The Alienist (TV series)

The Alienist is an American period drama television series based on the 1994 novel of the same name by Caleb Carr. The ten-episode limited series first aired on TNT as a sneak peek on January 21, 2018, before its official premiere on January 22, 2018, and ended on March 26, 2018. The series stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning as an ad hoc team assembled in mid-1890s New York City to investigate a serial killer who is murdering street children. The series incorporates fact with fiction by including the characters that are historical figures, such as Theodore Roosevelt, who held the post of police commissioner from 1895 to 1897. On August 16, 2018, TNT ordered a sequel series based upon the 1997 follow-up novel The Angel of Darkness. The second season, titled The Alienist: Angel of Darkness, premiered on July 19, 2020.


The first season is set in 1896, when a series of gruesome murders of boy prostitutes has gripped New York City. Newly appointed police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt calls upon Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a criminal psychologist and John Moore, a newspaper illustrator, to conduct the investigation in secret. Joining them in the probe is Sara Howard, Roosevelt's headstrong secretary, as well as twin brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson, both detective sergeants in the New York City Police Department.
The team finds opposition within the NYPD, primarily from Captain Connor and the recently retired Chief Byrnes, both of whom are more committed to protecting the reputations of New York's high society than they are to finding the perpetrators of the crimes; as well as from the working poor and lower class citizens who distrust them for being outsiders.
In the second season, set a year later, Sara has opened her private detective agency. She, Kreizler, and now-New York Times reporter Moore team up to find the Spanish Consular's kidnapped infant daughter. Their investigation puts them on a path of another elusive killer, while showcasing institutional corruption, income inequality, yellow journalism, and the role of women in 1890s society.



Introduced in season 1


In April 2015, it was reported that Paramount Television would adapt The Alienist as an event television series in partnership with Anonymous Content. Paramount also announced that Eric Roth had come on board the project as an executive producer, as had Hossein Amini as both writer for the series and executive producer. It also announced that Cary Fukunaga would direct all the episodes and serve as an executive producer.
In May 2015, it was reported that TNT had made a deal to produce the series at $5 million per episode. In July 2015, writer and director John Sayles announced on his blog that he was joining the series as a writer. On July 21, 2015, Caleb Carr made an announcement that he was coming on board the series as a consulting producer.
In September 2016, director Jakob Verbruggen replaced Fukunaga as director due to scheduling conflicts, though Fukunaga remained an executive producer.


On November 28, 2016, it was reported that Daniel Brühl was cast as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and Luke Evans as John Moore. Dakota Fanning was later cast as Sara Howard on January 14, 2017. On February 8, 2017, it was reported that Robert Wisdom was cast as Cyrus Montrose and Q'orianka Kilcher as Mary Palmer. Matt Lintz was cast as Stevie Taggert on February 15, 2017. On February 17, 2017, it was reported that Matthew Shear joined the cast as Lucius Isaacson. Douglas Smith was cast as Marcus Isaacson and Ted Levine as Thomas F. Byrnes on February 28, 2017. It was reported that Emanuela Postacchini was cast as Flora on March 17, 2017. On April 19, 2017, it was reported that Brian Geraghty was cast as Theodore Roosevelt.


Season 1 (2018)

Season 2: ''Angel of Darkness'' (2020)


International rights for the series were acquired by Netflix.


Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 66% based on 76 reviews, with an average rating of 6.86/10. On Metacritic, the first season has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
In season two, Rotten Tomatoes has an approval rating of 77% based on 13 reviews, with an average rating of 6.85/10. On Metacritic, the second season has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".



Season 1

Season 2