"In the 19th Century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be alienated from their true natures. Experts who studied them were therefore known as alienists."
Alientists were what would now be modern day criminal psychologists or profilers. The show has a Criminal Minds but with a Victorian twist, as well as a very "Jack the Ripper" feel with a mix of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes.
We follow Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl), an alienist who helps people of all ages, but primarily children. When there is a series of murders involving young boys, he enlists his illustrator friend, John Moore ( Luke Evans) to help him solve and stop the killings. However, the two of them are not enough, and they also enlist Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning), the first woman to work at the police department who is strategically placed as the secretary to the Commissioner.
They also enlist the help of police department medical examiners Marcus (Douglas Smith) and Lucius (Matthew Shear) Isaacson to help perform autopsies on the deceased.
It is a captivating show full of dark twists and turns, yet has odes to Sherlock Holmes and Watson (which I love). It delves deep into the dark corners of the human mind, and why someone would take another life.
It also touches on social expectations of women in the day, as Sara has forgone the traditional path, and found herself work instead of pursuing a marriage.
It has much depth, and intricate plotlines. This is one of my new favorite shows of the season, and I can't wait to see where it goes.
It airs on TNT on Monday nights at 9pm EST. For more, you can read the book by Caleb Carr.