Comparison between the 6-part webisode version
and the uncut original episode
- 11 cuts, 2x alternative footage and 1 re-cut
- Difference: 1263.3 sec. (= 21:03 min.)
Long after his last appearance on the big screen, we get to see legendary psychopath Hannibal Lecter since April 2013 in his own TV series. Of course, it's a really hard task to follow in the steps of Anthony Hopkins, but apart from the fact that they found a worthy actor in Mads Mikkelsen
, who is known from several Danish cult movies and of course as Bond villain in Casino Royale
, the series focuses on different aspects. We start off at the beginning of the story of Red Dragon
with the main character being the detective Will Graham, in the movie versions played by William Petersen/Edward Norton, and the members of his team, for example played by Laurence Fishburne. Hannibal, still working as psychiatrist, acts as consultant for the cases, which unfortunately are solved too quickly in one episode. So far, there are only some slight hints and Mikkelsen's dark representation of the character, which show us the cannibal as we know him. (SPOILER: From episode 6 onwards, he's also allowed to perform his usual work
As we already reported
, the 4th episode of the first season, supposed to air on April 25, was pulled on short notice and the 5th episode was shown instead. Bryan Fuller, producer of the show, made this decision himself, because he didn't want to step on somebodies toes with that subject matter. Roughly, it's about a gang of teenagers, who specifically kill whole families. The decision seemed reasonable, especially because the attack at the marathon in Boston just took place and one of the perpetrators was only 19 years old, so there was kind of a resemblance to the topic in the episode. But in truth, the decision was already made official a few hours before the attack on April 15, 2013, so there was actually no connection. This news was spread and misinterpreted only a few days later. But the underlying thought was quite equal, because Fuller thought the content to be inappropriate considering the massacre at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown
in December 2012 (source
But of course it's a disadvantage when the viewer doesn't get all the necessary information on the frame story (which naturally exists aside from the cases) at such an early point in the series. Especially because the viewer rating for the third episode unfortunately went down (and even decreased with the 5th and 6th episode) and now it may well be that many of those who kept watching it, will now stop doing so due to this gap in the story. So they decided to heavily cut the episode and to offer those parts, that aren't directly connected to the child murder plot, in 6 so called "webisodes"
on YouTube. Although many viewers probably refused to watch this cut version, it still can be recommended to watch the episode because of the alliance between Lecter and Abigail that's about to begin now and the personal problems in Jack Crawford's marriage, that come up again more detailed in the 5th episode. Maybe it's also because many people didn't accept the compromise that the original episode wasn't initially released on the foreign market, as hinted at by Fuller, but could be legally purchased on iTunes
one week later.
Apart from three minor alterations, they simply had to remove a few scene clusters from time to time to create this character-focused webisodes version, which is equal to the original version in terms of chronology
. Here it becomes apparent again that they didn't spend enough time for the actual cases, as already mentioned before. The general character development and the solving of a new case with everything that's connected to it takes up roughly 20 minutes of the running time, respectively. Nevertheless, this episode, now in its initial form, has all the qualities that made the first episodes so intriguing. Graham thinking his way into the cases at the dark and morbid scenes of the crime, a little bit like Dexter Morgan, is shown in an optically appealing way and in the end, he always comes to the right conclusion, despite his psychological problems, of which we get a glimpse from time to time. In the meantime, Lecter stays in the background and manipulates others, mostly verbally. The complete material also contains smaller parts which are important for the frame story, like information about Graham's childhood during a conversation between him and Lecter. Moreover, Crawford's desire to have children is introduced in the final conversation between him and the rescued boy.
In terms of violence, this was a rather tame episode, maybe due to the child actors. The murders which Graham experiences aren't as explicit as in the previous episodes. Just the topic itself seems to have been the trigger for this whole controversy.
Running time indications are in the order
webisodes version / original episode
Web1: 00:00-01:15 / 00:00-00:32
While the original episode stars with a flashback (no pictures), the first webisode contains an introduction by producer Bryan Fuller with short clips from the series to underline his words.
