The Alienist (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Alienist
GenrePeriod drama
Based onThe Alienist
by Caleb Carr
Composer(s)Rupert Gregson-Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Budapest, Hungary
Running time42–53 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkTNT
Original releaseJanuary 21 (2018-01-21) –
March 26, 2018 (2018-03-26)
External links

The Alienist is an American period drama television series based on the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr. The ten-episode limited series[1][2] 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.[3] 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.[4] On August 16, 2018, TNT ordered a sequel series based upon the follow-up novel The Angel of Darkness.[5]


The psychological thriller drama 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, the headstrong secretary to the police commissioner, as well as the Jewish twin brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson, both detective sergeants in the NYPD.

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.

Opening title:



  • Daniel Brühl as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler,[6] a psychiatrist (or alienist)[7] who has focused recently on children suffering from mental illnesses, called upon by his former Harvard classmate Theodore Roosevelt to try to get into the psychology behind grisly child murders. He is German and comes from a well-off family, but lives alone save for his maid, valet, and stable boy. He suffers from a lame arm, and frequently seeks out the insight of former patients and criminals for help with his investigations and research.
  • Luke Evans as John Schuyler Moore,[6] a New York Times cartoonist and illustrator, as well as a society man who attended Harvard with Dr. Kreizler and Roosevelt. He lives with his grandmother, and is estranged from his father following the drowning death of his brother. He is handsome and charming, but is an alcoholic and frequenter of brothels, and remains unmarried after his fiancée left him for another man. Like Roosevelt, he has known Sara since she was young.
  • Brian Geraghty as Theodore Roosevelt,[8] then the newly-appointed Commissioner of the NYPD. He is portrayed as commanding respect from certain people, but remains malleable by society's most venerable as well as veteran NYPD officers. He attended Harvard with Dr. Kreizler and Moore, both of whom he calls upon to mount a secret, parallel investigation into the child murders. He employs Sara Howard as his secretary, having known her father, and thinks highly of her.
  • Robert Ray Wisdom as Cyrus Montrose,[9] Kreizler's valet whom he employed after testifying on Cyrus' behalf during a murder trial.
  • Douglas Smith as Marcus Isaacson,[10] a young Jewish detective sergeant with the NYPD whom Roosevelt enlists to work with Kreizler, Moore, and Howard. He is Lucius' twin brother, and like his brother, is well versed in science and general crime scene investigation. He becomes involved with a Jewish socialist.
  • Matthew Shear as Lucius Isaacson,[11] Marcus' twin brother and another detective sergeant with the NYPD. He is much more cautious and restrained than Marcus, and eager to utilize the latest scientific techniques to solve crimes.
  • Q'orianka Kilcher as Mary Palmer,[9] Kreizler's maid. Like Cyrus, she was taken in by Kreizler after she was acquitted for murder. She is mute and uses sign language to communicate, and has an affection for Kreizler.
  • Matt Lintz as Stevie Taggert,[12] a youthful ward and stable boy of Kreizler's who often assists Cyrus, and gets involved in the team's investigation.
  • Dakota Fanning as Sara Howard,[13] a young society woman who becomes Roosevelt's secretary and the first woman employed by the NYPD. She spent time in a sanitarium after the death of her father, whom Roosevelt and Moore both knew. She is composed and determined to not allow her male colleagues to disparage her. She gets involved with the team as a liaison between Roosevelt and Kreizler and Moore. The character is loosely based upon the story of Isabella Goodwin, New York's first female detective.[14]


  • Antonio Magro as Paul Kelly,[15] a mobster who runs a brothel frequented by high society men.
  • David Wilmot as Captain Connor,[16] an Irish police officer who dislikes Roosevelt and who tries to subvert the team's investigations at every possible turn.
  • Jackson Gann as Joseph,[17] a young boy who works at a brothel and who endears himself to Moore.
  • Ted Levine as Thomas F. Byrnes,[10] the retired police chief who steers Connor toward protecting the rich and wealthy from being persecuted for their crimes and indiscretions.
  • Emanuela Postacchini as Flora,[18] a high-end prostitute who counts Moore as one of her clients.
  • Michael Ironside as J.P. Morgan,[19] the financier and banker. He uses Connor and Byrnes as his muscle to enforce protecting his fellow members of high society.
  • Sean Young as Mrs. Van Bergen, the matriarch of the fictional van Bergen family. She is generally unperturbed by rumors about her son's actions, but nonetheless is compelled by Byrnes to take action to protect him.
  • Josef Altin as Willem Van Bergen, a young man who preys on prepubescent boys. He suffers from syphilis.
  • Peter McRobbie as Mayor William Lafayette Strong, the mayor of New York City from 1895 to 1897. He echoes Morgan and Byrnes' concerns for the city's upper crust.
  • Stephen Louis Grush as Jesse Pomeroy, a real-life child murderer from Boston. In the show's history, Kreizler attempted to study Pomeroy early in his career.
  • David Meunier as Adam Dury, a farmer from the countryside.
  • Bill Heck as John Beechum



