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The Alienist
Alienist-Stills-Poster-01-Key-Art
Genre Period drama
Crime drama
Created by Caleb Carr (novel)
Cary Fukunaga
Jakob Verbruggen (showrunner )
Written by Hossein Amini, E. Max Frye et al.
Directed by Jakob Verbruggen et al.
Starring See Cast & Characters
Original Language(s) English
Production
Producer(s) Production & Crew
Running time 42–53 minutes
Production company(s) Paramount Television
Studio T
Anonymous Content
Parliament of Owls
Distributor TNT (USA) (TV); Netflix (Non-US) (video) (VOD) (excluding France)
Release
Original network(s) TNT
Netflix (worldwide rights)
Next The Angel of Darkness
In the 19th century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be alienated from their own true natures. Experts who studied them were therefore known as Alienists.
— Opening epigraph

The Alienist is a TNT original drama series based on the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr. It is the first installment of the TNT's “Suspense Collection.”

The Alienist premiered on Monday, January 22, 2018, at 9 p.m. ET/PT across TNT platforms. [1] [2]

Premises

Turner’s TNT will take viewers into the darkest corners of New York City during the Gilded Age with the eagerly anticipated series ‘The Alienist’ based on the Anthony Award-winning international bestseller by Caleb Carr.

Synopsis

The Alienist opens in 1896 when a series of haunting murders of boy prostitutes grips New York City. Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) calls upon criminal psychologist — aka alienist — Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and newspaper illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans) to conduct the investigation in secret. They are joined by Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning), a headstrong secretary at Police Headquarters determined to become the city’s first female police detective. Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and forensics, this band of social outsiders set out to apprehend one of New York City’s first serial killers. The limited series also stars Douglas Smith, Matthew Shear Matt Lintz, Robert Ray Wisdom and Q'orianka Kilcher. [3] [4]

Cast and Characters

Starring

Guest Starring

Note: For a comprehensive list, see specific episode pages.

