The Rest of the Story

When I read the announcement that Richard had been cast in Hannibal I cringed. I immediately wondered if the show was worth catching up on before his episodes will air, but I decided against it. I’m curious to see what he does with the character but the show itself is not something I could watch long term.

battling nightmares is so time consuming!
battling nightmares is time consuming!


This brought to mind the videos that fans make of only Richard’s scenes, in any given project. I enjoy these videos and find them very convenient but sometimes they make it easy to forget about the rest of the story.



Richard is an ensemble player and so it’s essential to see who he’s playing off of and the atmosphere they are existing in, to get a well-rounded view of the character he’s portraying.

I’m not suggesting anything


While I didn’t really need to watch the six preceding seasons of Spooks to understand Lucas, I did benefit from watching them.Β  They introduced me to Adam and showed me his influence on the team, his personal connections to both Ros and Jo, and how bits of his personal history made him open to accepting Lucas so easily.

it takes a certain kind of person to look past greasy fingers
it takes a certain kind of person to not react to greasy fingers


Viewing all six seasons also gave me insight into the political climate of the show, the red tape they often had to work around, and the constant game-within-a-game aspect of it all. So the second time I watched seasons 7-9, after catching up on 1-6, I had a better understanding of it all. The things that Lucas did made more sense to me within the overall framework of the show, instead of just how they fit into a study of Lucas North. It also helped me to look beyond Richard, to take off those rosy glasses and let myself get mad at Lucas for most of season 8.

kick Sarah to the curb, Lucas, I beg of you!
kick Sarah to the curb, I beg you!


The whys of season 9 were much louder coming from my mouth the second time around too because I knew Harry better, I knew Ruth better, I remembered Tom Quinn. I think viewing the whole picture is especially important in the smaller productions Richard has been a part of. Those stories don’t revolve around him, so I need to understand how much or how little his character is influencing the sequence of events. Most of the time I generally feel the same about things, regardless of whether I view it in whole or in pieces, but I feel it on a deeper level when looking at the whole story. It makes more sense to me because I can see how it all fits together instead of just relying on gut-instinct.

my instinct for this one is a little lower than the gut...
this instinct is lower than the gut…


For example: my opinions of Paul and Alona from Between the Sheets didn’t change after I was able to watch more than just Paul’s scenes but I did understand better the world that Alona operated in. The way her shortcomings clashed with Paul’s became more apparent to me, and why they were together in the first place made more sense.

this guy left his socks on. yeah, that fits.
this is the guy who left his socks on. yeah, I get it now.


My gut-instincts and my empathy are the core of how I form impressions of people/situations, sometimes without anything concrete to base it on. I’ve learned to trust those instincts but not understanding why I feel the way that I do can end up closing me off to the multiple dimensions of something, leaving me with only a stale first layer.

move, Richard! you're blocking the rest of the room
move, Richard! I can’t see the rest of the room


This is why Richard’s particular brand of acting is so enticing to me. His eyes, his voice inflections, and his body language are all separate layers that work both with and independently of the dialogue and action. It’s a real thrill for me to see that, to feel it and understand it. To work my way through and around those layers. it affords me the chance to participate, to engage, instead of being led to how I should feel like an outdated laugh-track.

Dude, you weren't supposed to laugh there!
Dude, you weren’t supposed to laugh there!


So, I guess this means I should savor my sleep while I can, doesn’t it? because I’ll eventually want to get the full effect of the Hannibal world. No need to rush it though…

me, checking for serial killers under the bed
me, checking for serial killers under the bed


36 thoughts on “The Rest of the Story

  1. I don’t know if I’ll be able to catch up the complete series otr even watch the parts he’ll be involved… Might be the first time I’d have to resign… Thanks for this post!


  2. I wonder how many other people who are not currently fans of the show will watch it to catch up before his story arc begins. I used to watch Criminal Minds and when it became gorier I had to stop; it was making me scared to be in my own home and – obviously – that is not healthy for anyone. I’ve never liked the horror genre but I do hear you. In order to fully understand a character, we must know the whole story. One thing is certain: Richard will blow people’s minds away because he’ll give it his all and show how gifted he is, that he is a Master Actor. I hope it brings him recognition from his peers and leads him closer to the “inner circle” he for which he’s aiming.


