Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter is the latest literary and big screen character to make his way to the television screen, and no-one would blame you if you were a bit skeptical about how true blue NBC would allow the Silence of the Lambs baddie to be on television.Â We are talking about a guy who eats his victims after all.Â Although, he does it with the demure of a gourmet chef.Â So there’s always that.
One reason to feel very good about this is the fact that Hannibal is an extraordinarily interesting character in all versions thus far, and those aspects don’t require any toning down to make him suitable for television audiences.Â We could refer to Hannibal as the Anti-Dexter.Â In many ways will be similar in this new series, helping the FBI solve crimes while trying to keep his own dark-side secret.Â The major difference between Hannibal and Dexter, as we know him from the movies at least, is that Hannibal doesn’t agonize over his dark side, he embraces it fully.Â He is an immensely dark character who has constructed a gruesome inner logic that not only allows his behavior, but encourages it.
Any concerns you might have had about how true-to-form the television characterizations of Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) should be put to rest by these three preview clips.Â It seems in all cases, creator Bryan Fuller has drawn from previous incarnations of these characters gingerly, instead injecting them largely with ‘like kind’ aspects of their own.Â Graham is far more reluctant to even work with the FBI than we’ve seen him in the books of movies, and Crawford comes off as somewhat of a criminology Frankenstein trying to forge a profiling dream team with two unlikely members at its core.
The real gem is Lecter.Â Mads Mikkelsen gives Lecter a strange cadence that makes his sinuous performance nearly mesmerizing. Fuller has taken Lecter’s natural curiosity and given it a sarcastic and almost antagonizing twist. It’s characterizations like this that make Hannibal something that cannot be missed.Â Tune inÂ April 4th at 10pm on NBC.