Things You Didn’t Know About Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘The Strain’

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The Strain is an American horror drama television series that premiered on FX on July 13, 2014. The show’s source material is a trilogy of the same name, created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, both of whom are well known within the horror world. The series originally ran for 13 episodes, with del Toro and Hogan writing the pilot. In August of last year, FX renewed The Strain for a second season, also consisting of 13 episodes. Filming began in November of that same year.

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Overall, The Strain has received generally positive reviews. On Metacritic, the show received an overall rating of 72 out of 100 based on 38 reviews. Similarly, on Rotten Tomatoes, The Strain holds a Certified Fresh rating of 87%, with an average score of 7.4 out of 10. The site’s consensus states, “The Strain makes the most of its familiar themes through an effective mix of supernatural thrills and B-movie gore.”

When an unidentified plane lands in the John F. Kennedy International Airport with the lights off and doors sealed, a team of doctors is sent to investigate. Among them is CDC epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and Dr. Nora Martinez.

Boarding the plane, they don’t expect to find anything good, all of them anticipating a tragic plane crash. Instead, the team of doctors manages to find four survivors amidst the 206 lifeless bodies. The bodies are strange in that they show no signs of blood loss, but they’re sent to the morgue all the same. However, they don’t remain there for long, Soon, Dr. Goodman and his team find themselves battling for the survival of the city, as well as the entire human population, as an ancient evil threatens to annihilate them all.

Del Toro originally pitched The Strain to Fox in 2006, but negotiations turned south when the Fox president asked the show to be a comedy, instead. He was then instructed by an agent to expand the concept as a novel series. Of course, del Toro had qualms with this idea, as well, though his concerns were more related to his personal failings. “I’ve written short stories in Spanish and English. I’ve written screenplays. But I’m not good at forensic novels. I’m not good at hazmat language and that CSI-style precision. When Stoker wrote Dracula, it was very modern, a CSI sort of novel. I wanted to give The Strain a procedural feel, where everything seems real.”

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Eventually, del Toro convinced Hogan to collaborate with him after having read the first page or so of del Toro’s project outline. The two began writing together, releasing the first installment of the series in 2009, The Strain. It was followed in 2010 by The Fall and in 2011 by The Night Eternal. After the first book, however, cable companies vied for the duo’s attention, wanting to write a cable show for the series, but del Toro and Hogan declined. They didn’t want to be influenced by a cinematic production of their series. After the third book, they went to FX, the most suitable of the cable companies, as they wanted to remain as close to the original series as possible, while providing 3 to 5 seasons for the show to tell its story. Just go here to find home entertainment opportunities from Charter Spectrum.

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