It’s inevitable. After you watch the pilot of The Blacklist, you start making these comparisons.

the blacklist nbc

The Blacklist, NBC. Photo: NBC.

In a conference call on October 1st, 2013, Small Screen Scoop asked James Spader about that exact question.

Small Screen Scoop: What do you say to those who are comparing the relationship of Red and Elizabeth to that of Hannibal and Clarice Starling (from Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal)?

James Spader: I understand that based on the pilot…because he knows so little, and (because of) the imagery. Someone’s shackled to the chair, and this young woman coming in, and there seems to be a sort of obsession that the criminal has about her.

That disappears rather swiftly.

After tonight…after you find out the arrangement. He’ll be moving freely. It’s very different from an obsessive psychopath. He clearly has a very real, given one-sided, relationship with her. And he has intimate knowledge of her background and her past. He really knows this woman. He knows of her family, her present life, and I think that (those) … similarities disappear really quickly.

So, there you go, Screeners! Although the pilot opened up these comparisons, the show is actually very different from what you get from Hannibal Lecter and Claire Starling.

Keep watching The Blacklist, Mondays on NBC.