Hannibal is a dark TV series on NBC that’s based on the book, Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris. The show tells the story of FBI Special Investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his relationship with forensic psychologist, Dr. Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen). Will is asked by Special Agent in Charge Jack Crawford (Lawrence Fishburne) to investigate the murders due to Graham’s special gift to empathize with killers. But is Hannibal Will’s closest ally or his greatest enemy?
This show is absolutely brilliant and it has as much gore and macabre as some horror films. Its a very welcomed change from most of the other shows on the networks that really pushes the limits in every way. The writing is incredibly creative and surprisingly it became more disturbing as the season went on. With the show being a prequel to the events in the book, the writers are free to keep the plot working without straying too much from the source material. By he end of the season, the show had taken some unexpected turns that were quietly built up to during its run.
The roles have been perfectly cast but especially the three main characters. Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Hannibal Lector rivals Antony Hopkins’ take of the the cannibalistic doctor. He has a very calm demeanor that only intensifies his creepiness. The part demands for the actor to be sophisticated and meticulous with his every move. Hugh Dancy has this intelligent awkwardness which conveys how internally tortured he is. Lawrence Fishburne’s Jack Crawford just solidifies how talented he is. As usual, his presence is distinguished and plays a man who’s calm in an urgent situation. He wants to solve these string of murders before the killer strikes again but he always keeps his cool.
Hannibal: Season 1 arrives on Blu-ray with a simply gorgeous video transfer. Right from the beginning we are introduced to a very natural looking color palette. Colors are reproduced in an excellent way and they all appear very natural. The flesh tones are also spot on, looking very natural and lifelike. The black colors are often very inky with no signs of crushing. The detailing is excellent with superb close up shots and just simply gorgeous surroundings. Each episode features a thin layer of grain. I can’t complain with this release; Hannibal simply looks great on Blu-ray.
Hannibal: Season 1 features a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track that simply delivers on every expectation. The show is very dialogue driven with occasional intense and active scenes, but even then the track will most likely not make your system rumble the house. Instead, Lionsgate’s audio mix focuses on the very subtle and even minor details of the track to pull you into the story. The dialogue is clean throughout. Directionality works well and even the dynamic range appears to be good. The rears always help in creating the creepy atmosphere to support what is on the screen. The score flows through the spacious track without any issues that creates the haunting atmosphere of the show. The LFE output is retrained, but used when needed. Hannibal: Season 1 sounds great on Blu-ray.
As opposed to the very small amount of extras, the US version has a few more goodies in store for the fans of the show.
• Audio commentaries on select episodes with Cast and Crew including Bryan Fuller, David Slade, Hugh Dancy and more
• “Hannibal Reborn” featurette
• “A Taste for Killing” featurette
• “The FX of Murder” featurette
• “A Symphony for the Slaughter” featurette
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• Pilot Episode Storyboards
Hannibal is probably one of the best the shows from this past season. It is very character driven and exceedingly clever writing that can leave you feeling unsettling but entertained at the same time. The release itself is solid and it has what fans want to see. There is an exceptional transfer as well as having a very good audio mix. The more you watch, the more you want to know about it and the nice line-up of supplements satisfy that need. If you’re a fan of the Hannibal Lector movies or just really want a show that might blow your mind, I highly recommend picking up this release. Also, the new season has recently started filming so I would pick this up fast.