Monday, July 14, 2014

"The Strain": Yes, New York City and maybe the whole country has gone, "thmooth"

I had seen the previews of the new FX series “The Strain” by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan in theaters a few times.  I thought the premise sounded silly, on the surface. But I tried the 98-minute pilot (“Night Zero”) last night.

The idea that an international flight lands in New York with everyone dead (except four people) is intriguing. You could do something with this beginning.  But we all know the premise.  A parasitic worm transmits a virus to people that seems to kill them, but in the morgues they turn into vampires.  Pretty soon a whole city (New York) will be gone. 

There’s some other diversions.  A CDC epidemiologist (Corey Stoll) finds work more compelling than his counseling sessions to get custody of his daughter.  And a holocaust survivor (David Bradley) who operates a pawn shop in Harlem knows how to handle burglars, but seems to be growing a blob in his back room, reading crawl out of the woodwork.  He knows what’s up, and rushes out to the airport. 

The vampires do undergo physical transformations.  One is the loss of all hair.  Episode 3 will be called “Gone Smooth” which might be better titled “Gone thmooth”.  Death is no longer a release.  But maybe it never was. 

The idea of a novel virus is itself fertile.  In my own manuscript, “Angel’s Brother”, I propose that a virus could contain a tiny radioactive core with a microscopic black hole that can transmit identities to other people. 


The official Fox site is here

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