      1. The episode that did it for me was the one about the pig farm and the meat grinder…I shudder just by thinking about it. The nightmares I had! I used to watch it with my father and he too decided “we’re not going to watch that show anymore; that was too much; they crossed a line”.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t watch horror movies. It is much too upsetting to me. My only hope is people make gifs and screen caps that are not violent. This is the first thing RA has done that I absolutely can’t watch.

    BTW my 30 year old son really likes the show and thinks it is well done. He said they made a good move by signing RA. He will bring a lot of new fans to the show IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to put up with horror movies when I was younger- it’s cool to be scared, apparently πŸ™„ but when I have bad dreams they are bad, like walking on dead bodies and people I love getting buried alive kind of bad. I’d much rather have good dreams, like meeting Richard at a soup kitchen and bringing him home with me to live happily ever after πŸ˜€

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I think you have a very good point and context adds a lot to understanding and enjoying his acting πŸ™‚ As to Hannibal, i’ve seen S1 (but stopped watching it after that) and if you definitely decided to see the RA bits in S3, S1 is probably a good point to start with, just to get yourself used to the way it looks and feels (best not to get the shock straight with RA πŸ˜‰ ) Also the policemen+ consultant are interesting, complex, well put together characters (i did like those a lot). Then for 2 seasons there is back and forth killings, trying to figure out the murderer, police trouble and if i understood from articles correctly catching. But there is a lot of human trauma for said policeman and consultant along the way. It doesn’t follow the same path as Silence of the lambs, it has the main character but it deviates from the story. H for example gets his own psychologist and that is Anderson. If i understood it correctly there then have been additional serial killers, interacting with H and presumably they try to catch those. Some will continue from S2 into 3 and i guess when they exit the new one comes in (RA). So in theory you could watch a bit of S1 to get used to it and then jump straight to watching RA when a new character+story arc will start (that according to director they intend to continue in S4). Hope this is not spoilerish, just trying to share a bit of structure info.
    Will be curious to hear what you think about it πŸ™‚


    1. this explanation was very helpful to me! it’s good to know I won’t have to watch the whole thing in order to know what’s going on, though I should try at least a few beforehand in order to become familiar with the style πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I had to watch every episode of Spooks seasons 1-6 (and I enjoyed them!) because I’m weird that way. I just can’t jump into a book or television series with recurring characters somewhere in the middle. When I got to season 7, it was Hallelujah, and that was by far my favorite season out of all 10. Not sure whether I’ll enjoy my Hannibal catching-up nearly as much as Spooks- it’s disturbing on a completely new level. But it is well-done, and the characters of Will Graham and Dr. Lecter are really both quite intriguing.


    1. it sounds like it’s in the same category for me as “The Walking Dead”: the story sounds really intriguing and I want to watch, but other aspects make it hard for me to do so. I’ve watched a few episodes of TWD but I’ve taken to playing around on my computer when my son watches them so that I only listen, and that’s worked out much better!


  6. Even though one of my favorite things to say is that archaeology teaches us that context is necessary to understand, I never felt it necessary to see all the previous episodes of Spooks to see what was going on, although I did watch the previous season to Lucas arrival. I think I gave up on watching all of them because if watching the 3 previous seasons couldn’t explain (or excuse) Season 9, then watching the rest of them wasn’t going to help.
    That’s not at issue here however, because this is one role I will never watch because I despise the characters and plots from the books and movies already. That’s enough context in itself for me. I feel sort of sad that their liking for RA is making people watch something they first personally distasteful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. as long as they’re not forcing themselves to watch, even if they severely dislike it while watching; I think it’s good that being fans of Richard opens us up to new things. a lot of fans weren’t that thrilled about his role in Strike Back but then they ended up really liking it. others walked away still not liking it but they could add it to their “experience”. πŸ™‚


