Take the urban crime-solving spirit of Law & Order, send it back to 1896 New York, dip it in the bloody old-timey medicine of The Knick, and throw in Dakota Fanning in Leg O’ Mutton sleeves for good measure, and you’d probably get something akin to TNT’s new psychological thriller, The Alienist. Along with a dark and twisty new trailer, the cable network has released a premiere date for the series: January 22nd.
Channels previously known for soapy dramas and Shawshank Redemption marathons like TNT and USA have been upping their prestige original television game recently (um, have you seen The Sinner?), and this star-studded series is part of that trend. Along with Fanning, the show — based on the novel by Caleb Carr — will feature Luke Evans in all his brooding glory, as well as Daniel Brühl (The Zookeeper’s Wife). The three play, respectively, a secretary set on being the city’s first woman detective, a newspaper illustrator, and the titular alienist (otherwise known as an old school criminal psychologist).
A serial killer is murdering young male prostitutes on the show, and Fanning, Evans, and Brühl are on the creepy case.
All muted tones and flickering gas lanterns, the trailer paints an unsettling picture of turn-of-the-20th century New York — one we can’t wait to see more of, TBH. Between the dramatic history lesson on the beginnings of modern forensic science and the tense action (“Gentlemen, you have made yourself a wide variety of very powerful enemies,” someone says ominously in the trailer), the series won’t be skimping on intrigue.
Now it’s just a matter of building up enough nerve to actually watch it.