As TNT's The Alienist wraps up, dedicated viewers are already wondering whether Monday's finale will mark the end of the series or if there will be more story to tell. So will there be a Season 2 of The Alienist? The gang may have solved one mystery, but surely there's no shortage of crime in New York City at the turn of the century. And these characters are compelling enough to warrant another season, right? Unfortunately, there has been no formal announcement as to whether the show will be picked up for another installment, but with a pretty steady viewership, I see no reason why it shouldn't. Personally, I can never get enough of historical murder-mysteries.
For the uninitiated, The Alienist follows a group of three people, the titular alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (who studies the strange behavior of serial killers), newspaper cartoonist-turned-crime-scene-cartoonist John Moore, and Sara Howard, the only woman employed by the police department. Together they've been working to solve the case of who's murdering young male prostitutes around the city. It's grizzly and extremely dark but with incredible costumes. It's also based on a book by Caleb Carr of the same name that was first published in the early '90s. The series follows the events of the book in its 10 episodes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the story has to be over for these characters once this particular plot comes to a close.
At the Television Critics Association winter press tour as reported by TV Guide, Dakota Fanning explained, "I think that's what's so great about having limited series is that we are able to tell the story of The Alienist, this book, in 10 hours. That's what this is." But she also left some room open for a second season, saying, "I think there could be a potential to do it again. I think I can safely speak for everyone and say we would love to." She added, "We had the best time and love our characters so much and love this world."
Other series based on books have already decided to continue on with a second season after the events of the book have been concluded. The Handmaid's Tale and Big Little Lies were both given second seasons even though the stories told in the book were resolved. Therefore the second seasons of both series will cover events the original author never wrote. However The Alienist probably won't have this problem, as the book is actually just the first in a series of books Carr wrote about these characters.
After the success of The Alienist in 1994, Carr wrote a follow-up novel called The Angel of Darkness. This book is reportedly told from the point of view of the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, as the team reunites to find the kidnapped infant daughter of a Spanish diplomat. Given the tensions between the United States and Spain at the time the book is set, this mission is particularly dangerous. These are the only two published books in the Kreizler series, but a third and fourth book are said to be on the way (giving me flashbacks of George R.R. Martin).
Entertainment Weekly reported that Carr was working on two more books to follow the first two. The third book of the series is set 20 years after The Angel of Darkness in 1915 and will center around nativist violence and terrorism during World War I, while the other will be titled The Strange Case of Sarah X, and will serve as a prequel to the original series. There's no word yet on when either of these will be published.
In any case, it looks like there is (or will be) plenty of material for further seasons.
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