In just two short seasons, NBC's Hannibal has made a name for itself on the backs of two specific characteristics: one, it's incredibly violent. If you're a patron of premium cable channels, you can probably name a half-dozen shows out there in TV land that are more violent, but Hannibal exists in the categorically less edgy realm of network television. It's a twisted miracle that the show manages to be as gory as it is, when we consider the source.
It's also incredibly well cast; maybe there's simply no better way to offset carnage than by pulling in a talented core troupe capable of lending humanity, and a sense of refinement, to the show's Grand Guignol/arthouse mien. Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are tremendous as the leads - but there's so much quality showcased among both the supporting (Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas) and recurring players (Anna Chlumsky, Raúl Esparaza, Katherine Isabelle, Michael Pitt), that picking favorites is a task that's difficult at best.
Counted among the latter group of performers is Gillian Anderson, playing psychotherapist to Mikkelsen's psychopath. Turns out there's good news in store for the X-Files alum: in season 3 she'll be bumped up to "series regular" status, following in the wake of May's viscera-soaked finale. According to TVLine, Anderson just signed on the deal this week, and while it's not known what, exactly, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier and Hannibal will be getting up to once the show's third go-round premieres, the decision gives her role an immediate boost in newfound importance.
Executive producer Bryan Fuller graciously offered some additional commentary alongside the announcement, though in truth his words only confirm what we've known or guessed at based on the Hannibal panel at this year's San Diego Comic Con. Season three picks up a year after the final moments of 'Mizumono', which left viewers with the sight of Lecter and Du Maurier jetting off to destinations unknown; as surmised from hints dropped at the convention, the pair is in Europe, though "why" is anybody's guess. (Probably the food.)
But what other business do Lecter and Du Maurier have abroad? Could be that they're just lying low, but the good doctor doesn't strike as the type to merely lay low; he might, in other words, have ulterior motives behind taking a trip to Italy. But if this new development means more Anderson and more Mikkelsen, the former's promotion should really only be seen as a plus (even in a show that's already fit to bust with great acting). We'll just have to patiently wait to suss out the particulars of their travel arrangement.
It's interesting that so little has been said thus far of the other parties involved in the aftermath of 'Mizumono', or what has become of each of them. In point of fact, we might know more about new characters expected to put in appearances in season three than we do about the fates of Will, Crawford, and Alana (though it's a pretty safe bet that Will made it out alive). Mysteries abound.
Hannibal's third season will air on NBC in 2015.
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