The Alienist trailer: New Cary Fukunaga series looks like a 19th-century True Detective

'What compels a man to do evil?'

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 23 November 2017 12:17
The Alienist - trailer

There's a new TV series on the horizon that is set to take over your screens when it arrives in 2018.

The Alienist follows a criminal psychologist who joins forces with a journalist and a police detective to investigate the serial murders of young boys in the 1890s. Its cast includes Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans and former child star Dakota Fanning.

The eerie-looking series - based on the novels by Caleb Carr - comes from the mind of Cary Fukunaga, the director who oversaw the entire first season of Nic Pizzolatto's HBO series True Detective which starred Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. He's also written the series alongside Hossein Amini who penned Nicolas Winding Refn film Drive.

If these credentials weren't enough, the series' directors include Jakob Verbruggen and James Hawes who have both directed episodes of Black Mirror, Game of Thrones and Jessica Jones.

The eight-episode series is essentially a mystery crime series featuring characters who - much like those in recent Netflix series Mindhunter - shaped the area of psychology concerned with investigating criminal activity. "What compels a man to do evil?" the series asks with a confidence that suggests it will undoubtedly delve into that answer, much in the same way that Fukunaga's True Detective episodes did.

It's no stretch to presume that Fukunaga was a key factor in the quality of True Detective's first season, especially upon considering the director didn't direct a single episode in its follow-up season starring Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams.

For this reason alone, Fukunaga's return to television is something that needs to be heralded.

The Alienist will air on TNT in the US from 22 January with a UK broadcast yet to be announced.

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