If you haven’t heard about TNT‘s upcoming series, The Alienist, you’re going to want to make sure you keep your eye on it from now on. Already one of the most interesting shows on the horizon, they’ve now added Sean Astin in one of the main roles, and he seems perfect for the part.
The series is based on the novel by Caleb Carr, and is a wild, psychological thriller set in New York City in 1896. A strange, and gruesome series of murders grabs attention in the city, and the new police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, looks to have criminal psychologist (aka “alienist”) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and newspaper illustrator John Moor (Luke Evans) conduct the investigation in secret. They in turn call on the help of a group of “irregulars,” including Sara Howard, a secretary on Roosevelt’s staff who wants to become the first female detective in New York City. The crew attempts to incorporate the new techniques of forensic investigation, along with psychology, to help track down one of the city’s first serial killers.
Astin joins the show as Police Commissioner Roosevelt, who is determined to clear up corruption in the force, and becomes outraged that children are being murdered.
While not a main focus of the show’s effort, Astin’s is a vital role. If the series hopes to really capture the novel’s flair and nuance, it needs everything to work, and Roosevelt is support that is trickier to pull off than most. As are Kreizler’s valet and maid.
Additional series regulars include Robert Wisdom (The Wire) as Cyrus, Kreizler’s valet, a man with a dark past who has been reformed by Kreizler; Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World) as Mary, Kreizler’s mute maid with whom he shares a special unspoken connection; Matt Lintz (Pixels) as Stevie, a tough, young boy employed by Dr. Kreizler as a driver and errand boy; and Matthew Shear (Mistress America) and Douglas Smith (Miss Sloane) as Lucius and Marcus Isaacson, twin brothers who help unravel the disturbing mystery.
The Alienist is currently shooting in Budapest, Hungary, with BAFTA-nominated director Jakob Verbruggen (Black Mirror) at the helm.