Fans of the popular - and superb! - television series Hannibal are playing an important role in the mission to raise awareness of encephalitis and World Encephalitis Day.

The show focuses on the relationship between Dr Hannibal Lecter and FBI special investigator Will Graham and developed a close connection with encephalitis when Graham fell ill with Anti-NMDAR Encephalitis.

The characters will also be well known to readers of Thomas Harris’ novels Red Dragon and Hannibal and their respective film adaptations.

Megan McAllister – a Fannibal and leading supporter - was kind enough to tell us a little about the show and their involvement with World Encephalitis Day.

Can you give me a bit of background about the Fannibals?

Fannibals (Fans of the tv show Hannibal) have been fighting for the return of Hannibal since the cancelation back in June 2015. The Fannibal Movement itself was formed January 2016, with our main mission being to contact potential networks (Netflix, Hulu, Starz, etc) in order to relay our wishes of Hannibal to be put on their networks as an original series. Up until August 2017, the rights for Hannibal to be streamed in the United States (the rights that mean the most to potentially save the show) were in the hands of Amazon.  Now that August has passed talks and negotiations with the rights, to certain storylines/characters that show runner Bryan Fuller wishes to work with, have begun.

What makes Hannibal such a good show would you say?

Hannibal is art. It is a beautiful mix of the story line, character development, cinematography and themes that keep the viewer on the edge of their seats the entire time. It brings something new to the whole crime television genre that was desperately needed and entirely refreshing. It’s dark, organic and almost magical, transporting the viewer into their world and takes them on an adventure for the 45 minutes it is playing every episode. There is always something new to find out during a re-watch of the episodes and the creativity that the show promotes is awe inspiring!

Had many of the Fannibals heard about encephalitis when it affected Will Graham?

I would say that everyone who watched the show heard about encephalitis when it was introduced and revealed that Will Graham was affected. In that episode, there was a brief explanation of what encephalitis was, but it was the way they showed how it had affected Will Graham that truly made it stick for viewers. Instead of just having Will Graham fainting or something similar and waking up in a hospital with the diagnosis; Hannibal took their viewers on the journey of how it affected Will. You experienced the time loss, the hallucinations. You found yourself questioning what was wrong because there had to be SOMETHING wrong with Will Graham. The show made you worry and fret about it for multiple episodes before the name encephalitis was mentioned.

Why is World Encephalitis Day important for Fannibals?

Bryan Fuller and the Hannibal production team were the first to bring the efforts of the Encephalitis Society to Fannibals back in 2016 on Twitter. When the word spread that there was an Encephalitis awareness day and events that one could do to help spread the awareness; Fannibals gladly jumped on board. It is one of our repeated events for the Fannibal Movement and an event that is dear to our hearts. I, for one, had never even heard of encephalitis before Hannibal. It was something I felt needed to be more widely known. 

What do you think about the #RED4WED campaign? Is it a good chance to wear *blood* red?!

We will always jump at the chance to wear blood red! (LOL) The #Red4Wed campaign is truly a wonderful idea. It allows people a chance to be involved in something regardless of financial, physical, emotional abilities/limitations. It is also a lot of fun seeing all the red on that day!

Thank you to Fannibals everywhere for raising awareness of encephalitis and World Encephalitis Day!