Neil Gaiman shares his regrets over Despair in Netflix's The Sandman series

Donna Preston as Despair in The Sandman
(Image credit: Netflix)

After years of waiting for a TV adaptation, fans of The Sandman were thrilled by Netflix's take on the source material – mostly. Upon its release, many criticized its depiction of Dream's sister Despair as a weak-willed and dourly-dressed woman; a far cry from the fear-inspiring, confident and nude figure described in the comics.

Now, creator Neil Gaiman has shared his regrets over the character's portrayal – and promised that season 2 will see Donna Preston reprise the role and right some wrongs in regards to bringing Despair's full spirit to life.

"Mostly, what I hope is that the next time you see Despair on the screen you won't think of her as frumpy, depressed and unloved," he told a concerned viewer on Tumblr recently. "She isn't in the comics, and I think we missed what we were aiming for in Sandman season 1."

Very much a sprawling epic, where characters dip in and out of the titular being's life, The Sandman is based on Gaiman's DC Comics series of the same name. It follows Morpheus, also known as Dream of the Endless, as he traverses different worlds to reclaim his tools and restore his realm, having previously been imprisoned by an amateur magic user for 100 years. 

Despair doesn't appear often in the first batch of episodes but when she does, she shares the screen with her twin Desire (Mason Alexander Park), who is hellbent on destroying Morpheus and gaining power over their many siblings. Fortunately, Dream has some allies to help him stand against Desire and the equally villainous Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie), in the form of Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong), Rose Walker (Vanesu Samunyai), Lyta Hall (Razane Jammal), and Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman).

The Sandman season 2 is currently in development. In the meantime, check out our list of the best Netflix shows for some viewing inspiration.   

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.