Mindhunter (TV series)

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Mindhunter Logo.svg
Created by Joe Penhall
Based on
Music by Jason Hill
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Jim Davidson
  • Mark Winemaker
Production location(s) McKeesport, Pennsylvania
  • Christopher Probst
  • Erik Messerschmidt
Running time 34–60 minutes
Production company(s) Denver and Delilah Productions
Distributor Netflix
Original network Netflix
Picture format 4K (Ultra HD)[1]
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13) – present
External links
Official website

Mindhunter is an American crime drama web television series created by Joe Penhall, based on the true crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit written by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker.[2] The series is executive produced by Penhall, David Fincher, and Charlize Theron among others, and debuted worldwide on Netflix on October 13, 2017.[3][4] In November 2017, Mindhunter was renewed for a second season.[5]


Set in 1977 – in the early days of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the Federal Bureau of Investigation[6]Mindhunter revolves around FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who originate the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit within the Training Division at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They interview imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how they think, with the hope of applying this knowledge to solving ongoing cases.[7]

Cast and characters[edit]



Development and production[edit]

In February 2016, Netflix announced that the production of Mindhunter would be based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[8] Filming began in May 2016,[9] and open casting calls were held on April 16 and June 25, 2016.[10][11] The series was renewed for a second season before its premiere on Netflix.[12]

The character of Holden Ford is based on FBI agent John E. Douglas,[13] and Bill Tench is based on pioneering FBI agent Robert K. Ressler.[13][14] Wendy Carr is based on psychiatric forensic researcher Ann Wolbert Burgess,[15] a prominent Boston College professor who collaborated with the FBI agents in the Behavioral Science Unit and procured grants to conduct research on serial murderers, serial rapists, and child molesters.[16][17] Her work is based on treating survivors of sexual trauma and abuse, and studying the thought process of violent offenders.[17] The serial killer characters were modeled on the actual convicted criminals and their prison scene dialogues were taken from real interviews.[18] Although never explicitly stated, it is implied that the "ADT Serviceman" seen in several short vignettes throughout the series is Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer.[19][20]

The musical score is written by Jason Hill.[21]