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 Oscar-winning Forrest Gump screenwriter 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 True Detective director Cary Fukunaga would direct all the episodes and serve as an executive producer.[20]

In May 2015, it was reported that TNT had made a deal to produce the series at $5 million per episode.[21] In July 2015, writer and director John Sayles announced on his blog that he was joining the series as a writer.[22] On July 21, 2015, Caleb Carr made an announcement that he was coming on board the series as a consulting producer.[23]

In September 2016, director Jakob Verbruggen replaced Fukunaga as director due to scheduling conflicts, though Fukunaga remained an executive producer.[24]


On November 28, 2016, it was reported that Daniel Brühl was cast as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and Luke Evans as John Moore.[6] Dakota Fanning was later cast as Sara Howard on January 14, 2017.[13] On February 8, 2017, it was reported that Robert Wisdom was cast as Cyrus Montrose and Q'orianka Kilcher as Mary Palmer.[9] Matt Lintz was cast as Stevie Taggert on February 15, 2017.[12] On February 17, 2017, it was reported that Matthew Shear joined the cast as Lucius Isaacson.[11] Douglas Smith was cast as Marcus Isaacson and Ted Levine as Thomas F. Byrnes on February 28, 2017.[10] It was reported that Emanuela Postacchini was cast as Flora on March 17, 2017.[18] On April 19, 2017, it was reported that Brian Geraghty was cast as Theodore Roosevelt.[8]


No.Title [25][26]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [25][26]Prod.
code [25]
U.S. viewers
1"The Boy on the Bridge"Jakob VerbruggenHossein AminiJanuary 21, 2018 (2018-01-21)[a]1010.88[28][a]
2"A Fruitful Partnership"Jakob VerbruggenHossein Amini and E. Max FryeJanuary 29, 2018 (2018-01-29)1021.93[29]
3"Silver Smile"Jakob VerbruggenGina GionfriddoFebruary 5, 2018 (2018-02-05)1031.64[30]
4"These Bloody Thoughts"James HawesGina Gionfriddo and Cary Joji FukunagaFebruary 12, 2018 (2018-02-12)1041.68[31]
5"Hildebrandt's Starling"James HawesE. Max FryeFebruary 19, 2018 (2018-02-19)1051.59[32]
6"Ascension"Paco CabezasE. Max FryeFebruary 26, 2018 (2018-02-26)1061.73[33]
7"Many Sainted Men"Paco CabezasJohn SaylesMarch 5, 2018 (2018-03-05)1071.65[34]
8"Psychopathia Sexualis"David PetrarcaJohn SaylesMarch 12, 2018 (2018-03-12)1081.80[35]
9"Requiem"Jamie PayneHossein AminiMarch 19, 2018 (2018-03-19)1091.71[36]
10"Castle in the Sky"Jamie PayneCary Joji Fukunaga & John Sayles & Chase PalmerMarch 26, 2018 (2018-03-26)1101.84[37]


International rights for the series were acquired by Netflix.[38]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 64% based on 61 reviews, with an average rating of 6.92/10.[39] On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[40]


General ratings[edit]

Season Episodes First aired Last aired Avg. viewers
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
1 10 January 21, 2018 (2018-01-21) 0.88[28] March 26, 2018 (2018-03-26) 1.84[37] 1.64

