Strike Back is a British/American action and military television series, based on a novel of the same name by novelist and former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier Chris Ryan. The series follows the actions of Section 20, a secretive branch of the British Defence Intelligence service (DI), who operate several high risk, priority missions throughout the globe.

Strike Back - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2010-05-05

Strike Back - Chris Ryan's Strike Back - Netflix

Chris Ryan's Strike Back, also known as Strike Back: Origins on Cinemax, is a six-part British television series based on the novel of the same name written by best-selling author and former soldier of the Special Air Service, Chris Ryan, and is the first series of Strike Back. It was produced by Left Bank Pictures for Sky1. The cast of Strike Back is led by Richard Armitage and Andrew Lincoln, also starring Orla Brady, Shelley Conn, Colin Salmon and Jodhi May, including a variety of guest appearances including Toby Stephens, Ewen Bremner, Dhaffer L'Abidine, Shaun Parkes and Alexander Siddig. The series follows John Porter (Armitage), a former British Special Forces soldier, who is drafted back into service by Section 20, a fictional branch of the Defence Intelligence (DI) of the Ministry of Defence. The series ran on a multi-million pound budget, and was filmed on location in South Africa, particularly in Gauteng. Ryan became a series consultant. Strike Back commenced airing on 5 May 2010 with two episodes showing a week. The first episode received unofficial overnight ratings of almost 400,000 viewers in the United Kingdom, which increased to just over one million according to the more official Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. It was met with generally positive reviews; comments of the series ranged from a positive “British action series that packs a Die Hard-style thrill around every corner,” to a more negative “pathetic male fantasy”. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 7 June 2010. A 10-part second series, known as Strike Back: Project Dawn, a co-production between Sky and the American network Cinemax, was first broadcast in August 2011. A third series of Strike Back, also consisting of 10 parts, was released in August 2012. Following success of the second through fourth series, Cinemax began airing the six-part series starting 25 October 2013 in the United States. It is airing as a prequel in the U.S. since Cinemax aired Strike Back: Project Dawn, Strike Back: Vengeance, and Strike Back: Shadow Warfare prior to the first season.

Strike Back - Cast and characters - Netflix

Richard Armitage plays series protagonist John Porter. Porter served with the SAS until he was discharged after he spared the life of a boy who was believed to have subsequently killed two soldiers in his unit following a rescue operation the night before the Iraq invasion. He is brought back into service by Section 20 seven years later. He is married to Diane, and has a daughter, Alexandra. Armitage described Porter as a “damaged hero”, and “sort of like Lucas North, only on some kind of go-faster drug.” In order to fit into the role, Armitage had to “bulk up for the role,” and performed a lot of training for about ten weeks in the UK, and then flew to Johannesburg the day after filming the eighth series of Spooks wrapped up, where he proceeded with more training. He was trained from “how to hold a gun to how you can run through a door without getting your head blown off.” Armitage had not trained as hard as in the past; the intensity of such training almost made him pass out after the first workout, stating “filming Spooks is demanding, but nowhere near as physical as this.” Armitage performed most of his own stunts. Andrew Lincoln plays Hugh Collinson, former soldier in Porter's unit and has since become the head of Section 20. Lincoln was signed onto the role because he thought the series was a “great story”, and that his character was “completely re-written from the book.” Out of the cast, the weapons instructor told Lincoln that he was the most instinctive he ever worked with. Orla Brady plays Katie Dartmouth, a British war correspondent who was kidnapped in Basra by the “Sword of Islam”, an Iraqi terrorist group. To play Dartmouth, Brady used her inspiration from real life BBC war correspondent Orla Guerin. During the filming of Dartmouth's holding, a male stand-in with a wig was used as a stunt double. The crew also added oil and dirt on Brady's hair every morning. Brady stated that she liked playing extremes, and thought Dartmouth is “grown up” compared to Siobhan Dhillion, the character Brady portrayed in Mistresses. Shelley Conn plays Danni Prendiville, an officer with Section 20. Porter started an affair with her after he was redrafted into service. She signed on for the role because she “thought the concept of the scripts was very clever and once I heard who was involved it didn't take me long to sign up.” In researching for her role, Conn had somewhat of a military background since her father and uncle both served in the British Army, and had since had a base understanding of military life. Colin Salmon plays James Middleton, a civil servant who sits between the British government and the Ministry of Defence. Salmon previously worked with Sky1 on Hex. He was attracted to the role in Strike Back due to the script being “a page-turner, and they're rare. It's really lovely to sit down to start reading something and then not be able to stop because you have to know what's going to happen next,” as well as hearing of who was involved in the project. A member of The Prince's Trust charity, Salmon took the opportunity to visit some of their projects in Soweto while the series was filmed. Jodhi May plays Layla Thompson, a lieutenant in military intelligence and works alongside Collinson in Section 20. At first, she came to resent Porter, but starts opening up to him after she grows some distrust towards Collinson. May described Thompson as an “incredibly challenging, assertive and ambitious woman working in a male-dominated field that she's climbed to the top of.” She was drawn into appear in the series because of the respect she has with Andy Harries and Left Bank Productions. May knew people who work in the same world her character does, and talked with them to conduct some research into her role, as well as reading on the subject. The first series was also given a variety of guest appearances. Among them include Nicola Stephenson (Diane Porter), Laura Greenwood (Alexandra Porter), Fenar Mohammed Ali (As'ad), Dhaffer L'Abidine (Hakim Al Nazeri), Shaun Parkes (Felix Masuku), David Harewood (Colonel Tshuma), Toby Stephens (Frank Arlington) and Alexander Siddig (Zahar Sharq).

Strike Back - References - Netflix