good casting doesn’t seem to work.  Lyta seems a bit, I dunno, flat or something.  There just was something about the actor’s delivery that didn’t work for me.  Her introduction to the story seemed a little awkward too as Rose’s widow friend who still misses her husband.  I wasn’t expecting the original version where Hector was basically going through the motions of Jack Kirby’s Bronze Age take on the Sandman character, and I certainly didn’t expect the Fury.  But this one seemed to be a bit of a clumsy insert, and I sort of forgot she was there or who she was in scenes she was still in.

But one bad casting for one episode–I could still change my mind over the next couple–doesn’t mean there’s not other great casting choices.  I got a scene with Merv Pumpkinhead and Matthew the Raven exchanging some banter, and that’s Patton Oswalt and Mark Hamill.  And Stephen Fry as Gilbert?  He already looked the part.

Anyway, I am hoping I am proven wrong about Lyta’s actor.

As for the rest, this is still a lot of high quality stuff, and I was even pleasantly surprised the Corinthian didn’t kill either Rose’s friend or the three “collectors” who copied his act to get his attention.  That seemed to be a bit more of his style.  Plus, hey, Despair looked pretty good for her first appearance, even if she looks the human version of Sadness from Inside Out.  I am interested to see how the rest of this all turns out.

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