DVD Review: The Alienist: Angel of Darkness

The Alienist

If you have not seen the Alienist, it’s an interesting show that airs on TNT. The premise taps into the profiling types of series that we see in shows like Mindhunter and Criminal Minds. The difference is that this series sets the premise in a wholly different era. It takes place in the 1890s in New York City. The very idea of using psychology to identify a criminal and solve a crime is foreign to anybody at that time.

Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning return as a team of profilers (alienists) to a serial killer who is murdering street children. A year after the Beecham case (season one), the group is trying to put that case behind them but get a visit from the wife of a Spanish diplomat who wants the team to help her find her kidnapped daughter. This sets them on a dangerous mission where they uncover dark secrets about New York itself, about a serial killer, and have to be extra careful because The United States and Spain were on the brink of war at the time, and so every step they take is a perilous walk on thin ice. This plays out over eight one-hour episodes.

One interesting aspect of this series is the way it weaves fact and fiction. It uses real historical figured to add a level of believability to the series. For example, Theodore Roosevelt makes an appearance that makes sense because he really was the Chief of Police for New York City in that era. There are a few other details like that which add to the atmosphere and design of the show. The set design is fantastic. 1890’s New York feels like that, and the producers really went the extra mile to capture that atmosphere. The cast is strong, and their interactions feel natural. The dangers feel real. I do have to warn, however, that the series does not shy away from gruesome scenes and commentary and probably is not for the weak of stomach.

If you’re a fan of mysteries, especially profiler/psychological thrillers or period pieces (or a fan of steampunk even though this doesn’t actually fit that), you almost certainly like this series. It’s addictive, and once you get started, you want to know what happens.


  • Inside the Alienist: Building the World
  • Walking the Set 2.0 with Luke Evans
  • Kreizler Season 1 Recap
  • Dressing a Modern Woman
  • Series Overview

The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is available on Tuesday, May 18th from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.

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  1. I’m a big fan of both The Alienist television show and books. If you like the TNT television show, then you should check out Caleb Carr’s novels.

  2. I loved the series but even more so the books! A great series and hope it will continue!

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