‘The Alienist’ is an American period drama television series that airs on TNT. The show first premiered on January 21, 2018. Eric Roth, who is credited with works like ‘Forrest Gump‘, ‘ The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, and recently, ‘A Star Is Born‘ serves as a co-executive producer for the series. It is based on Caleb Carr’s book of the same name.
The show is a psychological thriller set amidst the vast wealth, extreme poverty and technological innovation of 1896 New York. It expertly mixes fact with fiction as it assembles an ad hoc team of talented actors to play the role of investigators who are on the trail of a serial killer who happens to be targeting street children. We are introduced to historical figures like Theodore Roosevelt who held the position of police commissioner between 1895 and 1897. In the upcoming season, we will see the series follow the story from where it left off, as it will be based on the sequel novel to ‘The Alienist’, titled ‘The Angel of Darkness’.
Although the series managed to attract a lot of viewers, with its premise, genre, and of course the allure of a period drama, critics did not seem all that taken in by it. In fact, the show has received rather average reviews, with some critics saying, “As did its source material, the show certainly has some interesting ideas about the era, its social stratification, and the elusive nature and provenance of evil. But, unfortunately, it delivers them with a certain dressed-up languor, emphasizing style over substance.” Hopefully, the upcoming season will be received more favorably.
The Alienist Cast: Who is in it?
The main cast of the ‘The Alienist’ includes Daniel Bruhl, who is known for his roles as Niki Lauda in ‘Rush‘, and Helmut Zemo in MCU’s ‘Captain America: Civil War‘, plays the role of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist who mostly works with children. However, he is called on by his friend Teddy Roosevelt to get behind the psychology of the grisly child murders. Living alone despite being wealthy, this German psychologist often consults with old patients and former criminals to gain greater insight.
Other cast members include Luke Evans who plays Owen Shaw in ‘Fast & Furious 6‘. He appears in the role of John Schuyler Moore, a cartoonist, and illustrator working for the ‘New York Times’. Despite being a charming and handsome man, he seems to have fallen on some hard times including dealing with alcoholism. He happens to know both Laszlo and Roosevelt. Brian Geraghty of ‘The Hurt Locker‘ fame appears as Teddy Roosevelt, the newly-appointed Commissioner of the NYPD. We all know that he eventually becomes the President of the USA, but here we see him as commanding the respect of others at the precinct, but also as someone who is malleable in the hands of the venerable and veteran NYPD officers.
Robert Ray Wisdom of ‘The Wire‘ fame appears as Cyrus Montrose, Laszlo’s valet. Douglas Smith of ‘Big Love’ appears in the role of Marcus Isaacson, a young Jewish NYPD detective who works closely with Laszlo on orders from Roosevelt. He also works with the other members of the team which includes Moore and Sara Howard.