*Season 2 of NBC’s psychological thriller “Hannibal” begins Feb. 28, and the first episode will pick up right where the 13-episode first season left off.

“The first episode is almost episode 14 of the first season because we’re kind of carrying where everybody was psychologically from the traumas of the first season,” show creator Bryan Fuller told critics at the TCA press tour Sunday morning. “We really needed the space to let that story breathe. But we do have some long arcs with the show. The run of [episodes] four, five, six, seven are pretty big – even though there are murders within them – it’s a story in and of itself. It’s a chapter where things get really bad for lots of characters.”



“Hannibal,” based on characters from the Thomas Harris novel “Red Dragon,” follows the relationship between FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), the forensic psychiatrist from “Silence of the Lambs” who ultimately ends up as Graham’s intellectual nemesis.

Laurence Fishburne returns as Graham’s boss Special Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford, head of Behavioral Sciences at the FBI. Also making return appearances this season are Eddie Izzard as Dr. Gideon, Raul Esparza as Dr. Chilton and Gillian Anderson as Lecter’s long-suffering therapist Bedelia du Maurier.

This season will see fresh new psychopaths played by Jeremy Davies, Jonathan Tucker and Amanda Plummer. “She plays somebody who will make you think twice about going to get acupuncture,” warned Fuller.

“Every time we do one of those guest psychopaths on the show, it’s serving as a metaphor for what’s going on with everything else, with the other characters” he said. “So, we’re continuing that tradition and it actually gives us a spine to the stories and allows us to structure a story around something so we’re just not a free-willing soap opera.”

Fishburne, 52, is in somewhat familiar territory as a law enforcement boss dealing with off-the-chain murder investigations. His previous TV character, Dr. Raymond Langston on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” had the official title of Level 1 Investigator for the Las Vegas Crime Lab.

The Augusta-born actor, seated beside Fuller and his co-stars Dancy, Mikkelsen and Caroline Dhavernas, says his “CSI” title was a bit more vague than that of his current role.



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