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'The Alienist' is getting a sequel season. Here are nine essential TV shows that we think fans of the period crime drama will absolutely love.

TV shows to watch while you wait for the new season of ‘The Alienist’

In an odd trend that we’re going to go ahead and call the rise of the non-limited series, The Alienist is getting a sequel season despite S1 being presented as a standalone. In fact, the show was even nominated in two limited series categories for the 2018 Emmys – a fact that isn’t reportedly going to change now that The Alienist isn’t actually a limited series in the slightest.

But we concur: the second season of The Alienist is to be called Angel of Darkness and will be based on the sequel to Caleb Carr’s novel (upon which the first season was based). Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning are all expected to return for S2, which is set one year after The Alienist and sees Fanning’s aspiring detective and NYPD officer leading an investigation into the kidnapping of a young girl.

There’s no word yet on when fans can expect to enjoy the next new season, but we’d be lucky to see it in 2019 considering it’s only just been announced. Put simply: we’ve all got a bit of a wait on our hands. That provides the perfect opportunity to check out (or revisit) shows of a similar vibe to keep you suitably on the edge of your seat while you wait for Angel of Darkness to premiere.

Here are nine essential TV shows that we think fans of the period crime drama will absolutely love.


David Fincher’s detailed portrait of the FBI’s expansion of criminal science understanding in the late 70s is one of the keenest psychological dramas that’s ever been on screen.

The show follows two FBI agents (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) as they profile serial killers in the hopes of better anticipating and understanding similar future crimes. Mindhunter is unsettling and endlessly fascinating, with alluring mysteries at the heart of it.

The Terror

AMC’s British horror drama comes courtesy of executive producer Ridley Scott and follows a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic in 1845 to 1848.

While the harsh elements of the Arctic prove to be monstrous enough for the crew to battle, they’re also stalked by an elusive menace. The show’s subtle supernatural elements will definitely be of interest to fans who enjoyed the slight veneer of the supernatural in The Alienist.


Still one of the greatest psychological crime dramas of all time, Bryan Fuller’s phenomenal take on the canon developed by Thomas Harris is visually stupendous, impossibly hideous, and remains smarter than any other show like it on TV.

Starring Mads Mikkelsen as charismatic cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter and Hugh Dancy as an FBI special investigator struggling to deal with the pressures of his job (and his toxic relationship with Dr. Lecter), the show is a masterpiece of cunning that you’ll want to bingewatch in one sitting.

The Frankenstein Chronicles

The British period crime drama is a brooding reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with a ghoulish police procedural twist.

The story follows Sean Bean’s police inspector as he discovers a corpse made up of body parts from eight missing children and sets about determining who is responsible. Though the show lacks some of the flair of The Alienist, it definitely shares a similar vibe and is just as compelling.


The police procedural series offers a modern take on the Sherlock Holmes and Watson narrative by transferring the story to Manhattan with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as the legendary crime-fighting duo.

The story might be set in modern day New York, but it maintains much of the rich storytelling, sharp wit, and dark twists and turns of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories.

The Knick

Steven Soderbergh‘s period drama makes for an obvious comparison series to The Alienist for many intriguing reasons. The two shows share a bold, visual tenacity, but they’re also set within a relatively similar time period in New York.

Following a doctor (Clive Owen) and his team of staff at a fictionalized New York hospital, the often dark and morbid show delves deep into the medical practices of the 1900s and features scenes of strikingly gory surgery.

True Detective

The first season of Nic Pizzolatto’s intense crime drama remains one of the most surprising and thrilling mysteries ever seen on the small screen.

Anchored by extraordinary performances from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show is brimming with macabre intrigue, disturbing twists, and lavish cinematography. It’s definitely time to revisit the show.


Set a century prior to The Alienist, the Hulu sex work drama depicts similar gritty scenes of struggle and survival on the mean streets of a burgeoning major city.

Starring Samantha Morton as a ferocious brothel owner looking to protect her turf, the show should satisfy fans of The Alienist who loved both the complex characterization of the series and its grimy cruelty.


The Alienist is proof that police procedural and mystery stories can still be capably reimagined in fresh and exciting new ways, just as the Coen Brothers’ anthology series adaptation of their own movie has done for crime stories time and again.

Full of black humor, unexpected moments of magical realism, and smartly plotted narratives of great complexity, Fargo is a show that often gleefully defies and subverts genre rules.

With a consistently stupendous cast of beloved actors like Billy Bob Thornton, Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, and Ted Danson in lead roles, the show is also one of the most prestigious on TV.

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