The new psychological crime drama was created by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, and stars Australian actress Rebecca Breeds as the titular Clarice Starling. It might be jarring to see the Home and Away regular as the Appalachian detective, but from what we can hear the accent ain’t too bad. Watch the official trailer for Clarice:
What is the plot of Clarice?
Clarice takes up Starling’s story quite swiftly after her run-in with Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb. The new series takes many cues from the original Silence, even recreating the scene of the serial killer fashioning a suit from his victim’s skin.
We meet Starling as she’s going through the messy process of recovering from the trauma of her confrontations with these “monsters.” That’s cut short when she’s tasked by former senator Ruth Martin (Jayne Atkinson) to investigate a new serial killer.
Without giving too much away, the series follows Starling as she attempts to unravel a new serial killer mystery without her own mind and personal life unravelling. In an intriguing parallel to world events, Clarice makes no heroes of the law enforcement characters in the series. Instead, Starling is continually facing down internal corruption, dismissal from superiors with ulterior motives, and sheer inadequacy within the Justice Department.
Why isn’t Hannibal in Clarice?
Due to a novel legal situation involving the rights to these characters, Clarice actually will not mention or acknowledge the character of Hannibal at all. In a similar fashion, Fuller’s Hannibal never noted the existence of a Clarice character.
The rights to the characters are divided between MGM and the Dino De Laurentiis Company, which, for the meantime, means never the twain shall meet.
In spite of that, the show’s co-creator Kurtzman believes it’s a good thing. “I’m still trying to understand how the rights are divided,” he told EW. "But it’s been quite liberating because we have no interest in writing about Hannibal—not because we didn’t love the films and the show, but because it was done so well by so many people that it didn’t feel fresh for us.”
Who is in the cast of Clarice?
Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling
This isn’t Breed’s first time at the American TV network rodeo, having previously appeared in Vampire Diaries spin-off series The Originals, as well as the later seasons of Pretty Little Liars as Nicole. When speaking with Variety about Clarice, Breeds noted the importance of not reiterating the incredible work Jodie Foster did in the role.
Instead, Breeds drew heavily from the books: “Her intelligence and her nuance and her humour and her bravery and all of the psychological trauma that’s trying to poke its head in that she uses in her job, it’s just fascinating.”
Devyn A. Tyler as Ardelia Mapp
American actress Devyn A. Tyler plays Ardelia Mapp, having previously held roles in Fear The Walking Dead and Antebellum among others. Mapp is one of the few allies Starling has, somewhat bonded by their experiences being marginalised women among the FBI world dominated by white men.
Marnee Carpenter as Catherine Martin
Like Breeds, Marnee Carpenter is also stepping into a role originated by another. In Clarice Carpenter stars as Catherine Martin, the final near-victim of Buffalo Bill who Starling manages to narrowly save.
“In a lot of ways, she’s got her only counterpart in Clarice who, from the outside, seems to be thriving and going about her life,” Carpenter said of the character in an interview. “I think Catherine is really struggling with that because that’s just not where she’s at.” Carpenter has previously appeared in Good Girls and Criminal Minds.
Lucca De Oliveira as Tomas Esquivel
Little much is known about FBI agent Tomas Esquivel, one of the main characters in the upcoming Clarice TV series. He’ll be played by Lucca De Oliveira, who has worked on series such as Animal Kingdom and SEAL Team.
Kal Penn as Emin Grigoryan
You’ll recognise Kal Penn—or at least find his face very familiar—from his numerous film and TV credits. Penn has held recurring roles in How I Met Your Mother, House and of course, the Harold & Kumar films. Grigoryan is the series’ forensic wizard: an agent with a PhD in library science. “All of our conversations about Clarice thus far are so grounded in art and storytelling. It’s suspense, it’s a thriller, and it’s thoughtful,” Penn told Deadline.
Nick Sandow as Murray Clarke
Orange Is The New Black alumni Nick Sandow is back as yet another shitty boss. Sandow plays Murray Clarke, an agent who slid into the FBI off the back of a lacrosse scholarship and his family’s law enforcement background. The series sees him as Starling’s chief antagoniser-ally.
Michael Cudlitz as Paul Krendler
American actor Michael Cudlitz, of The Walking Dead and The Kids Are Alright takes on the role of Paul Krendler. Like others in the series, his self-interest and political motivation colour his investigative skills, though his legal prowess is sound.
Where can you watch Clarice in Australia?
Clarice officially premieres in Australia tonight, at 8 pm on February 12. You can watch it on Stan here.