Guillermo del Toro has made the jump from the big screen to the small in FX Network's new summer entry called The Strain and after viewing the first four episodes, it should be the blockbuster hit FX hoped for.
The series is based on the Strain Trilogy, written by del Toro and Chuck Hogan and in a nut shell, the show is about a CDC doctor named Ephraim Goodweather (House of Cards' Corey StollWalder Frey---I mean Abraham Setrakian, who has faced this menace before and are trying to fight off an outbreak of a vampire virus that is quickly spreading in Manhattan.
In Guillermo's world, these vamps bear little resemblance to the hypnotic allure of Bela Lugosi or a sexed up Eric Northman, but are a horrific mix of parasitic worms and pincher claws that invade the host body and create something entirely different.
Part of the charm, of this series and yes, I said charm, is that the viewer doesn't have to wait very long to find that out, either. With the aid of Carlton Cuse, the showrunner, The Strain doesn't tease you with shadows and innuendo before finally getting to a big reveal, but jolts you out of your seat at an unexpected time. There's a scene around the 40-second minute mark of the pilot that will have you saying "holy sh*t,' but it's not done for shock purposes alone -- as you will learn later on.
As with most vampire tomes, there is a Master running the show, but this one is nine feet tall and doesn't seem to have an interest in the beautiful daughter of a Van Helsing.
It all begins with FLT 753 coming into JFK from Berlin carrying two hundred and ten souls aboard and as the plane prepares to land, a flight attendant hurriedly calls to another and says there's something alive in the cargo hold below. Yea, there is.
The entire cast, set design and special effects are excellent so far and outside of some flat character expositions, the series moves along at a graphic novel pace.
The Strain debuts this Sunday, July13th on FX.