The Strain: Night Zero Review -

The Strain Review

Mania Grade: B

27 Comments | Add


Rate & Share:


Related Links:



  • Episode: Night Zero (Season1, Episode 1)
  • Starring: Sean Astin, Aris Athanasopoulos, Serje Basi, David Bradley, Natalie Brown
  • Written By: Guillermo del Toro (developer), Chuck Hogan (developer)
  • Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
  • Network: FX
  • Studio: Mirada
  • Series:

The Strain: Night Zero Review

Series Premiere!

By Kimberly McCall     July 14, 2014

The Strain: Night Zero Review
© FX/ Mondo
Honestly, I would have ignored the trailers for FX's new series, The Strain, altogether, were it not for one name: Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim). If nothing else, for all his hits and misses, this fantastic creator ALWAYS deserves our attention. It seemed as though giving him the opportunity to tell his stories over the span of a TV series would prove a fantastic idea. And so, tonight, we all tuned in to watch “Night Zero”, the pilot episode of Guillermo del Toro's The Strain.

When a trans Atlantic flight from Berlin arrives at JFK with a compartment filled with peacefully dead passengers, we all see where this story is going to go. Naturally, the CDC big-shot with family issues, Dr. Ephraimm “Ef” Goodweather (Corey Stoll), comes eagerly charging in with his partner, Dr. Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro), with whom he of  course has a history. Together, the scientists investigate the strange biological happenings aboard the flight, where they stumble upon four random survivors and a huge ancient creepy box in the cargo hold. As the mystery begins to unfold and the big baddies are slowly revealed, we learn what we already knew: that this is the work of some kind of very old vampiric virus which is mercilessly feeding off anything it can cling to.

The character highlight of this premier episode is Abraham Setrakian, wonderfully played by David Bradley (whom you might better recognize as the cantankerous caretaker of Hogwarts). Right away, we see that Setrakian is the old one who knows all about these frightening happenings and is, somehow, very personally invested. 

Since this episode was actually directed by del Toro, we are treated to the usual (and welcome) creative camera angles and positively beautiful lighting and color. As for the story, we all know that something big is coming in the next episode. For those of us who thought this first chapter was a little too Matrix meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I suggest we hang in there. The opening AND closing narration emphasized one potentially plot-changing factor. Love. It was just enough ambiguity to, hopefully, remind us that things aren't what they seem. 

And we all hope The Strain will become a lot more than meets the eye.

Follow Mania on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest genre news and reviews. 


Showing items 1 - 10 of 27
1 2 3 >  >>  
MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 7/14/2014 12:44:30 AM

 Great that this was finally made into a television series like it was supposed to be in the first place.  It was initially turned down then adapted into books which thankfully were such a huge success that now we can see what was meant to be - now with even better technology and standards of television.

monkeyfoot 7/14/2014 3:22:55 AM

 Forgot this was coming on. Saw so many commercials but the date didn't register. Have to wait for a repeat.

TheSilentKiller 7/14/2014 4:00:46 AM

 Monkey, it'll be on demand today. Good ep. Very promising.

Optimal2 7/14/2014 5:18:19 AM

 Watched the first episode thought it was great can't wait to see the next one!

redvector 7/14/2014 5:47:06 AM

This an instance where the series might be potentially better than the book. Since it was originally going to be a tv series.

darthnny2 7/14/2014 6:47:30 AM

I have been looking forward to this show for months and found it utterly disappointing.  The characters introduced were boring, the relationships felt forced.  I read the books when they first came out and thought they were pretty good.  The whole thing felt cheap.  

Next book to TV disappointment on the list:  The Expanse Series - Stay tuned


75tranzam 7/14/2014 8:42:24 AM

 Excellent 1st episode, I can't wait for next week.

bennyhill 7/14/2014 8:55:41 AM

 BTW.  How bad is True Blood?  Against my better judgement I watched it again last night.  Complete train wreck... just mailing it in.

ztigr 7/14/2014 10:23:10 AM

 Definitely had some taste of Salem's Lot for

mellowdoux 7/14/2014 10:49:03 AM

 I loved the books! Looking forward to episode 1 when I get home.

bennyhill: Don't bother with True Blood. It's useless. The first season was excellent, then halfway through season 2 it takes a swan-dive into the crapper. Avoid.

1 2 3 >  >>  


You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.