He says that the 4th episode has been "cannibalized" and that they wanted to elaborate the relationship between Lecter and Abigail in the web miniseries. This relationship will get more complex and makes up a major part of the story in the course of the series. So with this, the viewer is able to follow the plot without having seen the original episode. The whole episode had been pulled due to "sensitivity to the subject matter", but it will be available outside of the USA/NBC. He wraps it up with "bon appetit".
75 sec. (Webisodes 43.5 sec. longer)
Web1: 03:43 / 03:00-06:06
After the conversation between Lecter and Graham, the usual opening credits and also a large part of the actual opening is missing, because it introduces the child murder story.
It begins with some shots of rotten food with some vermin on it. Then, the camera moves backwards and a dead family comes into view, all with their heads on the plates; the mother looks into the direction of the camera, or rather to the chair in which the killer probably sat.
Graham is in the room and visualizes the whole scenario, which is shown with the use of color filters and by quasi turning back the time. Graham comments the sequence of events from the first-person perspective: he says that the murderer came upon the table set for a meal, although he wasn't invited. He sat down at the end of the table, the appropriate spot right next to the mother (Mrs. Turner). They treated him like a guest of honor and didn't dare to start eating - especially because the murderer apparently has brought his own "family". They controlled the Turners by threatening them with violence and then they were simply executed. Only the mother was spared until the end and died separately at the hand of the murderer.
Crawford wants to know what he's seeing and Graham says something about family values. Crawford asks suspiciously: "Whose family values?"
Lecter going to the abandoned apartment of Abigail is identical in the two versions.
End of Web1 (06:04) / 08:27-09:39
After that, it continues at the scene of the crime with some background information on the family. The Turners had three children, but their only son, Jesse, was missing for one year. He was last seen getting into a truck on route 47. Either he ran off or he was kidnapped - Graham suggests that both could be possible and talks about hypocritical family portraits.
Katz says that there are no signs of forced entry. Zeller adds that the shooter aimed high and low.
Graham stands aside looking at a photo, a little bit bewildered, and he wants to have confirmed again that Jesse was kidnapped one year ago.
This episode is completely identical and contains no cuts. At first, we see Abigail in the mental institution talking with Alana. Then, Alana in Lecter's apartment.
End of Web2 (03:18) / 12:56-14:04
After the conversation between Alana and Lecter, there's a scene in the mortuary of the forensic medicine in the original episode. The colleagues joke about what would have happened in their families and what they would have done to their siblings, if there had been guns in the house. Zeller guesses that Graham is an only child. Finally, they critically talk about adolescent kids, such as the kids of the Turners. It's conspicuous that all the corpses show signs of defense, except for the mother. This seems to be a case of typical motherly forgiveness.
The conversation between Graham and Lecter is identical at the beginning, but then they edited a few things due to references to the case.
Web3: 00:55-00:59 / 15:00-15:33
The dialogue about the family circumstances is a little bit longer. Unfortunately, some things about Graham's psyche were removed together with a rather unremarkable alteration. The webisode version
only has an additional shot of Lecter as transition:
The following part of the dialogue is missing and can only be found in the original episode
. The lines in brackets are contained in the webisode, before and after the cut. The part in italics was reinserted there at a later point; the part in bold is missing completely. There are pictures only for the exclusive material.
(Graham: "I never connected to the concept.")
Lecter: "You created a family for yourself."
Graham: "I've only connected a family of strays, and thank you for feeding them while I was away."
Lecter: "I was referring to Abigail. Tell me about the Turner family, were they affluent, well to do?"
Graham: "They lived like they had money."
Lecter: "Did your family have money, Will?"
Graham: "We were poor.
(I followed my father from the boatyards of...)
Original version 29.3 sec. longer
Web3: 01:09-01:28 / 15:43
The part in italics above was reinserted into the webisode at this point and with that, the episode ends.
+ 18.9 sec.