      1. As I said, I never felt it necessary to watch the earlier seasons of Spooks and I didn’t feel any better off for having watched season 6. I shouldn’t have had to imo. It is the job of people who made episodic television to write the characters and scenarios in such a way that people don’t need to watch the rest of the series to understand. I find the reasoning that people are giving for watching something that they or others don’t want to watch somewhat inconsistent in logic.
        To make a better analogy, if someone came into Season 3 of RH only because they really liked the guy who played Arrow (Clive Standen) or David Harewood or Joanne Froggatt, I wouldn’t have insisted that they watch seasons 1 and 2 where those characters don’t appear. :))

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I prefer being able to watch a television program episode by episode (which is why I like crime shows) but they have to at least have an underlying storyline in order to assure you’ll come back; that’s marketing and I understand it, although I may not prefer it.
          I’ve not seen anyone shame others for choosing not to watch Hannibal or Spooks or anything else, in full. I’m not going to be forced or guilted into watching something that I truly do not want to watch; I’m the one pushing or not pushing myself. my curious nature makes me feel like I might be missing out on the backstory, that it could enhance what I would already be seeing in the episodes with Richard. I’m wary about it b/c it’s Hannibal, which to me equals blood and gore and torture scenes that would give me nightmares. those are preconceptions though and I won’t really know until I see it for myself. I think we’re all just talking out loud, sharing our opinions on whether we may or may not watch and why. no one is forcing anyone to view something they do not want to watch.


          1. I’m not saying that anyone is forcing anyone else (I don’t think that’s even implied), just that some people seem to be trying to convince themselves to watch.
            I used to watch the occasional episode of CSI or NCIS and more than a few L&O’s and I saw particularly with the latter how the storylines could draw you in (particularly the ones based on real events). My objection is to the whole Lecter-verse.


        2. I only watched Season 7-9 of Spooks. I don’t feel like I had trouble understanding what the show was about. I have re-watched 7 and 8 but not 9.

          I am normally a start-to-finish type of person but with RA and his shows I don’t feel it necessary. I personally won’t be watching Hannibal at all. I hope my Tumblr feed doesn’t become too gruesome.


  7. Excellent post πŸ™‚ – I particularly enjoyed your explanation of why Paul left his socks on… You are soooooo right! πŸ˜‰ That facial hair is a horror story in itself…

    I’ve watched a few episodes of S1 and will probably go back and watch the rest. I do think it’s well done (and Hugh Dancy is awfully cute, lets face it) but it didn’t really grip me. Obviously it will when RA arrives, even though I’m very nervous about him portraying real evil. Despite him saying repeatedly that he does dark characters best, in fact everyone he’s portrayed (other than Guy) has been honourable. Well, major parts anyway. And even Guy was redeemable. Thank goodness Dolorhyde apparently wants to stop killing…


  8. I watched 5-6 of Spooks (and some eps of Series 01-02), and I agree that it was useful for understanding the Grid atmosphere and Ros character in particular. I prefer S07 by far, but I wasn’t angry at S08. Sarah didn’t bother me *run for shelter* Lol, though her accent sounded weird, even for my French ears. S09 was very painful to watch, though the non-Lucas plots were good, I don’t plan to watch them again.
    I watched ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Manhunter’ (in DVD) a long time ago, because I like the actors and Ridley Scott as a director, even if I had to fast foward some scenes at the first viewing. So, I have reserved S01 of Hannibal at my library, I will see. πŸ™‚


    1. it wasn’t so much the character of Sarah herself that bothered me, she was the cliche “evil American” and she was needed to tie the plot together (though the accent was VERY distracting to an American ear). what bothered me was that Lucas suddenly started making really naive decisions that clashed with his previous job performance. season 9 is painful to watch but Richard’s acting in it is so good!
      I’ve watched “Silence of the Lambs” several times (and even own it, though I haven’t watched it in years) but the other movies I’ve skipped. I’m trusting Richard will bring his penchant for making me sympathize with the bad guy while at the same time wrestling with myself b/c he’s still clearly “bad”; and thus my horizons will be broadened by watching something I normally wouldn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, I see what you mean about Sarah, and I agree about what it does to Lucas character. I guess the Sarah disgust was so strong among the fandom, that I have to take a backward step (and I think they look good together). πŸ™‚
        I’m curious too of my own reaction towards this new part for RA, independently of the series.