The second season will consist of eight episodes, two fewer than the first.[22] While the first season was set in 1977, the second season will follow the Atlanta murders of 1979–81.[22]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Episode 1"David FincherJoe PenhallOctober 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
FBI Special Agent Holden Ford fails to prevent the suicide of Cody Miller in a 1977 hostage situation in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Upon Ford's return to FBI base, he is told that his "negotiation" was successful since he saved the hostage's life, and he is promoted to teaching. Ford takes an interest in another class delving into the minds of killers, taught by Peter Rathman. Ford, who is single and living alone at the time, meets Debbie, a graduate student studying sociology. With Debbie's encouragement, Ford seeks additional education on the criminal mind. Shepard refers him to Bill Tench, Head of Behavioral Science. Tench takes Ford on his teaching classes around the country, sharing FBI techniques with local law enforcement. In Iowa, local police take offense when Ford suggests that Charles Manson is a victim. As Tench counsels Ford to simplify his method, the two are approached by local detective, Frank McGraw, seeking help in a brutal case of murder and rape.
2"Episode 2"David FincherJoe PenhallOctober 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
In Wichita, Kansas, "ADT Serviceman" demands the cardboard core for empty electrical tape. Tench and Ford arrive at San Francisco, California, where Ford requests a conversation with Charles Manson, just 30 miles away. Tench states it is impossible to gain access to Manson. Local police, however, suggest that Ford meet Edmund Kemper, the coed killer. Tench has no interest interviewing Kemper, so Ford goes alone. To his surprise, he finds Kemper to be highly intelligent and talkative. Meanwhile, an elderly woman in Sacramento is attacked and her dog's throat is slashed. Ford convinces Tench to accompany him during his next visit to see Kemper. Kemper describes his hatred of his mother and how he began torturing animals. At home, Debbie wants Ford to meet her mother and states her mother judges her boyfriends by their relation with their own mothers. Shepard is infuriated to learn about Ford and Tench's interviews with Kemper, but allows them to continue their project in the basement.
3"Episode 3"Asif KapadiaStory by : Joe Penhall
Teleplay by : Joe Penhall and Ruby Rae Spiegel
October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
Ford and Tench approach Dr. Wendy Carr, a social sciences professor in Boston, Massachusetts, for academic interest in the study. Their attempt to meet Benjamin Franklin Miller is declined. Another elderly woman in Sacramento has been murdered and her dog's throat slashed from ear to ear. After an interview with Kemper, Tench believes the suspect is white, in his 30s, and has a similar relationship with his mother as Kemper did. The police set their sights on Dwight Taylor, a man in his 30s with an abusive mother. After interrogation, Taylor confesses to the murder. Ford recommends the removal of certain words from the FBI's list of deviant words. Carr arrives in Fredericksburg as a consultant for the FBI.
4"Episode 4"Asif KapadiaStory by : Joe Penhall
Teleplay by : Joe Penhall and Dominic Orlando
October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
The ADT Serviceman continues to sell his product in Kansas. Ford and Tench interview Montie Rissell, a serial killer who murdered five women in Virginia. Rissell shows no remorse for his actions and considers himself a victim. His methods of murder were blunt force trauma, drowning and stabbing. He is less sophisticated than Kemper in his technique and killed his first victim because she was a sex worker who did not resist rape. He later kills other victims for "talking too much". After being bribed with Big Red, Rissell reveals the same hate for his mother as Kemper. Tench gets into a car accident. In Altoona, Pennsylvania, Tench and Ford join local police officer Mark Ocasek in investigating the murder of Beverly Jean Shaw, an "engaged" 22-year-old babysitter. They initially focus on drifter and local welder Alvin Moran. However, Moran's alibi checks out. Tench reveals that he has an adopted six-year-old son named Brian who refuses to speak. Back in Fredericksburg, Ford invites Carr to meet his girlfriend at a bar. Carr secures $385,000 in grant money to fund their research.
5"Episode 5"Tobias LindholmJennifer HaleyOctober 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
