I sit in front of my laptop, Robinson’s squash at the ready. Chilling music rings out. A chilling montage of blood and tiles fills the screen. That chilling font reveals itself, emblazoning the show’s title across my monitor: The Strain. “I am watching The Strain again,” I think to myself. “And indeed,” I think a few moment later, “why on earth not?”
To say that The Strain was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan is only half of the mystery. To say that it stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mía Maestro, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Sean Astin, Jack Kesy, Natalie Brown, Miguel Gomez, and Ben Hyland gets us some way towards an idea of what the show is. But is it, in the final analysis, really enough? To discover the mystery of what is ailing this patient, we must snap on our treated, latex surgical gloves, select a gleaming instrument of metallic precision from our tray of instruments, and make a deeper incision into its underlying mysteries.
In the most recent episode of The Strain, “Loved Ones,” the heroic doctor Ephraim Goodweather (played by Corey Stoll) manages to track down his beloved wife Kelly using a phone and the internet. This will, of course, be a great achievement in the eyes of those of us who struggle to update our Facebook pages! It is very, very fitting, therefore, that “Eph” (as he is affectionately called) is able to do this only with the help of his young son Zach, who is played by Ben Hyland.
We watch in flashbacks as Kelly is turned into a vampire, and sucks blood with her gross long tongue like the others – “Hell hath no fury” indeed, as Ephraim will surely be soon to discover! In the end they escape for now, but of course Kelly has now hooked up with the grand-daddy of all vampires – the eponymous “Master” himself (played by Robert Maillet Robin Atkin Downes (voice)).
The Strain is a masterpiece of terror, with a chilling musical soundtrack from Ramin Djawadi, who also composed the music for Iron Man and Pacific Rim and for the TV series Prison Break, Game of Thrones and Person of Interest.
Produced by J. Miles Dale and filmed on location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, The Strain is sure to continue its first chilling series with three more episodes, and I for one will be watching every spine-tingling minute of those episodes of The Strain –– from behind my sofa of course and with a necklace of garlic!