Thursday, 18 April 2013


Hannibal Lecter is back in a new fresh format, with more than one gore covered ace hidden in its sleeve. The show, which is aptly named Hannibal, is shocked back into life by NBC. It's based on the characters first appearing in the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, but the story takes place before the events in the novel.

It's a star studded cast with Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, and Laurence Fishburne as FBI agent Jack Crawford. The lead role is taken by British actor Hugh Dancy – a to me previously unknown actor – who plays Will Graham, a troubled but gifted profiler.

After watching the first episode of Hannibal the show appears to be a mix of Dexter and Perception. Not a bad thing at all. The FBI needs a crack team of profilers to quickly identify and capture serial killers, who appear to be sprouting like weed in spring time – and what a team they form. One psychiatrist serial killer and one empath with something resembling Asperberger's syndrome.

Will Graham has a unique ability to empathise with serial killers, letting him relive the crimes with great detail. This is not an ability which lets him rest easy at night. The production crew has done a great job capturing his ability, freezing a scene, rewinding it, then replay it with Will Graham in the role of the killer. Just like in Dr Daniel Pierce in Perception Will Graham hallucinates, but his hallucinations are far more scary. For him, reality dissolves into a nightmare. It's more than a little creepy.

Hugh Dancy does a solid role as a slightly nutty and awkward man, who is troubled by the darkness he carries. However, the show is stolen by Mads Mikkelsen's performance as Hannibal Lecter. This man has mastered creepy, and I quickly found him unnerving. Just the way he speaks is unsettling, but it it does not end there. His cultivated, impeccable, controlled manners while performing anything from the mundane to the unspeakable is freakish. Eating human organs does not help either.

If you love crime thrillers with a twist of the unusual, and a taste for the macabre, Hannibal is for you – if you can stomach it.

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