The Sandman Showrunner Explains Why Derek Jacobi was Perfect as Erasmus Fry

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There is little doubt that people got hyped up after The Sandman dropped a bonus episode featuring an impressive cast. After all, A Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope featured legendary actor Derek Jacobi as the evil Erasmus Fry. In addition, showrunner Allan Heinberg has stated that the former Doctor Who star was just perfect for the role.

In the second part of The Sandman Episode 11, a writer named Richard Madoc brings a trichobezoar to famous author Erasmus Fry. In return, Ric receives a present in the form of the muse Calliope. It is revealed that Erasmus imprisoned the muse and regularly raped Calliope to receive inspiration.

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Luckily, the assault is never shown onscreen but Derek Jacobi plays Erasmus with a subtle sense of madness and sadism that is sometimes unsettling to watch. That's exactly what showrunner Allan Heinberg had in mind when he cast Jacobi in the role.

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“That’s a tough role,” Heinberg says of Erasmus Fry (via Netflix Tudum). He then added that the series lucked out when Derek Jacobi took the role. “His charm and wit and intelligence... we were extremely lucky.”

Jacobi isn't the only former Doctor Who star who appears in the same episode. Ric Madoc is portrayed by Arthur Darvill, who had previously worked with Neil Gaiman.

“Once Arthur was available and game, we didn’t look anywhere else. He was the Ric Madoc of our dreams, and, in performance, even more so. I think he shows you this man’s soul and somehow makes him not a monster,” Heinberg said of Darville.

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We're certainly glad that The Sandman managed to cast the perfect actors in the roles. It's hard to imagine anyone other than Derek Jacobi and Arthur Darvill playing Erasmus and Ric.

All episodes of The Sandman, including A Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope, are now streaming on Netflix.

Related: The Sandman: Neil Gaiman Shuts Down Hopes for More Bonus Episodes