DVR ratings[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "The Boy on the Bridge" January 21, 2018 0.16[28] 0.88[28] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "A Fruitful Partnership" January 29, 2018 0.46[29] 1.93[29] 0.5[41] 1.93[41] 0.96[41] 3.86[41]
3 "Silver Smile" February 5, 2018 0.37[30] 1.64[30] 0.6[42] 1.80[42] 0.97[42] 3.44[42]
4 "These Bloody Thoughts" February 12, 2018 0.41[31] 1.68[31] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "Hildebrandt's Starling" February 19, 2018 0.36[32] 1.59[32] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "Ascension" February 26, 2018 0.45[33] 1.73[33] 0.4[43] 1.77[43] 0.85[43] 3.50[43]
7 "Many Sainted Men" March 5, 2018 0.37[34] 1.65[34] 0.5[44] 1.88[44] 0.87[44] 3.53[44]
8 "Psychopathia Sexualis" March 12, 2018 0.42[35] 1.80[35] 0.5[45] 1.73[45] 0.92[45] 3.53[45]
9 "Requiem" March 19, 2018 0.39[36] 1.71[36] 0.5[46] 1.87[46] 0.89[46] 3.57[46]
10 "Castle in the Sky" March 26, 2018 0.37[37] 1.84[37] 0.5[47] 1.67[47] 0.87[47] 3.51[47]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Saturn Awards Best Action-Thriller Television Series The Alienist Nominated [48]
Best Supporting Actress on Television Dakota Fanning Nominated [48]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie PJ Dillon (for "The Boy on the Bridge") Nominated [49]
Outstanding Limited Series The Alienist Nominated [49]
Outstanding Main Title Design Angus Wall, Lisa Bolan, Yongsub Song, Charles Khoury, Heidi Berg, Felix Soletic Nominated [49]
Outstanding Period Costumes Michael Kaplan, Rudy Mance, Beáta Merkovits, Andrew Hunt (for "A Fruitful Partnership") Nominated [49]
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 [49]
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 [49]
2019 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film Daniel Brühl Nominated [50]
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film Dakota Fanning Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode Kent Houston, Wendy Garfinkle, Steve Murgatroyd, Drew Jones, Paul Stephenson (for "The Boy on the Bridge") Nominated [51]


  1. ^ a b This episode was shown as a preview on January 21, 2018, and then as the official series premiere on January 22, 2018. The viewership data is 2.09 million viewers[27] for the official premiere on January 22, 2018.


