Long Overdue Update

The Alienist PromoMy sincere apologies for such a long break since 17th Street was last updated. 2017 has been a massive year for me involving a relocation across the country and starting a new job which has resulted in big changes that have eaten into my leisure time considerably. This is therefore a long overdue update to catch up on the news of the past six months. If there is any major news that I have missed, please feel free to share it with me via the contact form or in the comments below, and I will include it in a later update.

First, as those who have been following TNT’s adaptation of The Alienist would know, filming has now wrapped up and the second trailer for the series was released last month. It can be viewed below. The premiere date for US audiences has been announced as 22 January 2018, so there’s not long to go now.

In addition to the adaptation of The Alienist, there was also an exciting announcement in September that Fox will be developing a one-hour drama series based on Caleb Carr’s most recent novel, Surrender, New York (2016). According to Variety, Richard Wenk (The Magnificent Seven, The Equalizer, The Expendables 2) will be writing and executive producing, with Gail Berman, Joe Earley, and Richard Arlook also on board as executive producers. Curiously, the plot synopsis provided with the announcement indicated that protagonist Dr. Trajan Jones “joins forces with the local state trooper Penelope Howell”, a character who is not in the original novel. Given this description, it will be interesting to see what direction Fox takes the adaptation.

Finally, the Center for Fiction, a literary organisation that connects readers and writers in New York City, has announced that Caleb Carr will be offering a Master Class in December as part of their Crime Fiction Academy. Mr. Carr will be giving “a presentation on his life and work” and will be discussing crime fiction writing. If you are interested in attending the Master Class, you can view the details of the event and RSVP at the Center’s website. The Master Class will be taking place on Thursday, December 7th at 7:00pm.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

First Trailer for The Alienist TV Series

TNT released their first trailer for The Alienist TV series today. One thing that is absolutely clear from this trailer is that we’re in for very high production standards; it is undeniable the production will be atmospheric in the best possible sense. While I still maintain concern regarding characterisation and plot based on what we have heard about the script, it is up to fans of the novel to make their own minds up.

And so I ask readers to share their thoughts. How do you feel about the trailer? I would love for you to share your thoughts.

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Alienist Book News, Plus a Casting Change for The Alienist TV Series

The Alienist 2006 EditionMy apologies for the delay in news here on 17th Street, but life away from the internet has been incredibly busy with a big interstate move and illness taking me out of action for the past few weeks. That said, there have been a number of news items from the past couple of months that I have neglected to post here due to lack of time.

First, there was some excellent news for Alienist readers outside of the United States last month with Mulholland Books UK announcing that they will be publishing The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, Surrender, New York, and Caleb Carr’s two upcoming Alienist novels in e-book form in the UK and Commonwealth countries. As an Australian who has not been able to access the Alienist books in e-book form due to rights restrictions, I would like to personally say hallelujah! This is excellent news for those of us outside the United States. The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness will be available in July 2017, while Surrender, New York will be available in 2018. This news also confirmed that the third book in the Alienist series, The Alienist at Armageddon, is due out in 2019; exciting news for those of us who have been waiting for a continuation in the series for so many years.

Second, Caleb Carr wrote an interesting review of Kevin Davis’ recently released nonfiction book, “The Brain Defense,” for The New York Times in early March. This is an interesting article for anyone who is interested in the type of arguments that were posited in Surrender, New York — and if you haven’t read Surrender yet, it may provide you with some incentive to do so.

Finally, although I am not posting all the latest news regarding The Alienist TV series at present (for my reasons, please see my previous blog post), one noteworthy piece of news surfaced today. Deadline has reported that Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker) will be replacing Sean Astin as Theodore Roosevelt in the upcoming adaptation. In a statement, TNT indicated that Astin will no longer play the role “because of scheduling difficulties.” In addition, Martin McCreadie has been cast as Sergeant Doyle, a character who does not appear in the books but has been listed on IMDb for 10 episodes of the series.

Once again, my apologies for the delay with these news items. Unfortunately things will continue to be slow here for at least one more month, but hopefully things will start to turn around after that. If there is anything you feel is noteworthy and should be reported on 17th Street that you don’t see here, please feel free to contact me through the comments on the blog or using the contact form. Thanks for your patience.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

The Alienist Pilot Reviewed at Script Shadow

A review of the pilot for The Alienist appeared on Script Shadow earlier today. Unfortunately, I do not have good news to report from this. It suggests the character changes for John that I reported on a few days ago have indeed made it into the adaptation. After reading the review, I suspect that whether one is going to enjoy this series ultimately comes down to a matter of taste. While the reviewer was enthusiastic about the script, I don’t get the impression they have read (at least recently) the source material, so inconsistencies clearly don’t bother them. However, from what they have described, this show will not be representative of The Alienist that I know and love. For example, it has been confirmed that John enjoys playing “games” with prostitutes that sound like they correspond to the “twisted role playing” that was mentioned in the press release for the character of Flora.

We meet John Moore with a prostitute and, as he’s having sex with her, he’s angry because she’s telling him that she’s in love with another man. At that moment, the madame bursts in and the girl “drops the act.” It was all a little game they were playing.

In addition, it appears that the character changes are not restricted to John. The review also makes mention that Kreizler keeps fetuses in his office. Where on Earth did this come from? Yes, the book mentions that he keeps brains in specimen jars, but that makes sense. He is a psychiatrist. More than this, the reviewer’s comment that Kreizler is “into some really dark disturbing shit” is enough to convince me that the script will not be loyal to the book. Kreizler is a workaholic who is passionate about saving children from abuse. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing at the opera, dining at fine restaurants, collecting antique furniture and fine art. When has Kreizler ever done anything that would suggest that he is “into some really dark disturbing shit”? I first became concerned about this when I read Daniel Bruhl’s recent comment “I’m playing a nice guy in The Alienist, too. More or less, I would say.” Why would he suggest that Kreizler is “more or less” a nice guy? Kreizler is a nice guy — there should be absolutely no debate about it.

Given this troubling turn of events, I feel that I should be open. I fully understand that we all have our own degree of changes from source material that we can accept in adaptations and there will undoubtedly be fans of the books who won’t be concerned about these changes. However, my loyalty lies with the books and the books alone. I started 17th Street as a resource for the books, and that is what the website is going to remain. Consequently, unless there is some drastic turnaround with what is being revealed through these script leaks, I won’t be watching. The are better things to watch, and I would rather keep my memory of the books and characters unspoiled.

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