The Alienist: Season 1 (2018)

Season 1
The Alienist

Critics Consensus

The Alienist boats an impressive cast and superb production design, but a sluggish pace and too many tropes keep it from truly standing out in an overcrowded genre.



Critic Ratings: 76


Audience Score

User Ratings: 911
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Air date: Jan 22, 2018
Air date: Jan 29, 2018
Air date: Feb 5, 2018
Air date: Feb 12, 2018
Air date: Feb 19, 2018
Air date: Feb 26, 2018
Air date: Mar 5, 2018
Air date: Mar 12, 2018
Air date: Mar 19, 2018
Air date: Mar 26, 2018

The Alienist: Season 1 Videos

The Alienist: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

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.


Daniel Brühl
as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler
Luke Evans
as John Moore
Dakota Fanning
as Sara Howard
Brian Geraghty
as Theodore Roosevelt
Douglas Smith
as Marcus Isaacson
Matthew Lintz
as Stevie Taggert
Matthew Shear
as Lucius Isaacson
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Alienist: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Alienist Season 1

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (27)

I found it hugely enjoyable, a quite unexpected treat, a beguiling amalgam of truthfully felt family drama and an exciting sci-fi survival adventure series.

Apr 13, 2018 | Full Review…

The result is a series that has all of the brooding intensity of Fukunaga's HBO show, but little of the necessary narrative energy to pull it off.

Jan 23, 2018 | Full Review…

What must have come to life in the pages of the book struggles to find so much as a spark on the screen -- difficult, admittedly, through the pall of smoke and shadows that tend to choke it.

Jan 22, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a lushly rendered, gritty tale with the kind of nudity, gore and explicit themes often seen in today's quality TV shows. But it's still a largely predictable story.

Jan 22, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

... somewhat unique in setting but same old/same old in terms of the overall genre.

Jan 22, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Alienist spends more time telling you what's going on beneath the surface than allowing for any real depth to emerge.

Jan 18, 2018 | Full Review…

I was hoping that, because it was a period piece, it would do something different... But I felt like they basically took a recycled procedural drama format and threw it in 1896.

Sep 7, 2018 | Full Review…

What makes this show special is the story they are exploring-it's disturbing, frightening, and morbid. Shows often shy away from controversial topics, but The Alienist dives headfirst into the dramatic pit of its story.

Oct 7, 2019 | Full Review…

What will entice viewers is how The Alienist does not shield the audience from the nitty-gritty details of the crime.

Sep 18, 2019 | Full Review…

If it's not something that appeals to you or you're looking for a quality series, there are many better ones out there. [Full Review in Spanish]

Jul 19, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

An atmospheric and deliciously morbid period crime piece that the fans of the genre should not miss. [Full review in Spanish]

Jun 16, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The series made a blatant bid for the inclusion of all those on the outside looking in. And in doing so, the show could not have been timelier or more modern or wholly necessary.

Oct 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Alienist: Season 1

  • Jan 12, 2020
    A true, well developed, psychological detective with an intriguing plot which makes you consume episodes one after another..
  • Dec 29, 2019
    I loved it! Great story even better acting. I just hope it doesn't get cancelled because for some reason the critics are listened to more than the actual audience.
  • Dec 09, 2019
    this is my favoritt series of all time, I absoloutly loved it. The characters were so profound and there was put so much work in to them, and they where acted impecably. The story was also sooo great and it keept you interested through out the entire show. There was never a doll or boring moment. Can we please get a season two of this show
  • Dec 09, 2019
    The psychological perspectives, including homophobia are very knowledgeable, the setting of 1890's New York excellent, and the acting superb! A riveting spellbinder!
  • Oct 08, 2019
    I very much looked forward to this show, but it fell flat on its face. The lead, whatever his name was, was not good. His acting was terrible and ruined the entire show.
  • Sep 15, 2019
    The Alienist tries to go for that sweet spot created in us by the Sherlock Holmes movies starring RDJ. It's dark, it talks about society recluses and mixes sex with danger. On appearance. In general the plot is all over the place and lacks clear direction. The relationships between the characters are poorly defined. Sarah's character is not very credible, and this is not helped by how flat Dakota Fanning's acting is (there's a scene in episode 4 I think where she's supposed to be crying but all I have in mind is the fake tears they must have had to keep adding to her face between each sequence). The anachronisms are also hard to forgive (the characters basically invent forensics and psychological criminal profiling), but I suppose that is attributable to the book's author, not the screenplay. The "boy whores" are rubbed into the spectator's faces with little justification outside a desire to elicit scandal and remind us how scandalous it would have been back in those days. It is filled with clichés and badly executed ideas. I'm not saying the book was also bad, I haven't read it. But this show certainly didn't make me want to the way The Handmaid's Tale did.
  • Jun 16, 2019
    The Alienist has the look and feel of an HBO show with its superb costumes and set design, but it lacks the same quality of writing. The pace is painstakingly slow and the events unfold in a dull way for a murder mystery.
  • Jun 03, 2019
    A dark and involving series, very well done indeed.
  • May 01, 2019
    Catchy phrasing, great acting and good dialogue. The sets are amazing and seem authentic (I wasn't alive then so who knows?) and the story is compelling. Is it just a basic procedural? Mostly, although it does have the added enchantment of being set in a time when DNA testing and technology were not around to save the day....but ultimately I like it because I am simply looking for mildly entertaining yet somewhat intelligent TV fodder - not an Oscar winning drama that teaches me about yeah, I love it.
  • Apr 02, 2019
    Love this, completely. I love this genre, the characters, the drama, on point!!!

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