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The Alienist featurette introduces Dakota Fanning's character

The Alienist Dakota Fanning

In anticipation of the January debut of TNT's event series based on author Caleb Carr's novel The Alienist, a featurette has been released online to introduce potential viewers to one of the show's lead characters.

Played by Dakota Fanning, that character is Sara Howard, a secretary who aspires to become New York City's first female police detective at the turn of the 20th century. The description of this "self-possessed and intelligent" character mentioned that she "shakes hands like a man", and the video below even features the start of one of those popular handshakes. During this minute-long clip, Fanning discusses the "badass" Sara Howard and explains what made her want to be involved with this series.

The Alienist is a psychological thriller that's set

in the Gilded Age of New York City in 1896, a city of vast wealth, extreme poverty and technological innovation. When a series of haunting, gruesome murders of boy prostitutes grips the city, newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt calls upon criminal psychologist (aka alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and newspaper reporter John Moore to conduct the investigation in secret. They are aided by a makeshift crew of singular characters, among them the intrepid Sara Howard, a young secretary on Roosevelt's staff who is determined to become the first female police detective in New York City. Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and early forensic investigation techniques, this band of social outsiders tracks down one of New York City's first serial killers.

Fanning co-stars with Daniel Brühl as "alienist" forensic psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and Luke Evans as reporter John Moore. Also in the cast are Douglas Smith, Matthew Shear, Matt Lintz, Robert Ray Wisdom, and Q'orianka Kilcher, with Brian Geraghty as police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.

Directed by Jakob Verbruggen and executive produced by Cary Fukunaga, The Alienist is scheduled to premiere on TNT's television, mobile, and digital platforms on Monday, January 22nd at 9pm.

Extra Tidbit: Will you be watching The Alienist?

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