The Strain finally returns for an action-packed, 10 episode third season tonight. Before we dive back into the epic battle between Human and Strigoi, here’s what we learned during their TCA 2016 panel earlier this month.
1 – Creator and executive producer Chuck Hogan said there is no single reason why they deviated from the books when it came to Nora’s story. Ultimately, it came down to what losing her would do to the other characters and to the story. He added that the TV show has taken on its own life, separate from the books, and Nora’s death was organic to the story they were telling.
2 – Executive producer Carlton Cuse added another credit to his resume while filming Season 3 — as a first-time director. He also talked about how they’re looking at this story as it relates to locations outside of NYC, and what cities they might want to look at. He did stress that Season 3 is focused on NYC and this battle for the city with the Strigoi.
3 – The story is pretty much set in our world, so there are opportunities to comment on real-life social issues. Miguel Gomez talked about racial strife in particular when it comes to Gus, with police brutality and racial profiling related to that arc.
4 – Natalie Brown said there’s a fine balance to playing Kelly going from human to Strigoi to sentient Strigoi trying to play human. She told us that Miles Dale directed the first two episodes of the season, and was great at advising her on when she was acting too human or not human enough, when to let go and when to hold back. It really informed how she played the “frustration” that Kelly feels in Season 3.
5 – Hogan explained that Kelly is struggling between her Strigoi urges and her love for her son, and that the fight between Kelly and Eph is a custody battle for Zach’s soul.
6 – This season, Brown is less dependent on the prosthetic makeup to play Kelly, and Brown told us that she actually misses it.
7 – Cuse teased that there are lots of battle sequences between Strigoi and humans this season, which are a balance of practical and visual effects. Kevin Durand chimed in and shared that he always looks forward to the action sequences, especially working with highly skilled professionals who help him with those scenes.
8 – Cuse explained that the books are a resource, but with the series, they’re trying to tell the best possible story, so diverting from the source material is OK and the TV show should be its own thing. They are still including many of the elements from the books. Sammel weighed in and said that although he’s read all the books, he’s constantly surprised by what the show’s writers come up with. He also teased that we’re going to see new combinations of characters this season.
9 – This year’s 10 episode season was their request, as they wanted it to be more kinetic. We’ll notice that the pace has been picked up, moving the story forward. Cuse also talked about the benefits to ending a series when the audience is still interested rather than dragging it out. When there’s a clear antagonist and protagonist like there is on The Strain, you want to bring that to a conclusion. They originally talked about three seasons when they first sold the show to FX. At this time, they’re discussing what the optimal number of episodes would be to finish telling this story.
10 – The new credits were done in house at FX and really set the tone of the show, paying tribute to the graphic novel roots. The show is meant to be a “fun, pulpy, horror/thriller, and an enjoyable ride,” and Cuse said the new sequence captures that essence.
11 – Cuse said that if there’s a theme to this season, it’s whether or not the Strigoi can be beat if humans band together. The show is examining whether the “foundational traits of humanity” are enough to overcome these parasites.
Image Courtesy of FX Networks