Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s grotesquely frightening, horror drama The Strain is back for a second feeding and a lot more scares. From its beginnings, it’s been a series consisting of complex and well-developed characters, rich in vampire lore and brilliant storytelling, and topped with amazing makeup and special effects, which make it one of the most refreshing vampire shows to date.
On Sunday afternoon, before hitting the stage in Hall H at Comic-Con, the cast and executive producers sat down with press to discuss what’s next in the series for Season 2. In attendance were stars, Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Jonathan Hyde, Natalie Brown, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Miguel Gomez, and Ruta Gedmintas, and executive producers Hogan and Carlton Cuse. Here are some of the highlights from the interviews:
While Season 1 dealt more with exposition and exploring the mystery, now that the threat has been realized, there will be more opportunities to build upon what’s been established.
- What will emerge in Season 2 will be the alliances that are formed. We’ll quickly see which are the people who are on board with the mission and which are not up to it.
- Bradley noted that his character is aware he made a big error in his approach to kill The Master. There’s a possibility that his credibility and methods will be questioned within the group. He also acknowledged that there will be a father-son dynamic developing between Abraham and Vasiliy.
- Durand interrupted Bradley during his interview and the two engaged in a sweet moment, Durand sharing that Bradley often spent time at his house, and complementing him on his acting skills. “It doesn’t mean we like each other,” Durand joked.
- Dutch will be a lot more badass this season and have more opportunities to join the fight. We’ll also be seeing some of her sentimental side. Gedmintas said her preparation doesn’t consists of much, “I get to set and hope for the best. We’ve got some great stunt coordinators and they’re really good at training me. And I look like I know what I’m doing,” she laughed. There will be a particular episode this season that is “really, really dark,” and will give Dutch a chance to showcase her new developed skills.
Romance seems to be in the air for Vasiliy and Dutch. Gedmintas touched a bit on their future interactions, “The relationship is explored but that’s about all I can say.” Durand for his part said, “It’s the first time that he looks at a woman and is kind of like, wow! She’s kind of like me, female incarnate.” Vasiliy will be both thrown off and excited by these feelings and they’re going to embark on an interesting journey together.
- The scale and scope of the show will be increased for Season 2. “The first season of the show was, are there really people turning into vampires? Second season is, yeah. Everyone acknowledges they exist, now the question is, what are we going to do about it?” Said Cuse. The group will have to figure out how to stop the creatures and fight back.
- As the season progresses, we’ll learn more about the different types of vampires that are part of the show’s mythology. “The Ancients or Quinlan are these vampires who seem benevolent but they are dimensional,” added Cuse. Also noting that as a writer, the fun part is creating storylines that make the Ancients seem both good and bad.
- Palmer’s newly renewed health and vigor will give viewers a chance to see more of his humanity. Not being bedridden will give him an opportunity to do more than just be ruthless and nasty. Hyde also offered a tease about Palmer’s rivalry with Eichorst, “Eichorst’s been turned, he’s not only physically extremely powerful, he’s mentally really powerful because he’s got nothing to lose. Or so you might think. Ah ha!” He concluded.
Hogan calls Quinlan’s appearance and his interaction with the cast as “exciting,” and credits the actor for encompassing the character to such high standards. “He interacts with our heroes in a really fun way,” he teased, “He and Gus make a really odd couple.”
- The plans of Gus and the Ancients working together will go out the window in the first couple of episodes. “He’s just trying to do the best he can with the circumstances,” said Gomez of his character, noting that revenge won’t be his only motivation going forward but it’s definitely a big one.
- There will be a kinship that forms between Eichorst and Kelly. Brown said, “[Sammel] likes to call our dynamic very Bonnie & Clyde.” Adding that their characters will be partners-in-crime and he’ll serve as her mentor, showing her the ropes.
- Nora and Eph’s relationship will change a lot after he begins drinking again. “That’s gonna have a hit on their relationship and they’ll struggle a bit,” said Maestro, “It’ll make Nora step back because there’s so much true intimacy that you can have in a relationship with someone that has an addiction who’s not dealing with it.”
- Expect Nora to step in and take care of Zach when Eph is not around. “The arc between Nora and Zach this season is really beautiful. It’s one of my favorite things,” Maestro said.
- Knowing they’re dealing with vampires will change Nora’s way of looking at things. But even though she’s willing to kill the creatures, her ethics will lead her to find compassionate ways of ending their lives if they’re not fully turned.
- Eph’s alcoholism won’t necessarily be a moralistic subject, Stoll realizes it’s a type of self-medication and not good. “It’s clearly not the best thing for him to be doing but he’s not Peter Russo from House of Cards,” he assured. The writers were very deliberate to make his reasons for drinking different. “It gives him a license to have a ‘fuck it’ attitude about what’s happening and not be so in control all the time.”