'The Strain: Season 1' Limited Edition' [Blu-ray]
(David Bradley, Jonathan Hyde, Kevin Durand, Corey Stoll, Sean Astin, et al / 3-Disc Blu ray / NR / 2015 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: When a freak virus kills most of the passengers on an airplane, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of the Center for Disease Control's "Canary Team," is immediately called to the scene. The only way to stop the terrifying disease is to face its source - a sinister supernatural creature whose evil intent seems more powerful than any force on Earth.
Blu ray Verdict: To be quite honest, I am a huge fan of horror movies and I'm getting more and more into horror TV shows. I was really impressed with shows like 'Helix' and 'The River', and having heard that Guillermo Del Toro was contributing to this series, well, I was seriously ready for it to be fantastic also. Well, it isn't exactly "fantastic," per say, but it is great, that's for sure.
Ergo, I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys shows like 'Supernatural', 'Sleepy Hollow' or 'The Walking Dead'. In my opinion, this show is superior to all of them - save the first four seasons of 'Supernatural' perhaps! Some say that 'The Strain's plot makes no sense in some places, and for a few scenarios it is really questionable, but I must admit in my entire life I have not seen one movie that didn't have at least some completely senseless decisions made / subplots explored.
First of all, for a TV production it has AMAZING value. I mean they spent the money really well. You know it has a small budget, I know, they know, but everyone did as much as they could. Visually, in my opinion, the series looks rock solid from start to finish. It's a good start and I hope that the second season will be equally visually stimulating. A nice packaging is always a good starting point in my book and 'The Strain' (culled from the book of the same name) sets the cinematography levels high from the opening scenes.
The whole premise of 'The Strain' starts as if it was "real". What would happen if a Vampire apocalypse is about to unfold? A couple of episodes into the series and nobody uses the word "Vampire," as nobody "believes" they exist, of course. But, come on now, you know what you signed up for by tuning into this show - and you get that back ten fold. I mean, you know it's about Vampires, so instead of starting the sci-fi survival horror with characters you care about you get a bunch of main protagonists you hardly give a fuzzy rats backside about! But that's ok, as there are so many characters buzzing around this show in its first half that the "trimming" is acceptable! I mean, with a premise developing so quickly, the action does honestly start about half way through the season anyway, just so you know.
Also, the portrayed "ignorance" of the government and the authorities is relatively believable (to me) and well depicted, and it's reasonable that most people would not believe in a Zombie/Vampire invasion until the named monstrosity bulges through their door. Which, by then is usually too late anyway, of course! The show has some completely amazing moments and is very secretive with a lot of interesting lore and doesn't fail to reveal something new every episode - which is refreshing and interesting at the same time.
So come experience the first season of TV's hottest, most blood-curdling sci-fi series, 'The Strain' from Executive Producers-Writers Guillermo del Toro, Carlton Cuse and Chuck Hogan here in this INCREDIBLE Limited Collector's Edition - that includes Skin-Crawling Special Features and an exclusive Master's bust! On the Blu ray you also will find a Behind-the-Scenes special feature that explores the story's journey from best-selling novel to hit show.
And buried within those special features you will learn facts such as legendary actor John Hurt actually portrayed Abraham Setrakian in the original pilot! But due to other commitments, he was unable to continue in the role. See, now I know that tidbit I want to see the darn thing so badly!
Also, we learn that the name Eldritch Palmer (played by Jonathan Hyde) originates from Philip K. Dick's 1965 novel "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch". In it, three body parts of the titular character had been artificially augmented or replaced. The series' character is also portrayed as having undergone surgical transplants. In addition, the author of the novel describes the augmentations as symbols for alienation, blurred reality and despair - states of mind that Eldrich Palmer seems to be familiar with.
And, interestingly enough, we also learn that the brand of cigarettes that Mrs. Martinez smokes, Morley, is not a real brand, but it has been a popular fake cigarette brand in TV shows and movies since 1960, when it appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's movie 'Psycho'! Indeed, it seems that it is actually best-known as the brand preferred by the sinister and mysterious villain the "Cigarette Smoking Man" on The X-Files. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
In the Beginning
A Novel Approach
He Is Here
Audio Commentart on Select Episodes
FX Teasers: 'The Strain - Season 1'