Everyone’s favorite forensic psychiatrist cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lector is back but this time on the small screen in an all-new series from NBC. Based on a series of novels from Thomas Harris and immortalized in numerous films most notably by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs Hannibal Lector has become a household name. When they announced the TV series fans were a bit concerned that it wouldn’t work, but with a great cast leading the charge does it bring the world of Hannibal to life in a way shows respect while creating something new for the genre?
This new series takes viewers on a journey back to where it all began following criminal profiler Will Graham on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. When the killer he is hunting becomes too complicated for even him to comprehend he enlists the help of Dr. Hannibal Lector one of the premiere psychiatric minds in the country. Their partnership proves that there is no villain they can’t catch together, except maybe for the one right in front of his eyes. This show works way better than anyone could have expected. It perfectly melds the crime thriller with just a hint of the creep factor that fans have expected from a Hannibal story. The cast all work great together, with Hugh Dancy bringing all the torment and inner struggle needed to bring this conflicted version of Will Graham. The real stand-out performance and the one that had to work more than any other, is that of Hannibal Lector played by Mads Mikkelson; whose performance rivals that of Anthony Hopkins. Let’s be clear it’s not necessarily better, but different and way creepier than Hopkins ever was. The show itself plays similar to the Lance Henriksen led Millennium, who makes an appearance in the series, but with a more single case to focus on. They seem to really push the graphic boundaries with this show especially for a network series. This show works on almost every level leading viewers on a path of not just mystery, but also terror of the psyche and instead of being just about Hannibal himself, but about these characters seeking his assistance and trying to figure out his ultimate game all while watching one man’s decent into madness.
The show really delivered with this season and if it maintains the current direction and continues to play as a thriller as well as a character study then it will continue to work brilliantly. Sure there will be those that will never be able to see past Hopkins portrayal, but those that can see this for the new direction will likely be entertained. In addition to this creepy dark series this Blu-ray also includes commentaries, gag reel, unrated episodes, numerous featurettes and the previously unaired episode “Ceuf”
Step into the doctor’s office and grab your copy of Hannibal the complete first season available now.