She plays forensic psychiatrist and FBI consultant Alana Bloom, thanks to one of the Starbuck-ish gender switches this series employs. Episode two introduces tattlecrime.com blogger Fredericka “Freddie” Lounds. Male Freddie Loundses were played by Stephen Lang and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the movies. They also worked for print outlets.
The big news?
The title character doesn’t show until midway through the first episode. The series’ central character, as in the book “Red Dragon,” is Graham, played rather differently in the movies by William Petersen and Edward Norton.
How does Dancy play Graham differently?
This Graham is far more socially awkward, which I understand is truer to the Graham in the novel. He may even have Aspergers or a another strain of autism.
What else is NBC not telling us?
Mikkelsen (“Casino Royale”) does not look like the movie Lecters played by Brian Cox and Anthony Hopkins, not, nor does he sound like them. The Danish actor brandishes a much thicker European accent. Again, this is consistent with the books, which explain that Lecter was raised in Lithuania and France and didn’t come to America to begin his residency in Baltimore until he was in his twenties.
[Fun Fact: Mandy Patinkin (“Ragtime,” “Yentl”), Brian Dennehy (“First Blood,” “Silverado”), John Lithgow (“Footloose,” “2010”), and William Petersen’s “To Live And Die In L.A.” director William Friedkin were all considered to play Hannibal Lecktor in “Manhunter.”]
How does it start?
With Graham recalling a particularly horrific crime scene. The opening introduces us to the lightsaber/windshield-wiper effect that helps show us how Graham enters the minds of highly skilled murderers.
There’s a level of detail and artistry here that, frankly, most viewers will miss the first time out – and most TV series would never bother with.
Somebody at the network realized “The Walking Dead” is the most popular series on television and permitted Fuller to embrace Thomas Harris’ horror and make the goriest series ever broadcast on NBC.
The brisk pace, which keeps the pilot fast-fowarding to “the good parts.” The surprisingly naked young corpses. The torment that Dancy brings to Graham. Fishburne’s much more complex version of FBI profiling chief Jack Crawford. Hettienne Park’s perversely flirty hair and fiber expert Beverly Katz generally, and the way she smiles when she asks Graham if he’s unstable.
Graham’s roommates. The Quantico men’s room. The Evil Minds Research Museum. The towels. Lecter’s office. Lecter’s regard for Dan Folger’s tissue. “Kids in the Hall” icon Scott Thompson, surprisingly effective in a mostly dramatic role. “And this is when it gets truly horrifying for Mrs. Marlowe.” “That’s not exactly true, is it?” “She looks like the other girls.” “How’s the cat?” “I do when I’m in your company, doctor.” “So do forts.” “Who’s profile is he working on?” “I’m pretty sure she was alive.” “You will.” “The finest china used only for special guests.”
So much about the pilot’s final five minutes.