Episodes

No. Image Title Writer Director Airdate
1 Alienist-Still-S1E01-03-Laszlo-Kreizler-John-Moore-Sara-Howard "The Boy on the Bridge" Hossein Amini Jakob Verbruggen January 22, 2018
New York City. 1896. The heart of America’s Gilded Age. When a young boy prostitute is found butchered on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, an alienist named Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl), a newspaper illustrator by the name of John Moore, (Luke Evans), a secretary, Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) and a police commissioner named Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) begin an investigation outside the law to find the serial killer. [5]
2 Alienist-Still-S1E02-06-Sara-Howard-Isaacson-Brothers-Dinner "A Fruitful Partnership" Hossein Amini &
E. Max Frye
Jakob Verbruggen January 29, 2018
The investigation heats up as Sara (Dakota Fanning) gets her hands on a clue and Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) tries to connect the evidence left behind by the serial killer. Tensions rise within the police department. Kreizler takes Moore (Luke Evans), Sara, Marcus (Douglas Smith) and Lucius (Matthew Shear) to Delmonico's in New York and informs them they are going to be working together as a team to catch the killer. [6]
3 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E03-04-Sara John Laszlo "Silver Smile" Gina Gionfriddo Jakob Verbruggen February 5, 2018
Innovative evidence leads the team to discover a crucial element in the case has gone missing. Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and Moore (Luke Evans) interview a witness to find out what happened to Moore at the Brothel. Sara (Dakota Fanning) attempts to live in a world outside the investigation. Kreizler challenges them to look within themselves.
4 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E04-10-Miss Howard and Dr Kreizler "These Bloody Thoughts" Gina Gionfriddo
& Cary Fukunaga
James Hawes February 12, 2018
Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and Sara (Dakota Fanning) discuss the capacity to kill. Moore (Luke Evans) goes on a date. Byrnes (Ted Levine) and Captain Connor (David Wilmot) keep an eye on a potential suspect. Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) finds himself under public scrutiny.
5 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E05-13-Moore-Kreizler-Prison "Hildebrandt’s Starling" E. Max Frye James Hawes February 19, 2018
The team learns more about the killer. Moore (Luke Evans) and Sara (Dakota Fanning) share an intimate moment. Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) seeks advice from an old mentor. Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) takes action.
6 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E06-08-John Moore and Joseph "Ascension" E. Max Frye Paco Cabezas February 26, 2018
The team hatches a plan to catch the killer. Moore (Luke Evans) checks in on a friend. Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) faces his own self-doubt about the investigation. Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) attends an event with the city’s elite. Sara (Dakota Fanning) looks into Kreizler’s past. Connor (David Wilmot) acts on impulse.
7 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E07-08-Moore-Kreizler Crowd "Many Sainted Men" John Sayles Paco Cabezas March 5th, 2018
Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and Moore (Luke Evans) follow a lead. Sara (Dakota Fanning) visits a hospital and is forced to confront her past. Cyrus (Robert Wisdom), Kreizler’s carriage driver, recovers from his injuries. Byrnes (Ted Levine) and Connor (David Wilmot) plot against the team. Detectives Marcus (Douglas Smith) and Lucius Isaacson (Matthew Shear) work on a clue.
8 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E08-07-Laszlo Kreizler "Psychopathia Sexualis" John Sayles David Petrarca March 12, 2018
Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and Moore (Luke Evans) travel to Washington, D.C., Sara (Dakota Fanning) goes rogue in pursuit of the truth. Lucius (Matthew Shear) tells Marcus (Douglas Smith) a secret. Byrnes (Ted Levine) and Connor (David Wilmot) tighten their grip on the investigation.
9 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E09-13-Everyone Mary Funeral "Requiem" Hossein Amini Jamie Payne March 19, 2018
Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) mourns the loss of a friend. Sara (Dakota Fanning) pushes the team to forge ahead. Moore (Luke Evans) warns his friend the killer will strike again. Cyrus (Robert Wisdom) seeks revenge.
10 Alienist-Promo-Still-S1E10-03-Sara Howard "Castle in the Sky" Cary Fukunaga,
John Sayles & Chase Palmer
Jamie Payne March 26,2018
Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) confronts the demons of his past. Moore (Luke Evans) tells Sara (Dakota Fanning) the truth. Connor (David Wilmot) takes matters into his own hands. The team closes in on the killer as time is running out.

Production

On September 22, 2016, Deadline reported that Jakob Verbruggen will be replacing Cary Fukunaga as director for The Alienist TV series, set to air on TNT. It has also been revealed that the shooting location has moved again–this time, from New York to Budapest–with filming scheduled to begin in early 2017. [7]

On November 28, 2016, Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans were cast in TNT's ‘The Alienist’ as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and John Moore respectively. [8]

On January 14, 2017, TNT announced that Dakota Fanning has been cast as intrepid police secretary, Sara Howard, in the upcoming TV adaptation of The Alienist. [9]

On February 10, 2017, TNT announced that Robert Wisdom (The Wire) and Q'orianka Kilcher (The New World) will join the cast of ‘The Alienist’ as Cyrus Montrose and Mary Palmer, respectively. [10]

On February 19th, 2017, TV Wise reported that Netflix is currently finalizing a deal for international distribution of the ten episode series. They report that the deal will give Netflix first window rights in the UK along with more than 170 other countries. [11]

Cast and crew moved to Budapest, where production team built a vast replica of old New York north of Budapest and shooting began March 16, 2017, as stated on a photo shared on Luke Evans’ (playing John Moore) twitter feed. [12]

On April 19th, 2017, Deadline has reported that Brian Geraghty will be replacing Sean Astin as Theodore Roosevelt in the upcoming adaptation. In a statement, TNT indicated that Astin will no longer play the role “because of scheduling difficulties.” In addition, Martin McCreadie has been cast as Sergeant Doyle, a character who does not appear in the books. [13]

On September 9th, 2017, Luke Evans said goodbye to six months of The Alienist scripts. [14]

Sarah Aubrey, TNT’s executive vice president for original programming, said ‘The Alienist’ is the most expensive show the network has produced. [15] According to Variety, the budget for ‘The Alienist’ amounts to $5 million per episode. [16]

