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Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of classic the Thomas Harris character, Hannibal Lecter, takes much from the novel ‘Red Dragon’ which focuses on the early days of the doctor. Centred on troubled FBI profiler, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), he has an ability to envisage himself committing the murders at a crime scene (“This is my design”). A dangerous but understandably useful skill, Will is brought back into the field by the FBI’s head of behavioural science, Jack Crawford (Lawrence Fishburne) as they seek to solve the a string of horrific killings in Minnesota.
Concerned by the mental toll the work has on Will, Jack places him under the supervision of Dr Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), a brilliant forensic scientist who’s previously helped on a number of cases. Unbeknown to Jack, Will and all around, Hannibal is a killer himself, and is drawn to the prospect of a man who can empathise with psychopaths to such an extent. Eager to manipulate Will’s psyche for his own twisted benefits, Hannibal pushes Will to the edge of his sanity in an attempt to draw the pair closer together.
The soundtrack, shots and overall psychology presented in the show can be remarkably surreal and may be confusing enough to put some people off but it’s definitely worth sticking with. Mikkelsen arguably offers an even better portrayal than Anthony Hopkins, who brought the cannibalistic psychopath to global infamy. Dancy, Fishburne and recurring stars like Gillian Anderson (who disturbingly plays Hannibal’s own psychiatrist), Eddie Izzard, Gina Torres, Richard Armitage and Rutina Wesley further cement this as a highly watchable show.
Despite concluding after the third season due to an apparent lack of viewers, it delivers a lot in that time and ends in a fairly definitive way. However, with a potential fourth season now looming, the recommendation is to catch up in time for the buzz that will inevitably surround the return of such a notorious character, who’s expected back in fall of this year.