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Why ‘The Strain’ Won’t Leave Fans Unsatisfied

When the current season reaches its conclusion on Sunday, Sept. 17, FX’s vampire series will be ending for good. The Strain won’t return for Season 5, but fans should count themselves lucky that they’re getting a satisfying conclusion to the creepy-crawly-horror-action series at all. Guillermo Del Toro’s anti-Twilight saga had a long and winding path to the small screen, and a plan that required much rejiggering along the way… so the fact that the show even exists — and is coming to an explosive and (hopefully) satisfying finale — is something of a minor miracle in and of itself.

As undeniably brilliant as he is, and for as many beloved films as he’s created, Del Toro is somewhat infamous for expressing interest in more projects than he has the ability to follow through on. (In fact, there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to “Guillermo Del Toro’s Unrealized Projects,” which counts over two dozen abandoned ideas, from a third Blade movie to a third Hellboy movie and beyond.) So the fact that Del Toro was dedicated enough to The Strain to shepherd it successfully to the screen and to the finish line is impressive enough in and of itself — and of course, plenty of credit goes to showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) as well.

Funnily enough, the show — which is an adaptation of a trilogy of novels — was originally conceived of as a television series; but when Del Toro couldn’t find a network interested in making it in accordance with his vision, he decided to merely put the story down on paper instead, collaborating with novelist Chuck Hogan. Of course, as soon as the first book was published, networks were competing for the chance to adapt it, with The Strain finally landing at FX with a clear-cut and close-ended plan, as reported by Deadline at the time: Season 1 would cover the first book, The Strain; Season 2 would cover the second book, The Fall; and the third book, The Night Eternal, would be split across Seasons 3 and 4.

Somewhere along the line, that plan changed. When FX renewed the series for Season 3, Cuse announced that he and Del Toro actually had a five-season plan for the show, not four, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Significant deviations from the source material, and the inclusion of subplots that didn’t make it into Del Toro’s novels, meant that their adaptation of The Fall had spilled over past Season 2; that book’s climactic event, the triggering of a nuclear winter that covered the world in darkness, didn’t end up happening until the Season 3 finale.

And yet, just one year later, that new five-season plan appeared to have changed again. When FX renewed The Strain for Season 4, it was also announced that the upcoming batch of episodes would be the show’s last, without the previously talked-about Season 5. It’s unclear whether that decision was made because of ratings — viewership had declined from the two million range in Season 1 to below one million in Season 3 — or by the writers themselves — Cuse claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that, after finishing Season 3, he and Del Toro “looked at our remaining story and felt the best version could be told in one more season.”

So instead of the sprawling, two-season adaptation of The Night Eternal that fans had originally anticipated, the final book was condensed into one 10-episode season — shorter even than the 13 episodes that Season 1 took to adapt the first novel. But regardless of whether the decision to end the show was made for commercial or creative reasons, at least The Strain is being allowed to have a conclusion… and at least it exists at all. To be honest, neither of those things were ever a given, and fans should count themselves lucky that they’ve had such a bizarre, gross, and thrilling Del Toro series on their TV screens for the past four years.

When the current season reaches its conclusion on Sunday, Sept. 17, FX’s vampire series will be ending for good. The Strain won’t return for Season 5, but fans should count themselves lucky that they’re getting a satisfying conclusion to the…

The Strain

The Strain is a vampire horror television series starring Richard Joseph Warburton, it that was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, based on their novel trilogy of the same name. Del Toro and Hogan scripted the pilot episode, which was directed by del Toro. A thirteen-episode first season was ordered on November 19, 2013.

Based upon a three-novel book series, Cuse said he expects The Strain to last between three and five seasons. The first season will cover the first book, and after that producers will decide how far to stretch the two remaining novels. [1]

Contents

  • 1 Overview
    • 1.1 Season 1
    • 1.2 Season 2
    • 1.3 Season 3
    • 1.4 Season 4
  • 2 Production/Development
    • 2.1 Music
    • 2.2 Press
  • 3 References

Overview [ edit | edit source ]

Season 1 [ edit | edit source ]

A plane lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport with lights off and doors sealed. Epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team are sent to investigate. On board they find two hundred corpses and four survivors. The situation deteriorates when the bodies begin disappearing from morgues. Goodweather and a small group of helpers find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the entire city from an ancient threat to humanity.

Season 2 [ edit | edit source ]

Begins Sunday, July 12 at 10pm (CDT) on FX.

Season 3 [ edit | edit source ]

New York has been written off by the central government, and our rag-tag group of unlikely heroes are left to fend for themselves.

Season 4 [ edit | edit source ]

Final season aired in 2017, on FX.

Production/Development [ edit | edit source ]

Music [ edit | edit source ]

Ramin Djawadi has been hired to score the upcoming FX drama The Strain. [2] Djwadi has previously collaborated with Del Toro on Pacific Rim. He is also scoring the season of CBS’ Person of Interest and will return to score the fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Press [ edit | edit source ]

On how FX will handle the trilogy, Langraf said, “It’s a trilogy, and the trilogy ends the story. It’s a truly epic story. And when Guillermo [del Toro] came in to sell it, one of the things they made clear is that they wanted to tell the story of the books. That story would be told over three, four or five seasons. They have work to do, in terms of figuring out how they are going to resituate that story, in an episodic television series, but it will be somewhere between 39 and 65 episodes. No less and no more, and I’m really excited about that. [3]

Cuse also commented on the timespan of the show: “Producers are looking at the series for either a three or five season run with season one covering the first book in the trilogy. Once producers break a second season — if the series is successful — they will examine if the final two books should be one season each or split up into multiple seasons.” [4]

The Strain is a vampire horror television series starring Richard Joseph Warburton, it that was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, based on their novel trilogy of the same name. Del Toro and Hogan scripted the pilot episode, which was directed by del Toro. A thirteen-episode first…