In Altoona, Pennsylvania, the investigation into the murder of Beverly Jean continues. Ford, Tench and Ocasek interview her "fiance", Benjamin "Benji" Barnwright. Benji begins profusely crying, sending red flags to Ford who believes men crying to strangers could be an act. The police speak with Benji's mother. Benji's mother mentions Frank Janderman, Benji's brother-in-law. Ford begins to question Debbie's sexual past. Tench and Ford discover Frank's violent past. Frank, however, doesn't have a pathology of a serial killer. After interviewing Frank, the police discover that Benji's relationship with Beverly Jean was not as serious as Benji claimed. With renewed interest, Tench and Ford interrogate Benji. The trio then interrogate Rose, Benji's sister, at her house. She is seen with bruises. Ocasek warns Rose that if the FBI finds out any involvement between her and the murder, she will lose her child. Later, Rose comes to the police station and admits Frank was not home during the night of Beverly Jean's disappearance. The truth unravels as Rose claims that Frank called her to Benji's house the night of the murder and she found Beverly Jean dead. She admitted that she cleaned up the house while Benji and Frank disposed of the body.
6"Episode 6"Tobias LindholmStory by : Joe Penhall
Teleplay by : Joe Penhall and Tobias Lindholm
October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
The "ADT Serviceman" is seen with a rope making a knot. Shepard offers Carr a full-time consulting position at the FBI. Back in Altoona, Tench confronts Benji. Carr concludes that Beverly Jean was alive when Rose arrived. The police conclude that Benji, Rose, and Frank are all accomplices. Back in Fredericksburg, Debbie and Ford have dinner at Tench's home. The prosecution only intends to seek full punishment for Benji while offering pleas for Rose and Frank. Carr returns to Boston, and it's revealed that she is lesbian. Carr asks her lover, Annaliese Stilman, for her opinion on accepting the FBI's offer. Annaliese warns her about her career and having to stay closeted, but Carr decides to leave for Virginia anyways.
7"Episode 7"Andrew DouglasStory by : Joe Penhall
Teleplay by : Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley
October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
Tench and Ford travel to Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon to interview Jerry Brudos. Brudos admits to having a shoe fetish. Ford buys an extra large pair of women's shoes for Brudos, which he uses to get Brudos talking. Carr begins feeding a cat at her new house in Fredericksburg. Tench and Nancy talk about Brian's behavior at school. At their home, Brian's babysitter discovers a crime scene photo showing Ada Jeffries dead with a wooden pole inserted in her anus. The babysitter is too afraid to continue working there.
8"Episode 8"Andrew DouglasStory by : Erin Levy
Teleplay by : Erin Levy and Jennifer Haley
October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
Ford is invited to speak at an elementary school and is approached by a teacher, Janet Ebner, who is concerned with Principal Roger Wade's behavior of tickling children and giving them nickels. Ford becomes suspicious that Debbie is cheating on him. The Behavioral Science Unit hires Gregg Smith. Ford asks Gregg to come with him to speak with Wade. Principal Wade insists that tickling is a positive experience for the children. Gregg tells Shepard about Ford's latest investigation, and Ford is advised to drop the issue. Ford returns to Oregon to meet with Brudos, who is more talkative. Debbie invites Ford to a room blackout event where he catches her flirting with Patrick. He angrily leaves. Ford receives a call from the school superintendent informing him that Wade will be let go.
9"Episode 9"David FincherStory by : Carly Wray
Teleplay by : Carly Wray and Jennifer Haley
October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
The "ADT technician" is seen preparing for a murder. At the Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, Ford and Tench interview Richard Speck. Speck shows no interest in cooperating until Ford asks what gave him the right to take "eight ripe cunts out of the world". Tench recommends that Ford redact his unconventional comment from the interview. Ford and Debbie reconcile. Ford is confronted by Wade's wife at his apartment. Carr notices the stray cat has stopped eating its food. The unit releases information regarding the murder of Lisa Dawn Porter, a 12-year-old-girl in Adairsville, Georgia. The police notice that the trees have been trimmed and set their focus on Darrell Gene Devier. Carr is summoned by Shepard, who informs her that Richard Speck has filed a complaint accusing Ford of "fucking with his head". The unit gives the redacted interview transcript to the OPR. Back in the basement, the team agrees to destroy the original tape.
10"Episode 10"David FincherStory by : Joe Penhall
Teleplay by : Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley
October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
Kemper writes Ford saying he would like to meet with him again. Devier agrees to meet the FBI voluntarily. Ford uses techniques he learned from his interviews to achieve a confession. The police celebrate and after drinking, Ford brags about the unit's involvement with serial killers. His boast reaches the press. Ford and Debbie argue. Carr flies to Rome, Georgia in hopes of preventing the death penalty. Ford and Debbie break up. Ford receives an urgent call from Kemper's doctor. The unit learns that the OPR had received the recording of the Speck interview. Ford visits Kemper. Kemper says he could kill Ford if he wanted to, and Ford flees in terror before collapsing in the hall in a panic attack. In Kansas, the "ADT Serviceman" is seen burning sadistic drawings.


