Book Reviews






Hand's up if you've managed to catch any episode of the new Hannibal TV series on Sky Living?!

I caught a promo for this show a month or two ago, and I couldn't wait for it to start. Hannibal is one of my top 5 books - re-read to the point of pages becoming unattached - and the show looked really interesting. Unfortunately I ended up missing the pilot, but have since seen the second and third shows and I have to say, I think it has a lot of promise.

The show features Hannibal Lecter at the stage of his life when he is a practicing psychologist (ie. not suspected or accused of his "alternative" eating habits). He is put in charge of the mental health of a new FBI field recruit, Will, who (after a complex history I'm not clear on having missed the first episode) has the ability to envision himself as the killer at a murder scene. Laurence Fishburne plays Jack Crawford - a familiar character to the Hannibal canon - who takes Will into his crime-scene team as an investigator and assigns his continued care to Lecter.

The relationship between these three key characters is already complex and intriguing viewing, I really cannot wait to see how it is explored in upcoming episodes. Will is a killer, trying not to give in to the thrill he feels from it, having shot and killed a suspect in a shoot-out. Lecter is, obviously, the master of manipulation and mind games who is professionally and personally absorbed by Will's story and unique talent. He loves to question the way Will feels about killing and keeping his propensity for in under restraint. Crawford is something of a respected colleague of Hannibal which is something very different to the hate-fueled Crawford we see in the later stories. I can't wait to see their relationship sour and change.

Of course, with any adaptation of a premise, there are points that are somewhat conflicting. Watching Hannibal read the news on a tablet/ipad - knowing that in the story's chronology, we have not yet even entered the 80's realm of Red Dragon - is a bit grating. Similarly, the events of Hannibal Rising don't seem to have had much of an influence on this Hannibal. We have not yet seen his "taste for the finer things" and considering the first episode (from what I can tell) featured some rather gruesome goings-on in a hunting lodge, memories of Hannibal's sister made no mention.

That aside, though, I really think Hannibal is worth a watch - and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the books/films. It reminds me a lot of the BBC show Waking the Dead, which has sadly finished in the UK now. It has the same dark case situations, a bit of gore but not of The Walking Dead levels(!) and some great characters I can see developing well into the future.

So, if you've been watching, what do you think?! Are there bits your love/hate? Do you think you'll tune in if you haven't seen it yet?

(also, if anyone can give me a brief catch-up on episode 1 in the comments, it would be very much appreciated! haha!)


  1. Crawford sought out Will as he couldnt find any evidence in a case where young girls were disappearing. Will was an agent before but failed in the field so ended up teaching recruits. As you say, Will sees murder scenes very differently to everyone else. Putting himself in the killer's shoes. Will struggles to get close, he doesnt want to and Crawford has said he wouldnt let him, to the case or any for that matter. As seen in episode two Will has flashbacks of the man he murdered. Back to episode one, Hannibal is brought in as Crawford admires his work but Will doesnt like the prospect of a partner. Will figures out who the killer is and whilst Hannibal purposely causes a mess of the files, Hannibal calls the killer and warns him. As Will and Hannibal arrive at the killers house, the killer slices his wifes throat in front of Will and runs inside. Its too late for the wife so Will heads inside, gun at the ready. Will heads into the kitchen and finds the killer with a knife around his daughters neck. Will shoots the killer to stop him from killing the girl of whom still gets sliced. Will continues to shoot the killer. He turns his attention to the daughter who is bleeding out. Struggling with shock, Hannibal appears and he takes over from Will to help stop the bleeding. The episode ends with the daughter laying in hospital, as Will enters her room he sees Hannibal is sitting there asleep in a chair next to her holding her hand. Creeeeeeepy. Will drags a chair closer and sits.

    1. Thank you so much! Perhaps, then, Hannibal's sister has had some effect on the plot if he was distressed in the hunting lodge...? I can't wait for this week's episode! x