New York, 1890. Daniel Brühl is Laszlo Kreisler, a criminal psychologist (or alienist) who is on the hunt for a killer responsable for a number of ritualistic child murders.
These years are a turning point for forensics, even if the tools they have are extremely far away from CSI today resources.
And Kreisler will fight with all his strength to have his voice heard from Police department. With the help of the illustrator Moore (Luke Evans), Kreisler discovers that the murder he’s working on is similar to a previous one. We have to take under consideration that even if German physician Rudolf Virchow is credited with developing a method of autopsy (his techniques are still in use today) around the 1870; autopsy wouldn’t become a common practise until the early years of 1900 (except for the one of Jack The Ripper‘s murder in London in 1880s).
But these are also the years when the use of finger marks as a tool starts to become a common step during investigators in Argentina. Discovered by a Scottish doctor who offered his help to Scotland Yard who declined the offer; this technique was introduced in the UK in 1901 and in New York City in 1902.
Ten episodes mixing real people with fictional characters to discover a little bit of that era when “persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be alienated from their own true natures. Experts who studied them were therefore known as alienists.”