Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming adaptation of The Strain for FX is one of our most anticipated TV shows of the summer. The dark, ominous vampire-plague tale looks like it will cast an ideal shadow over the otherwise bright and sunny summer. After months of dropping creepy, occasionally stomach-churning teasers, the network recently gave us our first real look at the series in the form of a 30-second trailer that gave us a feel for the what the actual episodes will look like. Because that was just a taste, they’re back with an extended look that, at three times the length, is about three times as eerie.
We’ve seen eyeballs with worm, a heart in a jar that still manages to beat, twitching body bags, and even a guy with a cane scattering candy on the ground. With these new looks, we’re getting an idea of how these elements fit into the regular workings of the series. The action follows a team of Centers for Disease Control investigators, led by Corey Stoll’s Dr. Ephraim Goodweather. When an ancient plague of what appears to be vampirism—carried by those wriggly worms we’ve seen so much of—touches down in New York City, they must go searching for answers before the sickness spreads to the rest of the world.
The sickness makes its victims come back to life and feed on blood, but there’s much more than that going on here. As you glean from this footage, there is more of a backstory, though a hidden one, which will gradually come to light. We’re talking a long, most likely gory history. That’s evident in the words of Abraham Setrakian (Harry Potter’s David Bradley). You even get a better look at the so-called “Big Bad” near the end of the video. This Master is one of the oldest vampires, and is responsible for the disease. Though he isn’t your typical Bram Stoker style vampire, he does seem to fit in with the idea of Dracula, or at least an ancient Dracula-like figure, as the progenitor of the species, a kind of Johnny Appleseed of disease.
I haven’t read the books, which del Toro co-wrote with Chuck Hogan, but skimming the Wikipedia page, I did come across one new bit of information I didn’t know. Apparently when these particular vampires feed, they poop the entire time they eat. Here’s what the entry says: “All bodily waste is excreted from a single rectal orifice in the form of a pungent ammonia-based spray; a vampire will excrete for the entire duration of a feeding, purging old food as it consumes new blood.” That’s nasty. So much for the suave, sophisticated style of vampires that Ann Rice and company imagine, those guys certainly don’t continually spray feces during meals.
Produced by Lost veteran Carlton Cuse, The Strain debuts Sunday, July 13, because you needed another show to watch on Sundays.