Where do vampires come from?

Image still from an episode of The Strain.
PHOTO: YouTube screengrab

The first season of the US TV series The Strain ended with The Master, source of New York's vampire infection and one of the oldest vampires in existence, escaping our human heroes again. And he did so by scampering across roof-tops in full daylight - something vampire lore says most bloodsuckers can never do. We were all left wondering: what fresh hells, what weird mutations of the vampire rules will season 2 bring?

The series is based on the collaborative novels of screenwriter Chuck Hogan and major horror and science-fiction film director Guillermo del Toro. The Strain does a neat update and twist on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Instead of Count Dracula's entry via a spectral boat, we get a plane-load of (un)dead plague victims in New York. Instead of Dracula's lair in Piccadilly, just a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, The Master nests in the old tunnels under New York's Freedom Tower.

Instead of Stoker's vampire hunter Van Helsing, we have the cantankerous Abraham Setrakian, who first encountered The Master in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. And instead of Stoker's Christian band of brothers who come together to expel the evil from the British Empire, we have a mixed group of antsy New York immigrants - Ukrainians, Jews and Hispanics, men and women.

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