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. Set in 1896 amidst a backdrop of vast wealth, extreme poverty and technological innovation, this psychological thriller stars Daniel Bruhl (Rush), Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train), Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral) and Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker). The Alienist is slated to premiere on Monday, Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT across TNT platforms.
The Alienist opens when a series of haunting, gruesome murders of boy prostitutes grips New York City. Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Geraghty) calls upon criminal psychologist (aka alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Brühl) and newspaper illustrator John Moore (Evans) to conduct the investigation in secret. They are joined by Sara Howard (Fanning), a headstrong secretary determined to become the city's first female police detective. Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and early forensic investigation techniques, this band of social outsiders set out to find and apprehend one of New York City's first serial killers.
Known as an alienist, one who studies mental pathologies, Dr. Kriezler works as a specialist in deviant behavior. His profession, along with his careless intensity, makes him a social pariah in some circles, despite his striking good looks and a sophisticated sensibility. Kreizler is passionate about his work and tireless in his efforts to seek out the depraved killer whose vicious, barbaric and ritualistic deeds have terrorized the city's poorest residents. In doing so, he hopes to also unravel the traumatic mysteries of the human psyche, especially his own, and answer the question behind what makes a man into a murderer. Handsome, easy going, easily distracted, and prone to melancholy, John Moore is a society illustrator for the New York Times and a longtime friend of alienist Dr. Kreizler and police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. While drowning his sorrows and lamenting the loss of a former lover Kreizler summons him to the scene of a brutal crime. Always lacking drive and a meaning to his pursuits he throws himself into assisting Kreizler's investigation into the grisly murders and comes to face some hard truths about himself.
Dakota Fanning's character, the primly dressed but beautiful Sara Howard, is the first woman hired by the New York Police Department and she is determined to become the first female police detective in New York City. Self-possessed and intelligent, Sarah grew up as an only child who was doted on by her father. She not only "shakes hands like a man," but considers herself just as competent, if not more so, than any of the men on the force. Well-bred and well-spoken, Sara has a keen interest in crime-solving and is immediately intrigued by the case being investigated by Kreizler and Moore. The Alienist also stars Douglas Smith (Miss Sloane) and Matthew Shear (Mistress America) as Marcus and Lucius Isaacson, twin brothers who help unravel the disturbing mystery; Matt Lintz (Pixels) as Stevie, a tough, young boy employed by Dr. Kreizler as a driver and errand boy; Robert Ray Wisdom (The Wire) as Cyrus, Kreizler's valet, a man with a dark past who has been reformed by Kreizler; and Q'orianka Kilcher (The New World) as Mary, Kreizler's mute maid with whom he shares a special unspoken connection.
Shot in Budapest, Hungary, The Alienist is a co-production of Paramount Television and Turner's Studio T. BAFTA-nominee Jakob Verbruggen (Black Mirror) serves as director and executive producer along with Emmy winner Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), Academy Award winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Academy Award nominees Hossein Amini (Drive) and E. Max Frye (Foxcatcher), Anonymous Content's Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin, along with Chris Symes. Serving as co-executive producers on the series are Marshall Persinger (Rectify) and Jamie Payne (The Driver). Take a look at the first trailer below, courtesy of TNT YouTube.