‘Hannibal’ Extended Look at Richard Armitage as the Red Dragon (Exclusive Video)

‘The Hobbit’ franchise star debuts as the disturbed serial killer obsessed with perfecting his physical form

Mads Mikkelsen’s Dr. Hannibal Lecter has some healthy competition in the sensual serial killer department with Richard Armitage arriving on Saturday night’s episode “The Great Red Dragon” as body-conscious psychopath Francis Dolarhyde.

NBC provided TheWrap with this extended look at Armitage’s introduction as the killer known as the Tooth Fairy.

In Season 3, Lecter plays his trademark cat-and-mouse games with international authorities against the backdrop of richly toned Italy. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) lights after him and pays the price — again.

Dolarhyde’s appearance will test the FBI profiler and his dysfunctional relationship with everyone’s favorite cannibal.

The video spies on Dolarhyde as he explores his transformation into the central figure of William Blake’s painting “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun.”

“One of the images I pulled was a snake shedding its skin,” Armitage (“The Hobbit’s” Thorin Oakenshield) told TheWrap in an interview this week. “It looks a little bit like peristalsis in the body. It has a pulse to it, and it doesn’t happen easily. It looks like digestion, and it looks like a sexual act.”

Watch the video above or here.

Armitage debuts on “Hannibal” on Saturday, July 25, at 10/9C on NBC.