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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Complete Season Two


Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas and Laurence Fishburne
Distributor: StudioCanal
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 22 September 2014

Will Graham is locked in a mental asylum accused of Hannibal Lecter's crimes. Now that Will sees Hannibal for what he truly is, he faces a fight to prove his own sanity and convince those closest to him he is innocent of murder. Jack Crawford is dealing with his own feelings about Will, and whether his protégé is in fact a cold-blooded killer. Looking for answers, Jack turns to a man he has come to trust: Hannibal Lecter. With Will locked up, Hannibal becomes Jack's new consultant on cases. Hannibal is torn between self-preservation and his desire to keep Will close to him, despite advice from his psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier to stay away. The deadly dance between these characters continues to turn in startling and unexpected ways, in a season that will show nothing can ever be the same again...

The second season of Hannibal picks up where season one left off. Will is incarcerated for the murder of Abigail Hobbs and evidence is found to suggest that he is the copycat killer, responsible for the deaths of four other individuals.

What's surprising about this series is that we know in the first episode that Crawford will discover that Hannibal is the killer and engage in a fight that will see him with a life threatening knife wound. The rest of the season is told in flashback as we catch up with these events.

Along the way we lose one of the main characters relatively early on. It's a rather sad, not to mention gruesome display that Hannibal leaves behind for the police to discover. We also possibly lose a recurring character, although listening to the audio commentaries Fuller hints that they will be returning for the third season.

Along with the ongoing story arc of Will trying to clear his name and then convince everyone that Hannibal is the real killer, we get the occasional serial killer of the week. These are interesting as they show other, rather deranged individuals, but more importantly it allows the prosthetic department to come up more gruesome crime scenes. I have to say that seeing what twisted imagery they come up with week after week is one of the highlights for me. Hannibal's Damien Hirst's inspired work of art is a particular highlight. It's incredibly shocking and a little heartbreaking (because of who the victim is) but it is a wonderfully stunning creative piece of art. There's more on this in the features on the DVD which shows how this effect was created.

Brian Reitzell's score comes into its own in this season. It's an incredible tool for heightening the onscreen drama, and 'Bloodfest (from Mizumono)' is one of the rare instances where Reitzell delivers music that is beautiful in its own rights and can be listened to outside the confines of the show.

Extras include: nine audio commentaries for eight episodes (two for the season finale), each hosted by Bryan Fuller and one other member of the cast and crew (apart from episode 7 which features Fuller, executive producer Steve Lightfoot and actor Raúl Esparza); This is My Design (1 hr, 19 min, 26 sec very in depth behind the scenes feature which focuses on episode 5, and general background of the show); Killer Intentions Post Mortem with Scott Thompson (42 min, 47 sec tongue in cheek webisode interviews where actor Scott Thompson interviews cast and crew); The Style of a Killer (12 min, 50 sec look at the costume design of the show); Bodies of Lies (11 min, 44 sec look at the gruesome prosthetic effects in the show. For me this was the most interesting feature); Gag Reel (7 min, 17 sec); and Deleted Scenes (12 min, 13 sec of scenes that were left on the cutting room floor. Possibly the only one that could have stayed in the series was the scenes with Crawford where it's explained why he goes to see Will in the asylum.

So another, nail biting season that constantly plays with the audiences expectations. An added bonus is that fans of Thomas Harris's original books will find a lot of additional nods to the source material.


Darren Rea

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