‘Vienna Blood’ Episode 1 recap: What happened in ‘The Last Seance’?

The BBC’s new period crime drama Vienna Blood began in the UK tonight.

The best-selling Liebermann novels by Frank Tallis have been adapted for TV by Sherlock writer Steve Thompson.

Vienna Blood is set in 1900s Vienna, starring Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game), Juergen Maurer (Vorstadtweiber), Conleth Hill (Game Of Thrones), Charlene McKenna (Ripper Street), Amelia Bullmore (Gentleman Jack) and Jessica De Gouw (Dracula).

Here’s a plot recap for the first episode, which aired at 9pm on Monday 18th November 2019 on BBC Two:

Junior doctor Max Liebermann, son of a wealthy Jewish businessman in 1906 Vienna, is undertaking research in the new discipline of psychotherapy much to the disgust of his professor.

As part of his understanding the criminal mind, he is given permission to trail Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt, who has been called to murder of a mysterious woman in Leopoldstadt.

Max has been encouraged to court the beautiful Clara Weiss by his family and together they visit an exhibition of Gustav Klimt’s work, where a disturbed woman lashes out at a complete stranger.

Max arranges for the woman to be taken to his hospital, where she is admitted and placed in a straight jacket.

Rheinhardt is not impressed with having to endure Max, who he sees as arrogant, and is not at all sympathetic to Max’s chosen field of study but is persuaded to allow an autopsy on the mysterious woman, which reveals that she was pregnant.

Further investigations reveal that the victim was Charlotte Lowenstein, who ran secretive seances from her apartment.

Max convinces Rheinhardt that someone who attended those seances was the father of her unborn child and her murderer.

Frank Tallis’s Liebermann novels are available on Amazon.