On July 2nd, 2018, TNT Drama revealed their interest in well-crafted suspense as "the ultimate form of compelling drama." On the official Twitter account, TNT Drama was pleased to announce that The Alienist was the first limited series in their new anthology, the TNT's Suspense Collection. [17]

The second entry, titled "I Am the Night", is expected to premiere January 2019. Starring Chris Pine and executive-produced by Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, the six-episode series tells the incredible story of Fauna Hodel, investigating the sinister secrets of her past. Sam Sheridan, author of A Fighter’s Heart and The Disaster Diaries, wrote five of the six episodes, while Carl Franklin (Mindhunter) directed two episodes.[18]

On August 16, 2018, it was revealed that Turner' TNT has ordered ‘The Angel of Darknessʼ limited series, a follow-up based on the sequel to Caleb Carr's ‘The Alienist’. [19]

Multimedia

Promotional Images

Photo by Kata Vermes and Jesse Giddings. [Courtesy of TNT Pressroom]

Photo by Kata Vermes and Jesse Giddings. [Courtesy of TNT Pressroom]

Photo by Kata Vermes and Jesse Giddings. [Courtesy of TNT Pressroom]

Emmy For Your Consideration – May 2018, LA

Photo by Presley Ann, David Livingston, Charley Gallay [Courtesy of Getty Images North America]

For Your Consideration – May 2018, NY

Photo by Monica Schipper [Courtesy of Getty Images North America]

Costume Exhibit – Time Warner Center, New York, Dec 2017

Premiere – New York, 2017

Photo by Jamie Mccarthy [Courtesy of Getty Images North America]

Paramount Picture Premiere – Los Angeles, 2017

Photo by Tibrina Hobson, Presley Ann, Emma McIntyre [Courtesy of Getty Images North America]

Interviews

Turner Upfront 2018

EMMYS 2018

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer, Neilson Barnard [Courtesy of Getty Images North America]


70th Primetime Emmy Awards

76th Golden Globe Awards

Promotional Videos


Promotional Taglines

  • "Don’t blink." [20]
  • "The killer has a pattern.
    It’s up to them to find it.
    " [21]
  • "A monster lives in the shadows." [22]
  • "There is darkness in this city." [23]
  • "When will the killer strike next?" [24]
  • "Nothing’s as it seems."[25]
  • "Let the games begin." [26]
  • "There's nowhere to hide." [27]
  • "You can run, but you can’t hide." [28]
  • "To catch a killer, one must be relentless." [29]
  • "Madness lies within." [30]
  • "Darkness dwells within." [31]
  • "To Hell with them." [32]

Notes

  • The soundtrack is composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, who is already a composer of remarkable soundtracks such as The Crown, Hacksaw Ridge, and Wonder Woman.
    • The music featured in ‘The Alienist’ Official Trailer is Ludovico Einaudi's track Experience, from the album "In a Time Lapse."
  • Dakota Fanning chronicles the world of the new show on TNT drama, ‘The Alienist’:

" An alienist in 1896 was a psychologist, pretty much. A behavioral analyst. Somebody who believed that your past experiences form your future actions. [Someone who] would get inside the mind of another and try to understand why they, perhaps, do what they do." [33]

  • Step into the world of ‘The Alienist’ with Luke Evans:

"What's the show about? What's ‘The Alienist’? I mean, it is difficult to say because the main thread of the story is that there is a killer. A serial killer in New York City. Laszlo Kreizler. He is a psychologist. I mean, he was an early psychologist. Laszlo shuts himself off. He's able to detach himself from emotions so that he can objectively be the psychologist." [34]