          1. Thanks Kelly, I’ll have a look. 😎
            And I realize I mixed up the directors’ names in my 1st post. 😳 Michael Mann directed “Manhunter” and Ridley Scott “Hannibal” (the movie). My bad!


      2. I never knew whether fan disgust with Sarah was because of her wonky accent, her character and actions, or because she was banging Lucas and he seemed to have fallen in love with her. I think motivations for dislike varied, but I freely admit to wishing Lucas had rebounded into a relationship with someone else (Jo maybe).

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Despite all my RA adoration I intend to skip this one. Well, except innocent videoclips on Youtube. For the first time I want Richard’s character on screen to die ASAP. And free Richard from this madness πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen quite a few fans voice this opinion, so you’re not alone. I think Richard will surprise many with the way he chooses to play this character and I’m not sure how close to the books this series stays either, so there may be some changes there as well. regardless, we’ll still get to see the “good” parts on youtube and in the form of screen-caps and gifs πŸ™‚


  10. This post raises an issue I ask myself in all kinds of situations — how much do I have to know about something to understand it (adequately)? and the corollary, how much do I want to know?

    My entire professional training says (a) the more you know, the better off you are and (b) always be open to exposing yourself to / learning about new things — maybe especially if it’s something that bothers you and you have a low level of awareness of because it bothers you. BUT then I also said in my fan life i wasn’t going to feel obligated to obey all the rules of my professional life.

    I think that generally I’ve come to the viewpoint that however much you want to consume or not consume of something, in whatever way you want to consume or not consume it, is fine. We all write our different stories about pictures anyway, and why should it be a problem that (as long as we acknowledge that we take things out of context) we consume things in the way that pleases us? It might be different if I were writing a dissertation πŸ™‚ But to take a totally contrary example (because I know many people like VoD), there are a few moments of VoD that I will watch as long as I force myself to erase their context.

    I feel like the results always vary.

    I watched Spooks 1-6 after 7-8, then 9, then very much later, 10. Although initially I was not thrilled about watching six entire years of a tv show, I decided to watch the back episodes because it helped me understand more about the views of people with whom I was in conversation about the show, who *had* seen all the episodes. And I saw some really good tv, I have to say, especially those first few series. Although I also felt at some point like I was wasting my time (series 4).

    I read the SB novel after watching SB and it made me feel a lot better about the SB episodes because I realized how much worse it could have been. Also, it didn’t take me long to read SB.

    I reread TH before seeing the films, but mostly out of obligation, and it didn’t really help or hurt me in terms of appreciating the films.



    1. yes it really is on a film by film basis. and you did touch upon why I personally am even considering watching “Hannibal”: b/c I’m afraid to, and I think there is not only a sense of accomplishment in facing my fears but a thrill to it as well. truthfully I don’t think I need to see the earlier episodes of Hannibal in order to enjoy or understand Richard’s part in it. I also don’t think his character is going to be involved in quite the level of gore/torture that I’m afraid of seeing, so at this point it’s really just a simple challenge to me.
      it’s more than a simple challenge to other fans though and so I think we all need to make that decision on our own and be completely comfortable with that decision; no one should consider themselves a bad fan if they don’t research the project like they normally would or even view Richard’s part in it. while I find it exciting to experience new things through fandom, I’m not going to do something that is going to bring me grief either; that defeats the purpose.
      as an FYI: I did watch the first 2 episodes of the first season of Hannibal yesterday evening. I was able to stay detached from it for the most part and enjoyed the psych aspect but the fact that the main character is so empathetic that he relives the murders from the killer’s point of view, disturbed me. the character of Hannibal himself intrigued me enough that I’ll probably watch a few more, eventually, just so I can try to figure him out.

      Liked by 2 people

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