On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 79 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[23] On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 96% approval rating with an average score of 7.83 out of 10 based on 79 reviews, and the site's critical consensus states, "Mindhunter distinguishes itself in a crowded genre with ambitiously cinematic visuals and a meticulous attention to character development."[24]

The first season of Mindhunter was named among the best TV shows of 2017 by Time,[25] The Guardian,[26] The Daily Telegraph,[27] New York Observer,[28] Slant Magazine,[29] Vanity Fair,[30] Vogue,[31] Yahoo,[32] and The Independent.[33] It was ranked No. 10 on Metacritic's year-end list of the best TV shows of 2017 compiled from rankings by various critics and publications.[34]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Dorian Awards TV Performance of the Year – Actor Jonathan Groff Nominated [35]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Cameron Britton Nominated [36]
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Drama / Genre Series Jonathan Groff Won [37]
Best Drama Series Mindhunter Nominated
Saturn Awards Best New Media Television Series Mindhunter Nominated [38]
TCA Awards Outstanding New Program Mindhunter Nominated [39]
USC Scripter Awards Best Adapted TV Screenplay Joe Penhall, Jennifer Haley, John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker (for "Episode 10") Nominated [40]


  1. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 31, 2017). "Comcast Now Lets You Watch Netflix Ultra HD 4K Content on X1 Set-Tops". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ Nolfi, Joey (March 1, 2017). "'Mindhunter' Trailer: David Fincher Returns to Netflix with New Drama". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ Chitwood, Adam (June 13, 2017). "'Mindhunter' Release Date Reveals Exactly When You Can Watch David Fincher's New Netflix Series". Collider. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 
  4. ^ Press Release (2017). "Mindhunter". Netflix Media Center. Netflix. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 30, 2017). "David Fincher's 'Mindhunter' Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Serial Killers, Part 2: The Birth of Behavioral Analysis in the FBI". Federal Bureau of Investigation. October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ Chitwood, Adam (March 10, 2016). "David Fincher Sets Anna Torv, Holt McCallany to Lead Netflix Series 'Mindhunter'". Collider. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  8. ^ Owen, Rob (February 3, 2016). "With film tax credits restored, city lands new drama from Netflix". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Paid extras and 'period vehicles' needed for new Netflix series in Pittsburgh". WTAE-TV. May 16, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Extras sought for 'Mindhunter' series filming in Pittsburgh". TribLIVE. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. April 5, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Netflix's "Mindhunter" In Need Of Extras, Holding Open Casting Call". KDKA-TV. June 24, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  12. ^ Sharf, Zack (October 19, 2017). "David Fincher Reveals 'Mindhunter' Season 2 Storyline". IndieWire. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "Holt McCallany on Twitter". Twitter. May 22, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016. 
  14. ^ McFarland, Melanie (October 12, 2017). "Defining deviancy: The clammy thrills of David Fincher's "Mindhunter" on Netflix". Salon. Retrieved October 14, 2017. 
  15. ^ Moon, Emily (October 26, 2017). "Meet the Female Forensic Researcher Behind Netflix's 'Mindhunter'". Pacific Standard. Retrieved January 2, 2018. 
  16. ^ "FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin" (PDF). Federal Bureau of Investigation. December 1986. Retrieved October 26, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b Holter, Lauren (October 15, 2017). "Mindhunter Modeled This Character On A Female Psychologist & Living Legend". Refinery29. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  18. ^ Tallerico, Brian (October 19, 2017). "The Real FBI Agents and Serial Killers Who Inspired Netflix's Mindhunter". Vulture. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  19. ^ Robinson, Joanna (October 17, 2017). "How Netflix's Mindhunter Cleverly Set Up Season 2 and Beyond". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 13, 2018. 
  20. ^ Robinson, Ben Travers (November 9, 2017). "'Mindhunter': The Man Who Plays the BTK Killer Followed His Neighbors Home to Get Into Character". IndieWire. Retrieved May 13, 2018. 
  21. ^ Parisi, Paula (October 14, 2017). "Hooked on Sonics: David Fincher, Composer Jason Hill Bend Sound and Time on 'Mindhunter'". Billboard. Retrieved March 17, 2018. 
  22. ^ a b Stolworthy, Jacob (July 9, 2018). "Mindhunter season 2: Everything we know so far from release date to serial killer subjects". The Independent. Retrieved July 14, 2018. 
  23. ^ "Mindhunter: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved March 16, 2018. 
  24. ^ "Mindhunter: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 16, 2018. 
  25. ^ D'Addario, Daniel (November 28, 2017). "The Top 10 Television Shows of 2017". Time. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  26. ^ Dean, Will (December 12, 2017). "The 50 best TV shows of 2017: No 6 Mindhunter". The Guardian. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  27. ^ "From Peaky Blinders to Blue Planet II and Catastrophe: the best TV shows of 2017 (so far)". The Daily Telegraph. December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  28. ^ Katz, Brandon (December 5, 2017). "The Best TV Shows of 2017". Observer. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  29. ^ "The 25 Best TV Shows of 2017". Slant Magazine. December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  30. ^ Robinson, Joanna; Lawson, Richard (December 7, 2017). "The Best New TV Shows of 2017". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  31. ^ "The 20 Best TV Shows of 2017". Vogue. December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  32. ^ Tucker, Ken (December 12, 2017). "The best new TV shows of 2017". Yahoo. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
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  35. ^ Kilday, Gregg (January 11, 2018). "'Call Me by Your Name' Leads Dorian Award Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  36. ^ "Emmys: Netflix Beats HBO With Most Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  37. ^ Pond, Steve (November 28, 2017). "'Dunkirk,' 'The Shape of Water' Lead Satellite Award Nominations". TheWrap. Retrieved November 29, 2017. 
  38. ^ McNary, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  39. ^ "TCA Awards: The Americans, Killing Eve, The Good Place Among 2018 Winners". TVLine. August 4, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018. 
  40. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 16, 2018). "'Wonder Woman,' 'Lost City of Z,' 'Big Little Lies' Among USC Scripter Finalists". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2018. 

External links[edit]