Episode 4 (‘Ceuf’) of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal prequel series was pulled from NBC’s schedule at his request.
Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow, the writer of Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls explains his reasons for removing the episode.
“Itâ€™ll be available online and on DVD,” he told us. “When we conceived of the episode and we were filming it, we were like,’Oh, this is an interesting exploration of a perversion of a family unit.’ And each of the episodes are kind of heightened in a way that make them a little more digestible, because theyâ€™re so outlandishly horrific. If it were too real it wouldnâ€™t be any fun for me to write, so in this episode we conceived of something that was sort of outlandishly horrific.
“And something outlandishly horrific happened in reality that took away from the entertainment value of the episode.”
However, rather than disrupting the series, Fuller told us the decision allowed him to re-evaluate the pacing and explore a new platform. “I felt like it was also an opportunity to take the elements from the episode that didnâ€™t have dead children in it and use that as kind of a platform for online content, that weâ€™d have this webisode chapter that deals with Hannibalâ€™s continued seduction of Abigail Hobbsâ€™ character that functions as sort of a nice contained meal for a web content series. And then the matter that might be uncomfortable for some viewers, those who wanted to see it would be able to seek it out and watch it, but those who may be more sensitive, they wouldnâ€™t necessarily have to view the show through that obstacle for them.
“So it was about being sensitive to the audience and also about creating new ways to watch the show. And for me it was about getting to the finale one episode sooner, because itâ€™s so delicious where weâ€™re going, and I canâ€™t wait for people to see it. So I was like, ‘Letâ€™s get there quicker!’ There were all sorts of reasons to do it, but the main one was just being respectful to the sensitivities of where we are, and also an interesting way to kind of cannibalise an episode, as it were, and create online content.”
Hannibal starts on Sky Living on 7 May 2013. You can read our review of the first episode here and you can buy Manhunter on Blu-ray for ÂŁ15 at Amazon.co.uk.