  1. ^ Megan Vick (January 11, 2018). "TNT's The Alienist Doesn't Have to Be a Limited Series". TV Guide. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Cynthia Littleton (January 12, 2018). "The Alienist Premiere Brings Gilded Touch to Paramount Backlot". Variety. Retrieved January 29, 2018. ...the long-awaited limited series adaptation of 'The Alienist'.
  3. ^ Sean T. Collins (March 26, 2018). "The Alienist Series Finale Recap: 'His Awful Mystery'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  4. ^ Neela Debnath (April 21, 2018). "The Alienist on Netflix: Was Theodore Roosevelt really New York's police commissioner?". Daily Express. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Dave Nemetz (August 16, 2018). "The Alienist Sequel Angel of Darkness Ordered at TNT, Lead Cast to Return". TVLine. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Denise Petski (November 28, 2016). "The Alienist: Daniel Brühl & Luke Evans Cast in TNT Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Nellie Andreeva (April 19, 2017). "The Alienist: Brian Geraghty Replaces Sean Astin in TNT Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Erik Pedersen (February 8, 2017). "The Alienist: Robert Wisdom & Q'orianka Kilcher Cast in TNT Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Patrick Hipes (February 28, 2017). "The Alienist: Douglas Smith Cast as Regular, Ted Levine as Recurring in TNT Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Denise Petski (February 17, 2017). "Casual Casts Maya Erskine for Season 3; Matthew Shear Joins The Alienist". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Dani Levy (February 15, 2017). "TV News Roundup: Matt Lintz Joins The Alienist as Series Regular, Cloak & Dagger Adds to Cast". Variety. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Nellie Andreeva (January 14, 2017). "Dakota Fanning to Star in TNT Drama Series The Alienist – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  14. ^ Purdom, Gwendolyn. "The True Story Behind Dakota Fanning's Serial Killer Show, The Alienist". POPSUGAR Entertainment. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Alienist: Antonio Magro to Recur on TNT's New Series". Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Sophie Gilbert (January 22, 2018). "The Alienist Is the Grisliest Period Drama Yet". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  17. ^ "The Alienist Casting Notes". Tumblr. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Erik Pedersen (March 17, 2017). "Al Sapienza Joins Amazon's Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan; Emanuela Postacchini in The Alienist". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  19. ^ The Alienist (TV Series 2018), retrieved August 15, 2018
  20. ^ Ali Jaafar (April 14, 2015). "Cary Fukunaga Behind Event TV Series The Alienist Reteaming with Anonymous Content & Paramount". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  21. ^ Cynthia Littleton (May 13, 2015). "The Alienist Lands Big Bucks Series Order from TNT". Variety. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  22. ^ John Sayles (July 22, 2015). "John Joins All-Star Writing/Producing Team for Series Based on The Alienist". Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  23. ^ Elizabeth Wagmeister (July 21, 2015). "The Alienist Author Caleb Carr Boards TNT Series as Consulting Producer". Variety. Retrieved December 12, 2015. After twenty years of tough struggle and countless failed attempts, I'm delighted that Paramount Television, Anonymous Content and TNT have decided to join forces and bring The Alienist to life in what, based on the material I've read, has the potential to be a faithful and exciting TV series. The array of talent already gathered for the project, for whom I'm pleased to be acting as consultant producer, is deeply impressive: Cary Fukunaga, Eric Roth, Hossein Amini, Gina Gionfriddo, E. Max Frye and the legendary John Sayles seem determined to do what many people said couldn't be done: adapt the story in the Alienist for live action in a way that both preserves the intellectual and historical integrity of the tale, while adding a gripping cinematic dimension to it. It's my hope and expectation that, working together, we can all make this effort meet the standard expected by the very patient fans of the book, whose loyalty I consider a trust that I personally will do everything I can to protect.
  24. ^ Cindy McLehman (September 26, 2016). "The Alienist: Jakob Verbuggen Replaces Cary Fukunaga as Director of TNT Series". TV Series Finale. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c "The Alienist Episode Listings". The Futon Critic.
  26. ^ a b "The Alienist". Zap2it.
  27. ^ Mitch Metcalf (January 23, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.22.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  28. ^ a b c d Mitch Metcalf (January 23, 2018). "Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.21.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (January 30, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.29.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  30. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (February 6, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.5.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  31. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (February 13, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.12.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  32. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (February 21, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.19.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  33. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (February 27, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.26.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  34. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (March 6, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.5.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  35. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (March 13, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.12.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  36. ^ a b c Mitch Metcalf (March 20, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.19.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  37. ^ a b c d Mitch Metcalf (March 27, 2018). "Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.26.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  38. ^ Patrick Munn (February 15, 2017). "Netflix Finalising Global Deal for TNT's Caleb Carr Adaptation The Alienist". TVWise. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  39. ^ "The Alienist: Season 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  40. ^ "The Alienist reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  41. ^ a b c d Rick Porter (February 15, 2018). "The Alienist Doubles in Cable Live +7 Ratings for Jan. 29–Feb. 4". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  42. ^ a b c d Rick Porter (February 22, 2018). "Assassination of Gianni Versace Posts More Big Gains in Cable Live +7 Ratings for Feb. 5–11". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  43. ^ a b c d Rick Porter (March 15, 2018). "Walking Dead Stays atop the Cable Live +7 Ratings for Feb. 26–March 4". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  44. ^ a b c d Rick Porter (March 22, 2018). "Atlanta and The Alienist Make More Solid Gains in Cable Live +7 Ratings for March 5–11". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  45. ^ a b c d Rick Porter (March 29, 2018). "The Fosters Finale Doubles in Cable Live +7 Ratings for March 12–18". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  46. ^ a b c d Rick Porter (April 6, 2018). "Krypton Premiere Makes Solid Gains in Cable Live +7 Ratings for March 19–25". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  47. ^ a b c d Rick Porter (April 11, 2018). "Siren Premiere Doubles in Cable Live +7 Ratings for March 26–April 1". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  48. ^ a b Dave McNary (March 15, 2018). "Black Panther, Walking Dead Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  49. ^ a b c d e f " list of 2018 Nominees & Winners". Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  50. ^ "2018 Awards Nominees". International Press Academy. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  51. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 15, 2019). "VES Awards Nominations: 'Avengers', 'Lost In Space' Lead Pack". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 15, 2019.

External links[edit]