  • A concept storyboard for the TV promo spot was pitched by motion graphic designer Joe Lea. Although not used in the final project, the artwork is visible on his official website. [35]
  • In December 2017, a contest was held to win a VIP Experience during “The Alienist” series premiere. [36]
  • Ornate dresses, exquisitely designed suits and elegant hats from the forthcoming, grisly TV series “The Alienist” are on display at the Shops at Columbus Circle through January 5th, 2018. [37] [38]
  • During an interview with The New York Times, Caleb Carr, the novelist who penned the source material, offered his own impressions of the television adaptation. “It’s been 25 years of battling against really bad interpretations of this book,” Mr. Carr said. The past film attempts failed because producers like Scott Rudin sought to turn his layered psychological tale into a more conventionally formatted blockbuster, proposing to cut characters, add a love story and otherwise abandon the main focus on the team tracking the murderer. (“I wish him well with the show,” Mr. Rudin emailed in response.)[15]
  • Caleb Carr had no complaints that the project's original main creative force, Cary Fukunaga (“Beasts of No Nation,” “True Detective”), left “The Alienist” before filming started. “His take on the story was too salacious and nearly completely mistaken,” Mr. Carr said. For all his exasperation, Mr. Carr remained eager for an adaptation “that enough resembled the book that I didn’t have to fight that battle anymore.” [15]
  • Director and executive producer Jakob Verbruggen (“The Fall”), said: “Every detail matters. We could only sell this world if we made it 100 percent believable.” Though the series is faithful to the team dynamic that animates the novel, there are differences. The killer’s perspective, absent from the book, is introduced early in the series. The reporter character, played by Mr. Evans, is now an illustrator. Sara Howard was made a well-rounded character, focusing more on women's movements of the era. [15]
  • A Red Carpet Soirée event took place on January 11, 2018, at Paramount Studios, Los Angeles. [39]
  • From April 1st, 2018, the entire season is available on demand on TNT platforms. [40]
  • On April 18th, 2018, the three main starring actors Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans arrived in Rome, Italy for the Netflix International Press Release of ‘The Alienist.’ [41] [42]
    • Luke Evans had arrived in Rome the previous week to celebrate his birthday with his family. [43]
  • From April 19th, 2018, the ten episodes of ‘The Alienist’ will be released at once upon Netflix for registered members, except for US and France. [44]

Reception

  • ‘The Alienist’ was named the #1 Most Anticipated New TV Show of 2018 by IMDb. [45]
  • ‘The Alienist’ racked up 345.8 million TV ad impressions over seven days according to analytics charts provided by Promo Mojo. [46]
  • According to Time Warner, Inc., ‘The Alienist’ is the first new cable drama to date (2018). [47]
  • According to Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 66% based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 6.92/10. [48]
  • On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews" [49]
  • The cast and crew of ‘The Alienist’ received six Emmy nominations: Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Period Costumes, Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program, Outstanding main Title Design, Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited series or Movie, and Outstanding Art Direction for a Period series, Miniseries or Movie single camera. [50]
    • On September 9, 2018, ‘The Alienist’ won its first Emmy Award for "Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role." [51]

Accolades

44th Saturn Awards (2018)
Category Nominee(s) Result
Best Action-Thriller Television Series
The Alienist
Nominated [52]
Best Supporting Actress on Television
Dakota Fanning
Nominated[52]
70th Primetime Emmy Awards (2018)
Category Nominee(s) Result
Outstanding Limited Series
The Alienist
Pending [53]
Outstanding Cinematography for a
Limited Series or Movie
PJ Dillon (for "The Boy on the Bridge")
Nominated [53]
Outstanding Main Title Design
Angus Wall, Lisa Bolan, Yongsub Song,
Charles Khoury, Heidi Berg, Felix Soletic
Nominated [53]
Outstanding Period Costumes
Michael Kaplan, Rudy Mance, Beáta Merkovits,
Andrew Hunt (for "A Fruitful Partnership")
Nominated [53]
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)
Mara LePere-Schloop, Bill Crutcher, Karl Probert,
Alice Baker (for "The Boy on the Bridge")
Nominated [53]
Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role
Kent Houston, Wendy Garfinkle, Tim Barter, Rasik Gorecha, Martin Lake, Doug Larmour, Alison Griffiths, Steve Murgatroyd, Harin Hirani (for "The Boy on the Bridge")
Won [53]