Introducing…The Strain

The pilot for this new vampire TV show (created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan) begins with an aeroplane that lands ‘dead’ in New York. It sits on the runway with the lights off and no-one home. The Center for Disease Control, the Army, and every other organisation wants a piece of the pie, and they rush to the scene to investigate the fate of the dead passengers and crew.

This eventually leads to the emergence of:

Proboscis Vampires. The vampires in this show have freaky protruding tongues to drink blood with, and the vampire virus seems to be spread via disgusting worms that crawl beneath the skin.

Vampires suck the blood out of the poor morgue doctor who was examining the corpses just a minute ago

Vampires suck the blood out of the poor morgue doctor who was examining the corpses just a minute ago

The proboscis vampire worms have reached New York, of course, via the ill-fated aeroplane. They were stored in with the luggage, squirming in a coffin full of dirt that plays also host to a larger, more sinister passenger. Australian customs officers would be ALL OVER THAT CARGO OF BIOLOGICAL MATTER, by the way. The only thing that would make them work harder would be if it had fruits or vegetables in it. This story would be over in the airport before it began.

Some characters:

Our hero, Ephraim Goodweather, is some kind of doctor and CDC high-up. He has a ridiculous name, two minions (Chubby Nerd Guy and Sexy Doctor Lady), and the most cliché-ridden backstory of all time, involving a custody battle over his son. His ex-wife, who apparently didn’t enjoy being married to this arrogant workaholic, is now seeing a nice man who spends time at home fixing things and hanging out with the kid. It seems clear that Eph will have learn a valuable lesson about the value of family, just as his ex-wife and son will learn that Eph really is important at work and his macho aggression is absolutely necessary to save the world. The ex-wife and son can probably look forward to being kidnapped or falling ill so that Eph can rescue them as part of his journey of re-masculation.

Serious and important.

Serious and important.

Unfortunately I am going to cheat on the “Pilot review” here, and mention Episode 2. It is essential to introduce the Rat Catcher. So far, this charming and impressive Eastern European man has basically been shown working for the city pest control and catching rats, but we know he is destined for something great. Vampire hunter, perhaps?

You will love the delighted expression on his face when he discovers a rat at this fancy French restaurant

You will love the delighted expression on his face when he discovers a rat at this fancy French restaurant

The focus on the science of vampires in this series is a nice change, and there are some characters I want to know more about, so despite some clichés it seems worth watching.

Stay tuned for a follow-up introduction to Magneto and his Nazi prison guard, the Latino-gangster-who-loves-his-Mami, and maybe even Chubby Nerd Guy and Sexy Doctor Lady.

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