Far from perfect, and not nearly on the level of “The Walking Dead”, “The Strain”: The Complete First Season is still a well made, nicely shot series with, for the most part, good and engaging performances led by Corey Stoll and David Bradley. This Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release offers some more features as well as a bust though honestly, unless you can nab this on sale, I’m not so sure if it’s worth the upgrade.
“The Strain”: The Complete First Season
Genre(s): Horror, Drama, Suspense
Fox | NR – 596 min. – $69.99 | June 9, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
“The Strain”: The Complete First Season is based on the graphic novel series created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan and creatively, it does give a different spin on the genre, that being vampires.
When a freak virus kills most of the passengers on an airplane, Ephraim Goodweather (COREY STOLL), head of the Center for Disease Controls “Canary Team,” which includes Dr. Nora Martinez (MIA MAESTRO) and Jim Kent (SEAN ASTIN), is immediately called to the scene, The only way to stop the terrifying disease is to face its source: a sinister supernatural creature known as The Master (voiced by ROBIN ATKIN DOWNES) whose evil intent seems more powerful than any force on Earth.
Eventually aiding Ephraim and his team, as it becomes clear this is more than just an epidemic, is a health inspector and rat catcher extraordinaire (KEVIN DURAND), a computer hacker (RUTA GEDMINTAS) responsible for taking down the Internet at the behest of a rich and dying old coot (JONATHAN HYDE) working in coordination with the Master, and a Concentration Camp survivor named Abraham Setrakian (DAVID BRADLEY) who has keen insight into what is occurring the danger not only New York City faces, but the entire country as well.
- Night Zero
- The Box
- Gone Smooth
- It’s Not for Everyone
- For Services Rendered
- Creatures of the Night
- The Disappeared
- Loved Ones
- The Third Rail
- The Master
Quick Hit Review: “The Strain” isn’t the most consistent series I’ve seen but it, at least at the start, one of the more intense shows on television thanks in large part to the premiere co-scripted and directed by Guillermo del Toro. The acting and all around casting isn’t bad save for the actor playing Ephraim’s son (and apparently the role was re-cast in the second season) and there’s enough character development to provide the right balance of conflict with oft head-butting personalities. Corey Stoll is great in the lead while David Bradley is off just enough to give each episode a boost of energy.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
Fox has re-released “The Strain” on Blu-ray with a Collector’s Edition box which contains a statue bust of The Master. However, that’s not the only new item as the 3-disc set, which is contained in a standard Blu-ray case which is stored below the statue bust.
Audio Commentary – Creator/Co-Writer/Director Guillermo del Toro provides comments on the pilot episode, ‘Night Zero’, where he chats about certain shots, lighting and other bits of information about the series. ** Exclusive **
In the Beginning (14:11; HD) is an overview of the origins for the series beginning with the graphic novel.
Deleted Scenes (6:58; HD) ** Exclusive **
A Novel Approach (9:38; HD) delves into the origins of the series from the graphic novel. Includes interviews with del Toro amongst others involved with the show.
Deleted Scenes (6:03; HD) ** Exclusive **
Audio Commentary on ‘The Master’ with Carlton Cruse who provides comments on the season finale. ** Exclusive **
He Is Here (9:22; HD) is a featurette on The Master and the design behind it. ** Exclusive **
Setrakian’s Lair (9:47; HD) looks at the set featured throughout the season.
Deleted Scenes (11:33; HD) ** Exclusive **
The Gag Reel (2:59; HD) contains flubbed lines. ** Exclusive **
VIDEO – 4.5/5
“The Strain”: The Complete First Season arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Fox presented in its originally televised 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture, for the most part, looks great showing off sharp detail levels throughout while colors tend to be muted as a fair number of episodes are dimly lit in keeping with the more horror-centric genre.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
Each episode comes with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track (Spanish Dolby 5.1 and French DTS 5.1 also available) and although I don’t consider it anything extraordinary or reference quality, it certainly outdoes the standard audio upon its initial airings. Dialogue levels sound good and the modest amount of ambient noises and horror centric scenes help round the track out.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, far from perfect, and not nearly on the level of “The Walking Dead”, “The Strain”: The Complete First Season is still a well made, nicely shot series with, for the most part, good and engaging performances led by Corey Stoll and David Bradley. This Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release offers some more features as well as a bust though honestly, unless you can nab this on sale, I’m not so sure if it’s worth the upgrade. On its own, and if hadn’t purchased it prior, might be worth picking it up.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.