Our score: 8/10

Spoiler warning

Richard Madoc is played by Arthur Darvill (who portrayed Rory in Doctor Who). He is a writer and a lecturer. He requests that a student locate something for him (trichobezoars) and requests that he signs her book. She also enquires about the publication date of the new book and we can see that is experiencing writer’s block. Mr. Fry, another Doctor Who actor, also appears in the story (he portrayed the Master in one of the Doctor Who series). Mr. Fry is informed by Richard that he hasn’t written anything in a year and is given the trichobezoars. Trichophagia is characterized by hair cast accumulations in the stomach. Trichobezoars are thought to have magical abilities (Rapunzel syndrome).

Mr. Fry was a writer as well. Mr. Fry claims to be able to control muses with moly – sorceress garlic. He imprisoned a muse, Calliope, and gives her to Richard. Mr. Fry lied to Calliope, telling her he would set her free. She is now chained to Richard. Mr. Fry claims he locked her up so he wouldn’t have to look at her. Mr. Fry claims it is her purpose to inspire men like them, and he discovered that force works better for him. Calliope requests that Richard set her free. He says he will, but he needs time to think about it.

After Richard asks for only one book, she says she chooses with whom she shares her gifts and declines. Richard tries but fails to write. He is seen obsessing over his social media platforms, such as Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter, and reading what others have to say. He attempts to entice her with gifts. She informs him that an artist prays to his or her muse and does not keep her against her will. She tells Richard that she did not give anything to Mr. Fry, but he took it from her. He took her scroll, burned it, and imprisoned her. She requests that she be released.

She informs him that she will not assist him unless he releases her. Richard’s agent and publishers beg him to publish a new book. He hears the old man’s voice – she is not human; her purpose is to inspire…

He then knocks on her door and addresses her by name. It later shows the writer with a scratch on his face, suddenly writing. Calliope prays and begs for help. The Crones notice her. They claim they can’t help her because she’s legally bound. They mention the Endless, and Calliope appears to be thinking of Dream. She married him and had a son named Orpheus. Something unexpected happened to Orpheus (see short story after the review).

She claims that Dream despises her and that she despises him. They inform her that Dream has been kidnapped and that nothing but hope can help her. Richard is doing well and is very successful four years later. Richard adopts the pen name Ric. He claims to be able to write about the female experience, which he attributes to the women in his life. Calliope is still imprisoned.

One of his stories is being adapted into a film in August 2022. Richard informs Calliope that she will accompany him to Los Angeles to the production of his film. She reads in the newspaper that the people suffering from Sleeping Sickness have awakened, and thus Morpheus is free. She calls Dream and requests assistance with a spell. Richard apprehends her. He tells her that the god of Dreams will not be able to save her and burns her letter. He learns that Mr. Fry committed suicide at the age of 90, after writing a letter to his publisher and requesting a reprint. Dream appears.

He feels sad about what append to Calliope. She asks if Dream can inspire Richard to let her go – he says he must be punished. He is mad – because he hurt you. Dream still loves her.

Dream appears at Richard’s house. He starts talking in a polite manner but then becomes enraged. Calliope has been imprisoned for more than 60 years, and she has been defiled and hurt. He tells Richard that he will shower him with ideas – but not in a good way. Richard is plagued by nightmares.

Richard is back in the lecture hall, busy with a book reading. Dream prompts him to begin citing extremely dark story ideas. Then there are some really strange ideas. His hands are covered in blood, and he is writing on the wall with his blood. He claims to have too many ideas. He instructs his students to go to Calliope and set her free.

He realizes that if he doesn’t, Morpheus will drive him insane and kill him. One of the students goes to his house and climbs the stairs. Calliope has vanished, and all that remains is Mr. Fry’s prized book. We see Dream and Calliope – she thanks him and he asks what she plans to do next. She claims that this should never happen to anyone else. She claims she intends to rewrite her laws.

Dream has changed, Calliope tells him. She inquires as to whether he still despises her. He tells her that he has learned a lot recently and that he does not hate her. She requests that he release Richard. He inquires whether Calliope will forgive him for what he has done. She says she will, but not for him, but to set herself free.

Richard is unable to think or remember anything. He claims that everything has vanished, including ideas, stories, and everything else. They were completely hers. Calliope’s name escapes Richard.

Calliope requests permission to visit Dream in order to talk about and grieve for their son. He responds, perhaps one day.

The Sandman. 2022. Netflix



Dream of the Endless and Calliope, and all the Endless gathered in ancient Greece to celebrate Orpheus’ marriage to Eurydice. Orpheus is the son of Dream and Calliope. At the wedding Orpheus’s bride Eurydice was bitten by a poisonous snake and died instantly.

Orpheus, overcome with grief, journeyed to the land of the dead in an attempt to resurrect Eurydice. He enchanted the ferryman Charon and the dog Cerberus, guardians of the River Styx, with his singing and playing.

As Orpheus played his lyre, Hades was drawn to him. As long as Eurydice would walk behind him as they emerged from the underworld’s caverns and he would not be allowed to turn to look at her, Hades permitted Orpheus to take Eurydice back with him.

Orpheus was happy and thanked the gods before leaving to return to the living world because he thought it would be an easy task for a patient man like himself. He started to worry that the gods had misled him when he was unable to hear Eurydice’s footsteps. Eurydice might have been behind him, but she would have been a shadow who would need to re-emerge into the light to become a complete woman. When Eurydice was just a few feet from the door, Orpheus lost faith and turned to face her, sending her back to spend the rest of time with Hades.

Orpheus made an attempt to return to Hades, but was unsuccessful. This is possibly because a person cannot visit Hades twice while they are still alive. According to various myths, he used his lyre to play a mournful song, pleading for death so that he and Eurydice could be together forever. Either beasts tore him apart or, in a fit of rage, the Maenads killed him. His head washed up on the island of Lesbos while floating in the water with no damage and singing.