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At first, Sky Living’s NBC import smacks of style over substance. Jittery FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, seriously impressive) walks us through a murder scene, re-enacting the slayings as bullets fly and blood spurts. And the gore and attention to ghoulishly elegant aesthetics scarcely let up during an absorbing opening episode.
But there’s plenty of cerebral entertainment as well; not that we see Graham’s new colleague, brilliant psychiatrist Dr Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen, smartly cast) chowing down on brains – yet. But the dynamic between antsy Graham and serene Lecter instantly engages, with Laurence Fishburne lending heavyweight support as Graham’s pragmatic boss. Anyone familiar with ‘Manhunter’ or ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ will know where this is heading, but showrunner Bryan Fuller will hope that Lecter’s unmasking as a twisted serial killer (and incarceration for the same) still lie some years in the future.
In the meantime, settle down for a slap-up feast of criminology and cannibalism.