The Strain season one seemingly introduced the half-vampire Quinlan, later revealed to be his subordinate Vaun (Stephen McHattie). Rupert Penry-Jones debuts the real Quinlan in “Quick and Painless.” But he doesn’t truly introduce himself until the following episode “Identity.”
Quinlan critizes the deceased Vaun for failing to defeat the Master. Series creator Guillermo del Toro is clearly upping the ante with Quinlan, who a sports bone sword! Quilan even chides the Ancients for not dealing with their wayward brother sooner.
“You indulged him,” he accuses them. “You looked the other way for too long. Perhaps you’re growing complacent. You should have stop him seventy years ago, if not seven centuries ago.”
Quintus Sertorius AKA the Born is the son of the Master, one of 25 Worst Fathers in Comic Books. During the reign of Caligula, the Master fed on his pregnant mother whose motherly instinct helped her resist his call and protect her child. Quinlan was born with all his faculties fully intact and completely independent of the Master, which is why he hunts them down. Quinalan’s mother is killed but he escapes due to a natural resilience to light unlike the Master. He makes a new life for himself by taking a human wife and adopting her child as his own. The Master again kills his family. Quinlan joins forces with the Master’s older brothers known as the Ancients, who prefer to stay in the shadows and seek to stop the Master.
The television version will be closer to this comic book origin than the novel, in which Quinlan communicated telepathically. Penry-Jones was initially reluctant to take what he assumed would be a non-speaking role.
“I didn’t want to have no nose, no ears and not be able to speak,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “But then Guillermo called me to speak about the part and said they would be adapting it to work on television.”
The actor was also concerned about replacing Vaun.
“The pressure really comes from the guy who ends up being Vaun, because he was my favorite character on the show and when they told me they were replacing him… they needed someone who was a little more physically able to do the role as well. I have to do lots of sword fighting and jumping around, things like that,” Penry-Jones explained. “So I was basically taking over from someone I thought was fantastic. To step into his shoes is what the pressure is. As a fan, I’m sort of upset that he’s no longer in the show. I’m nervous about people thinking that he should have stayed as Quinlan. But Guillermo made me feel nothing but confident and comfortable about it. He watched the first few days I was on set filming and was very involved in my look and the makeup. I do feel nervous that people are going to not like him. This Quinlan is very different than the books. I’m a bit more human than the Quinlan in the books. The book people might take a bit of time to get used to it.”
Quilan has made only brief appearances thus far but the vampire will get his chance to shine in next week’s episode “The Born.” He joins up with fellow vampire hunters Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) and Vasiliy Fet (Kevin Durand), who take the battle to the Master. The mission is clearly unsuccessful as the show was just renewed for a third season.
The Strain airs Sunday 10PM on FX.