The Outsider first impression: HBO’s miniseries tells a captivating, terrifying tale

Kshitij Rawat
The Outsider review

The Outsider streams on Hotstar.

There really has not been a better time to be a Stephen King fan. Not only is the septuagenarian author churning out books at an unbelievable rate, we are also getting consistently great TV and film adaptations of his work. HBO’s miniseries The Outsider is an adaptation of the eponymous book which is among the best recent works of King.

Developed by novelist and screenwriter Richard Price, who has previously worked with HBO on The Wire, The Night Of and The Deuce, The Outsider is a police procedural tinged with the supernatural.

The Outsider is about the brutal rape-murder of an 11-year-old boy. All DNA and circumstantial evidence points towards one man - popular baseball coach Terry Maitland, (Jason Bateman, who has also directed the first two episodes) who has easy access to kids, but the said suspect has an unassailable alibi. He was seen in another city at the same time, and has several eye-witnesses and even a video clip to prove that.

Surely, he could not have been at two places at once?

After a very deliberate public arrest of Terry on the orders of Detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), the case seems done and dusted. And yet the video clip and more evidence suggests that there is a chance that the suspect might be innocent after all.

Also starring Bill Camp, Cynthia Erivo and Julianne Nicholson among others, The Outsider features strong writing and performances. There is also quite a compelling mystery at the centre of it all.

Richard Price puts to use his prestige TV sensibilities to craft a slow burn, sinister tale that entertains and horrifies in equal measure.