Hannibal Season 3 returns next week on Sky Living for another season of mouth-watering murders and precision-tailored suits. With the third run of Bryan Fuller’s take on Thomas Harris’ antihero promising something radically different to what has gone before, though, what can we expect from these new 13 episodes? Here are 10 things we know about Season 3 of Hannibal.
Hannibal’s on the run
We begin the show as far away from the FBI procedural rooms as possible, with Dr. Lecter on the run across Europe. Assuming another identity, he moves from Paris to Florence, as Fuller embraces a more character-driven approach to the story than a crime-driven plot.
Gillian Anderson’s Bedelia is with him
Gillian Anderson has been upgraded to a series regular for the third season and, sure enough, her Bedelia Du Maurier is on the run with him – because if you’re going to go AWOL on the continent like a serial-killing sociopath, you should take your psychiatrist with you. Their professional and personal relationship, though, is set to bring something more to the table than Lecter’s relationships we’ve seen before with Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham – or, in Hannibal’s movie outings, Clarice Starling. Bedelia is just as much an independently minded (and well-dressed) character, with a disturbingly twisted bond with her counterpart that goes back years. The nature of that will be uncovered during this run.
Hannibal’s origin will be reinvented
Hannibal’s origin story will be reinvented – after being reinvented once before by Harris for the 2006 novel (and subsequent film adaptation) Hannibal Rising. Fuller, understandably, isn’t a fan, as he told Den of Geek in their fantastic interview with him. (Warning: Spoilers for the novel and film.)
“There was always a point where something rang false about the approach and promise of a character who says, I believe in The Silence Of The Lambs, “Nothing happened to me, [Officer Starling] . I happened”. Then what Hannibal Rising suggests is that it took that statement away and refuted it and said essentially ‘no, actually what happened was Nazis ate my sister, and that’s why I am what I am’.”
Expect a return to Hannibal’s less explicit – and more distubring – origins.
Hannibal is more bad-ass
A promotional still for Hannibal Season 3 teases another side of Dr. Lecter: a Hannibal kitted out in hot leather. That’s intentional, Fuller tells Den of Geek: “We wanted to start season three with a ‘pop’ and I knew very early on that season three had to start with Hannibal Lecter in a coal Belstaff motorcycle jacket riding a great Hog through the streets of Paris.
“I just wanted to reintroduce the character to the audience in a way that they get to see a completely new perspective of who this man is, from the three-piece suited gentleman cannibal that we’ve experienced in the first two seasons, to a new level of almost James Bond spymanship with him assuming a different identity, being in a different country, moving among people as a predator.”
In a word? Phwoar.
Richard Armitage is on the loose
If the first half of the season is more in keeping with the Florence-set Hannibal, the second half will return to the US – hello to Laurence Fishburne’s Jack and Caroline Dhavernas’ Alana – for the familiar tale of Red Dragon.
Adopting the role of Francis Dolarhyde for the small screen? None other than Richard Armitage, whose Tooth Fairy (a Fannibal and a killer in his own right) will become more of a third lead character than a typical villain.
“Dolarhyde represents something unique in the triangulation of Hannibal and Will in that he provides Will Graham a version of Hannibal that he may be able to save and provides Hannibal a version of Will Graham that he may be able to corrupt,” Fuller told NBC (via TV.com).
Mason Verger is back
After Season 2’s head-munching horror, Mason Verger is back and (as in Thomas Harris’ books) is out for revenge. He’s got a new (ahem) face, though, in the form of Joe Anderson, who replaces Michael Pitt in the role.
Wiliam Blake’s paintings will be used as episode names
Bad news: Season 3 will end the tradition of using food for Hannibal’s episode titles. The good news? That’s because William Blake’s paintings will be used instead for the second half – as Red Dragon fans will know, the Tooth Fairy is obsessed with them It’s only right that, for example (as Fuller told Digital Spy), Episode 8 will be called “The Great Red Dragon…” and Episode 9 will be called “… and the Woman Clothed in Sun”.
It will look amazing
Anyone who’s watched Hannibal will already be in love with its visuals, which are as much a part of the series as its cast and clever writing. Costume Designer Chris Hargadon will ensure that everyone remains impeccably clothed, but Vincenzo Natali will also return to direct the first two episodes – from Cube and Splice to his other episodes of Hannibal, he’s a horror director with a flair for the freaky and beautiful. A perfect match, then.
Season 3 paves the way for Season 4
If Season 4 happens, consider Season 3’s non-procedural style a taster of what would be served up: “It felt like a breath of fresh air not being in Quantico, and not having FBI scenes talking about the murder clues,” Fuller told Digital Spy. “It was so liberating that if we do get a fourth season, there’s going to be a lot more of that than there will be anything FBI-oriented.” Unless, of course, the rights for Clarice Starling ever get sorted out. In which case who knows where Hannibal might head next?
You can watch it on Netflix UK
All three seasons of Hannibal are now on Netflix UK – ideal for anyone needing to catch from the start, or just re-watch the whole thing.
Hannibal Season 3 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
Where can I watch Hannibal on pay-per-view VOD?
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