7.9 / 10
43 min
Drama, Thriller, Horror
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" gives "Hannibal - Pilot" a 9."
Written by on 11 June 2013.
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Hannibal - Pilot

‘This is my design!’ Thus speaks Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, The Big C) when he’s in a house with two dead bodies to let us know that he didn’t actually kill the victims we see. Actually, Will Graham is a so-called profiler, working for the FBI. He suffers from a psychological condition, closely related to Asperger’s syndrome and autism. He doesn’t meet people’s eyes when he talks to them, because that distracts him from the real purpose: finding the murderer. His condition also has somewhat positive side-effects: it enables him to place himself in the minds of killers. And it is black, darker than black. It haunts Will, making him unable to sleep well. He wakes up bathing in sweat more often than not. We then see FBI Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburn, Crime Scene Investigation) ask Will to help find a serial killer, who has kidnapped eight girls so far, and probably murdered them as well. He wanted to search Will out, because the killer returns one of the dead girls. He breaks the pattern. When she’s on the autopsy table, we find out why he returned her: ‘There’s something wrong with the meat.’
‘She has liver cancer,’ is the reply.
A very clear conclusion follows: ‘He’s eating them.’

The screen then cuts to Dr Hannibal Lecter, enjoying his meal at his neatly set dinner table.

I’m sensing that this isn’t going to be a series like any other one. It is dark, intense, with an incredible amount of depth. We’re dealing with two geniuses, put together in one room, and the very strong suspicion that they’re going to clash. Hard. Hannibal toys with everything and everyone, but also suffers from certain conditions himself, for instance OCD and mysophobia, not to mention his love for human flesh. With every bite he takes, you find yourself thinking: is this steak, or could it be...? Indeed, the series is absolutely not meant for the faint-hearted or for viewers who can’t stomach some blood and dead bodies. You can just feel the tension increase; you can feel it crawling under your skin when Hobbs asks: ‘Is he here?’

The series is based on Red Dragon, a book by Thomas Harris. The same book was inspiration for the film Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal was created by Bryan Fuller, who we also know as writer of Star Trek Voyager and Heroes. The series is broadcast by NBC, which also broadcasts Revolution, Grimm, and Chicago Fire.

Fitting in with the culinary theme, all episodes are named after French, kitchen-related terms. The first season will count thirteen episodes, and I can’t wait for the next ones. Luckily for us, Hannibal’s only just getting started. But for now, I’m awarding Hannibal with nine Michelin stars.
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