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Comic-Con 2014: FX’s The Strain [VIDEO and PHOTOS] 

Photo Credit: Mary Powers/TV Goodness
Photo Credit: Mary Powers/TV Goodness

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Even though today was the last day of SDCC, I woke up pretty excited. And the main reason for my bubbly mood was The Strain press room and panel were today. Not even three months ago I hadn’t even heard of the show (nor the books) and since then it has become one of my favorite shows, as I know it has for so many other viewers out there.

One of the first people we got to talk to was Chuck Hogan, who is the co-author of The Strain trilogy and also one of the writers for the television series. Among other things, we learned that episode 8 is going to be somewhat of a bottle episode, where almost the entire episode takes place in a convenience store, vampires coming in from everywhere and it’s the first time that several of the main characters cross paths. However, the biggest piece of intel was a question I asked at the very end of the interview. In one of the FX promos for the show, we see what looks like a vampire in a black hoodie and the question has come up time and time again of who exactly that is. One theory is that it’s a character that doesn’t show up until book two by the name of Mr. Quinlan. He’s the sire of the Master and a hybrid of a vampire and a human. Hogan stated that even though he doesn’t show up until book two, they decided he was too much of an important character to delay introducing. So, yes, it’s Mr. Quinlan.

The Strain's Mr. Quinlan
The Strain’s Mr. Quinlan

I also asked who had been cast as Mr. Quinlan, and while he could not remember the name off the top of his head, he did send it to me after the press room. Stephen McHattie (he’s been in a lot of stuff but most recently portrayed Rev. Driscoll on SyFy’s Haven) has been cast as Mr. Quinlan and we will see him for the first time in episode 7 but only briefly.

Stephen McHattie as Mr. Q uinlan
Stephen McHattie as Mr. Quinlan

He will appear very heavily towards the end of the season particularly in episodes 11, 12 and 13. Now, I am really excited. I have just begun reading The Fall and I already can tell that I am really going to like this character. And I’m so happy we won’t have to wait until season two to see this very important character on the small screen, as I am sure all of the fans of the books out there are.

We also had the opportunity to chat with Richard Sammel (“Thomas Eichhorst”) and David Bradley (“Abraham Setrakian”), a very interesting pairing in the press room and one that we jokingly called “Good vs. Evil.” Bradley discussed his character and pointed out that while Setrakian is doing what he feels is right, he does have a personal agenda and he’s putting other people’s lives at risk to satisfy a decades-old vendetta. So, he’s not entirely an angel, but he’s certainly not evil. Richard Sammel also spoke of his character as well as the backstory involving Eichhorst and Setrakian and how they met. He also promised that the story behind how Eichhorst and Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) crossed paths and hatched the plot to bring the Master to Manhattan will be explained before the season’s end.

One of the other big questions that has come up is whether Nora’s story is going to be changed from that in the books. In recent episodes we see Dr. Martinez wavering and quite unsure about whether she can do what Setrakian is suggesting needs to be done. She’s a doctor, and how can she ethically reconcile taking lives “for the greater good?” However, when asked, Mia Maestro did confirm that her character will come around and make the right choices, especially after she begins seeing all of the horrors around her unfold.

Of course, the day would not be complete without speaking to the man himself, Guillermo del Toro. I absolutely love talking with this guy because he is always so enthusiastic about his work. Here he discusses his background and how he’s been fascinated with vampires even since he was a boy. He also elaborated on the color schema used on the show, explaining how cyan is the primary color used at night and how deep red is very rarely used, only in cases of things like fire trucks and police sirens.

The Strain airs on Sunday nights at 10/9c on FX.


All photos credited to Mary Powers/TV Goodness.

Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather
Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather
Guillermo del Toro, Co-Creator and Executive Producer
Guillermo del Toro, Co-Creator and Executive Producer
Ben Hyland and Natalie Brown
Ben Hyland and Natalie Brown
Mia Maestro as Dr. Nora Martinez
Carlton Cuse, Showrunner and Executive Producer

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  1. Sashank Mohan

    ******SPOILER ALERT******

    Quinlan is the most kickass character of the series. As soon as I finished the book trilogy I always kept imagining how the character would look like on screen. McHattie is a hollywood vet but I think his casting as the Born will be open to debate. Eitherways the season’s going to end on a high note as the writers have made the wise choice of introducing the Ancients in this season itself. Can’t wait to see the Master’s good ol nemesis on the screen!

    1. Mary Powers

      Totally agree 100%. I just finished Book 2 of the trilogy last week, and Mr. Quinlan without a doubt is my favorite character now. I also have a great admiration for Stephen McHattie and all of his work, and I have high hopes that he will do the character justice. If nothing else, he definitely looks the part 🙂

      1. Kevin J

        Just wait until you read the book 3, you’ll see why he is so powerful and badass. There is an special OMG!! Moment in book 3 for Mr Quinlan 😉

        1. Sashank Mohan

          The Night Eternal does have plenty of OMG moments with Mr.Quinlan..LOL…in fact he steals the show in the book totally…best character according to me and definitely the coolest. McHattie’s a gud ol badass who should do well. Ep 7 is out and the ancients finally arrive! a huge fanatic who knows the series inside-out..I was disappointed with Ep 7

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