The Strain The Bite Stuff

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Pstill have some life in them yet, The Strain, based on Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Ho­gan’s book tril­ogy, is back for a sec­ond sea­son pick­ing up with the Big Ap­ple suf­fer­ing from a hor­rific vam­piric pan­demic. In sea­son one small pock­ets of hu­mans in the know, like CDC sci­en­tist Dr Ephraim “Eph” Good­weather ( Corey Stoll) and Pro­fes­sor Abra­ham Se­trakian ( David Bradley), cre­ated the first line of re­sis­tance against the vam­pires. Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer/ showrun­ner Carl­ton Cuse tells Red Alert that sea­son two, which is loosely based on book two The Fall, will re­veal more fac­tions of hu­man­ity join­ing the fight.

“Sea­son one was re­ally about the spread of the epi­demi­o­log­i­cal cri­sis that turns into the very nascent stages of a vam­pire apoca­lypse,” Cuse ex­plains. “Peo­ple were learn­ing and ac­cept­ing that there were vam­pires on the loose in New York City. Sea­son two is now that peo­ple ac­cept they ex­ist, what are they go­ing to do about it?”

Cuse teases that dif­fer­ent strate­gies will arise to stop the var­i­ous de­vel­op­ing stages of blood­suck­ers ris­ing. “In the case of Eph and Nora ( Mía Mae­stro), they de­cide to take all of their knowl­edge of how to fight the dis­ease and find a way to kill these vam­pires. For Se­trakian, his goal is to get his hands on the Lu­men, a book which is pur­ported to con­tain the in­for­ma­tion to kill the Master.

“And then New York de­cides to fight back,” Cuse says with some glee. “What hap­pens a lot in so­ci­ety, whether it is Nazi Ger­many or [ Fas­cist] Italy, the abil­ity to or­gan­ise so­ci­ety in chaos comes in the form of a per­son and for us it’s Justine Fer­aldo, played bril­liantly by Sa­man­tha Mathis.” A Staten Is­land City Coun­cil­woman with loyal cops at her dis­posal, Cuse says Fer­aldo im­me­di­ately tips the play­ing field. “She ap­pears out of nowhere and is a wild card force who is able to make head­way against the vam­pires but does so by sus­pend­ing ev­ery civil lib­erty there is.”

As for the evo­lu­tion of the vam­pires’ army, Cuse tells au­di­ences to be pre­pared for new vis­ual as­saults from the mind of del Toro. “He has no peer when it comes to crea­ture cre­ation. If you read the books, you get a clear sense of all of the dif­fer­ent forces that our char­ac­ters will face. We bring in a cou­ple more this sea­son and I ab­so­lutely love the way Guillermo ren­dered them. It’s just awe­some!” The Strain sea­son two be­gins on 12 July on FX in the US. A UK air­date is TBC.

sci- fact! Un­der The Dome re­turns on 25 June on CBS and later this year on Chan­nel 5.

“So ev­ery­one brought a back­pack, but no one brought a tent?”

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