Web3: 01:28 / 15:43-15:58
In the original episode, the conversation ends with yet another reference to the murder in the Turner house.
Lecter asks what the murderer held against the mother. Graham guesses "motherhood" in general, which Lecter negates. He thinks that it's probably about a perversion of motherhood.
In both versions, the feast of Lecter and Jack Crawford follows; a few things were changed again due to references to the case.
Web3: 02:06-02:08 / 16:36-16:41
The webisode has an additional shot of Crawford at this point, while Lecter finishes his sentence about Graham's nightmares.
In the original, Lecter is shown insignificantly longer, then Crawford says: "Children killing other children is not that unfamiliar a notion to Will."
Original episode 2.8 sec longer
The rest of the conversation is identical and so is the following short scene of Graham sleep-walking, with which the third webisode ends.
End of Web3 (03:01) / 17:33-25:12
A few scenes were removed before Graham visits Lecter.
At first, the coroners are shown again. They found sneakers in the Turner house and now they talk about the differences in foot size and in length of the stride, which hints at a 12 year-old or teenage boy. They found three different foot prints in the house that don't fit the Turner's. Price walks over to the computer, with which they search in a data base of missing children, and he says that they've found one.
It goes on with Graham doing one of his readings. He talks about bite wounds of one case, while Crawford enters hectically and throws out all of the attendants. When they've left, he informs Jack that they've identified a thirteen year old boy called Connor Frist by his fingerprints. He was reported missing ten months ago and interestingly, he was one of three kids, equal to the Turner case. Crawford says that they can get going now, from which Graham already guesses that there's a new crime scene at the Frist house.
And indeed: accompanied by Christmas music, there's a nice tracking shot from the upper floor to a murdered family lying in front of a Christmas tree; a child is lying in the fireplace. Crawford, Graham and the others arrive at the crime scene and hold their noses in disgust.
Now to the mortuary again. Crawford notes that the mother has died last here, too. Katz says that there weren't any Christmas presents under the tree for the mother, which Graham comments with "Took her presents, took her motherhood". Zeller adds that she was killed by multiple shots: the first bullet kept stuck in the head and caused spasms. The relieving second bullet came from another gun.
Graham thinks the burned child corpse to be Connor Frist himself. He probably couldn't take the suffering of his mother anymore and was then punished for that.
Graham's assumption is confirmed in the following scene in the cafe. An older boy (C.J. Lincoln, as we learn later on) says to a younger one (Jesse Turner, from the Turner family found in the beginning) that he shouldn't be sad about Connor. An older woman (no name given, the actress is called Molly Shannon) supports him by saying that the natural family isn't the right
family, because you didn't choose it.
The third boy sitting at the table (Christopher O'Halloran) wants to know what has happened to the original family of the woman, whereupon C.J. quickly says that he and the other children are the woman's family now. The woman asks him if he's not feeling well. C.J. interrupts again and says "He's fine." in a somber and determined voice.
The woman addresses Christopher differently now and thereby gives a hint to the next crime scene. She says that Christopher probably is eager to see his old family again, even if it's just to say goodbye, because from there on he's just allowed to have one family.
Graham is sitting alone in his office; Katz comes in. She mentions Willard Wigan to him, an artist, who could be so focused that he's able to work between his heartbeats. Graham ignores this little sideswipe and he takes the conversation to two other missing persons, whose profiles he's looking at on the computer. Both kids are malnourished and probably have ADHD. The respective drugs could be a key to the explanation.
After Graham has asked, slightly confused, who that Willard Wigan is, Katz tells of another hit in the data base. The bullet which killed Mrs. Frist matches the one which was found one year earlier during investigations on the murder of a mother of a thirteen year-old boy - C.J. Lincoln. They talk a little bit about the fact that this boy never did anything suspicious, in fact quite the contrary; he was known for his love of animals. But maybe this is the reason for the manipulation of other children; C.J. is described as a kind of Peter Pan for them.
