Back when Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV show was announced and Mads Mikkelsen merely attached, fans had a lot of questions, not to mention some doubts. Of course, series one and two have gone down a treat, horrifying and delighting fans everywhere, and the third series of the Gaumont International Television produced thriller is about to go on air. Jesse McLean’s The Art and Making of Hannibal: The Television Series is an intricate celebration of the show so far, and an unmissable artefact for fans.
McLean isn’t content to simply present us with hundreds of exclusive photographs (though there’s no complaints on the volume and content of the excellent imagery) instead her obvious passion for the project gives way to a studied and intricate unearthing of Hannibal’s construction. McLean is an observant
hyper-fan, walking us through the legacy of Thomas Harris’ thrillers, the backgrounds, references from show to film to book, the diversions of narrative and character, to such a point that the reader really appreciates just how incredible Fuller’s vision has been since the very first episode.
From there, we are overloaded with sensory information, details on the colour palettes, costuming, set design, performance, crime scene construction and – most gruesomely- the staggering amount of work that goes into creating the corpses of Hannibal. Corpses that could arguably be the most entrancing ever made for Television. A two-page spread on the human Totem Pole from series 2 is a definite highlight and proof of such a belief.
And, as you might expect, the book looks gorgeous too. A matte white compendium with glossed imprints, its front page a haunting yet beautiful piece of grotesquery, whilst the back flaunts the series’ mantra: EAT THE RUDE. The book reminds, time and time again, how good an adaptation Fuller’s Hannibal is, how perplexingly well put together it is every single episode, and how little we know to expect from the future of the show.
Jesse McLean’s The Art and Making of Hannibal: The Television Series, stands testament to the dedication of the team behind the show, but also the ongoing support of the fan base for all things Hannibal. This isn’t simply a picture book with a few paragraphs, it’s a superbly written and edited essay on why we love the show, with an exhaustive amount of photos, interviews, drawings, and references. Basically, it’s a perfect argument why everyone should watch Hannibal.
Author: Jesse McLean
Publisher: Titan Books