Victor Strand

Written by @EllieDangerous
You seem nice, so you’ll probably let me be cheeky here and write about someone who’s barely grazed the show he appears in. In zombie pre-apocalypse 'Fear the Walking Dead', Victor Strand is played with mettle by Colman Domingo, who describes his character as “a spoiler”. So far, his screen-time can be counted in minutes, but he’s intrigued me to distraction.

Spoiler Alert
Probably because he’s a complete psychopath. And I’m not talking about the trigger-happy lunes who rip and tear their way through these shows in a shower of crowd-pleasing red, I’m talking about the cool and mysterious type. Strand is out for himself, but he knows in a flash that this doesn’t mean struggling and panicking and elbowing each other in the ribs.

Here it means being canny and daring, and helping others… as long as every minute spent is a minute added to his precious lifespan. He only saves Nick’s life because “I'm going to require a man with your talents when I make my move”.

Strand certainly feels like a villain. He strategically left a cageful of innocent people to rot, he gracefully robbed a soldier of his cufflinks while the soldier got eaten alive and begged for mercy, he manipulated the traumatised Doug into giving up on life, and we’re all pretty sure he’s a con artist. His coldness is exact. He’s a sharp, steady scalpel, carving his own way and cutting out the useless bits of humanity along the way.

Yet here he is at the head of our noble heroes, getting on splendidly with the lot of them, treating them with respect, lending them his roof, giving them nibbles.

Don’t forget to add rich to Strand’s list of assets. Dead rich. It’s a shallow reason to find this character interesting, but it works because we never really saw his like in 'The Walking Dead'. This confidence artist is heading into the eye of the apocalypse with his pockets full and his tie straightened.

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve often thought that bobbing around on the ocean would be a good way to survive a zombie apocalypse; and now we have a chance to see that, because Strand has a luxury cruiseliner. Yep.

In all five-and-a-bit seasons of 'The Walking Dead' so far, we’ve never seen someone who suits the apocalypse as if it were tailor-made for him. It’s hard not to suspect that it’s almost too convenient. Strand has clearly been ready for a while, while even the military was taken unawares. “The game has changed”, he observes. And Strand is a coldblooded winner.
The only way to survive in a mad world, is to embrace the madness.
We return to the old rules and the people who won the last round, with the grande lattes and their frequent flyer miles, are about to become the buffet.
Ellie Ball is the founder of Good Characters, and someone who enjoys coffee cake a great deal. She is a graduate of the Scriptwriting MA at Goldsmiths, University of London. For fun and respite, check out her TV analysis articles on Bang2Write or tweet coffee cake at her @EllieDangerous.
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Published on 15 October 2015

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