Another scene with the kids. They are in a small shop and the woman is standing at the checkout. C.J. threateningly looks at Christopher, who's standing next to her and immediately wets his pants. The woman pretends to be the caring mother and tells him that there's nothing to be ashamed of.
In total 459.3 sec (= 7:39 min)
Identical start with the next conversation between Lecter and Graham. But there are some differences later on.
Web4: 00:50-00:52 / 26:01-26:26
In the original episode
, Graham stands longer in the room without saying anything and Lecter asks why he's so angry. Graham says that it angers him not being able to give back to those kids what they themselves gave away. Lecter explains that they are talking about a family.
Graham says that the kids are called "lost boys" and Lecter answers that Abigail is lost, too.
also sets in again with Lecter's next sentence "Perhaps it's our responsibility...". Before that, there's another take of Graham walking through the room, as transition.
Original episode 22.8 sec longer
The rest with the conversation between Abigail and Lecter, in which he invites her to his home, is identical again.
The content of webisode 5 (Abigail takes magic mushrooms at Lecter's home) is identical, also in terms of chronology.
02:04 / 30:47-31:57
The original episode goes on with the case, which the investigators have now pretty much figured out, before Abigail notices the effect.
With a more current photo of C.J., Graham talks about the crime scenes on a map. The killers seem to move south, so they will watch the borders of North Carolina and Georgia. Moreover, they have to take into account the profiles of missing boys in a perimeter of 200 miles of North Carolina. In the meantime, Graham talks about "capture bonding", which means that the boys think that the only way to survive is to bond with the kidnapper.
The rest of webisode 5, the conversation between Lecter and Abigail on drugs, is identical.
End of Web5 (03:57) / 33:48-39:01
There are some additional scenes of the investigation and the final solving of the case between the above-mentioned conversation and the confrontation between Alana and Lecter in webisode 6.
Katz says that the kids wouldn't do anything without their leader telling them to. Graham adds that the boy they have to find now is probably an outsider, but wouldn't like one. The kid probably has some special talent, which makes C.J. fascinating for him. In his own family, the boy also has a brother, but he doesn't quite understand him. Katz explains that Christopher had remarkable computer skills. Alana emphasizes that the kids are probably looking for a mother figure.
The previous comment made Graham think and so he turns up in Crawford's office with the realization that there also has to be a woman in the kids' group and that she wants to create a family. But in order to do that, they have to eliminate the actual families of the kids.
Thereupon, Graham presents the file. Christopher was recorded this morning by a surveillance camera in a super market together with an unidentified woman. His parents live in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
After that, we see Christopher ringing at his parents' house and his mother happily hugs him. Christopher has a dark expression on his face.
After a short black screen, a heavily armed special forces unit arrives and storms the house - just to find the whole group in the backyard, where C.J. is about to start the execution. He gets shot and the other boys get arrested, while Christopher runs towards the house. Graham follows him and they face each other with raised guns. Graham cools down the whole situation and both lay down their guns. The woman appears behind Christopher and talks insistently to him. Katz shoots the woman from further away before the situation escalates. Case solved and Christopher surrenders, relieved.
Christopher is taken to the car and he asks Crawford, if he may go home now. He negates that and reminds him that he came here to murder his family and that this will be the only thing that the people will think about him. Christopher says that he never would have done it and that the woman said that this wasn't his true family. Moreover he says that Crawford probably isn't able to understand his situation, because he doesn't have kids (by the way a sideswipe which they elaborated at the end of this webisode and in webisode 6!). Christopher would like to talk to his real mother; Crawford says that he may do that soon, but first he has to talk to him.
In total 312.5 sec (= 5:13 min)
There are no differences in webisode 6. The final angry conversation between Lecter and Alana, after which they go into the next room to Abigail, who is still drugged, as well as the short small talk between Jack Crawford and his wife (plus the question, if it's too late for them to have kids) and the last scene in Graham's home are identical.
Only the end credits are not contained in the webisode, but this wasn't taken into account.