the strain intro

The Strain new opening credits revealed

FX thriller unveils season 3’s energetic new opening credits

For its action-packed third season, FX’s The Strain is unveiling its overhauled opening credits. Above is your exclusive first look at the new title sequence, which showrunner Carlton Cuse tells us was designed in house at FX.

“A good credits sequence reflects something about the character of the show, and the first couple seasons we defined the show as a graphic novel type thrill with horror elements,” Cuse says. “We felt like it would be great to create a title sequence that sold that conceptually. There’s some really talented guys at FX who wanted to take a shot at it and we loved what they came up with.”

The Strain‘s new season begins Sunday, Aug. 28 (see the trailer below), and if you haven’t checked out the series previously (or fell off) Cuse says viewers can jump right in with the new episodes. After two seasons chronicling the gradual “strigoi” takeover of New York City, the shortened 10-episode new season actually starts where many post-apocalyptic stories begin.

“Unlike a lot of apocalyptic shows, we’ve actually shown across the first two seasons New York go from sort of normalcy to a state of chaos,” he says. “Now we’re at a place where there’s no denying what the circumstances are. So now it’s a full-tilt battle for the state of New York. And as New York goes, so goes the rest of the world.”

FX thriller unveils season 3's energetic new opening credits

The Battle for legitimacy: The Strain’s new title sequence an ambitious artistic bid

Melinda Casino
Sep 8, 2015 · 2 min read

“The Battle for Red Hook”, Series 2 Episode 9, The Strain (FX, air date: 6 Sep. 2015)

The Strain is very good at timing: just when there was a lull in Season 1, we were g iven a two strong episodes in a row, “For Services Rendered” and “Creatures of the Night”; both served to fill-in the backstory of two important characters (‘Thomas Eichorst’, played by Richard Sammel, and Abraham Setrakian, played by David Bradley). Additionally, the two episodes elevated what as a pretty dumb series up to that point, and showcased what was possible when all the stars aligned with cast, crew, writers, directors and production.

This season we’ve been waiting for a similar highlight and while it’s yet to come, The Strain has been one of those shows, like NBC’s Grimm, that I find myself looking forward to despite myself. And just when I’m getting a little bit lulled into complacency, it ups its game by delivering a spectacularly ambitious and entertaining cold-opening (“The Silver Angel”) or invented a new way to be horrified (the so-called Feelers — vampire children — in “BK, NY”).

Although a perfunctory episode with a few action-sequence highlights, the big surprise in “The Battle for Red Hook” is delivered right in the title-sequence: a lengthy introduction of each main character, portrayed in the vocabulary of comic book illustration; the only actor who was a bit ripped-off in the otherwise delightful unfolding of pictures was Miguel Gomez (‘ ‘Gus Elizalde’), who we only see from the back.

The new opening credits feel luxurious in length in the now-standard brief introduction on many TV programs today; it’s only 1 minute 10 seconds, but compared to, say, Breaking Bad’s 18 second opening, The Strain’s new opener feels unbelievably lengthy. So what’s up with that?

The showrunners are putting more of an investment into the series and re-framing it as a comic-book style adventure, rather than the B-movie horror genre that the previous opening promised, with it’s shadowy, photorealistic worms and blood on white bathroom tiles.

The new opening

Turning away from grouping itself with sub-standard horror flicks, and re-positioning itself as a comic book adaptation to the casual viewer (afterall, that’s what the opening does: sets up expectations for those just tuning in), The Strain seeks to align itself with the more layered and complex world of storytelling, and by association, other programs which have accomplished this task, such as The Walking Dead. Comic books may not be considered to be high literature, but they are literature and they do afford scope for more character development and complex storylines. Moving away from horror films (e.g., The Blob, or more recently, Slither) and into a world of literature: that is The Strain’s intent now.

Comic books are now bestowing the patina of legitimacy on television programs; welcome to bizarro world.

The Strain is very good at timing: just when there was a lull in Season 1, we were given a two strong episodes in a row, “For Services Rendered” and “Creatures of the Night”; both served to fill-in…