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 Third Season articles

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PostSubject: Third Season articles   Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:29 pm


http://teeveetee.blogspot.com/2011/11/m-net-strike-back-pay-channel-has.html

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
M-Net Strike Back. The pay channel has the rights for the action-filled British spy drama filmed in South Africa starting its 3rd season soon.

You're reading it here first.

I can exclusively reveal that M-Net has the broadcasting rights to the action-driven new international drama series Strike Back with Philip Winchester which is being filmed right here in South Africa.

Pre-production is underway, and filming on the third season of this British and American co-production will start soon in Cape Town. Strike Back centres around former British SAS soldiers on action spy missions around the world (it's largely filmed in South African but not set here).

Another confusing of info to save you later confusion: The first season's 6 episodes were only shown in Britain. Then, the second season of Strike Back with 10 episodes was recently shown in America (basically making it America's first season because Sky and Cinemax started to do the show together).

Also: Richard Armitage was the main character of the first season, who pops up at the beginning of the second season, when Philip Winchester largely takes over as the character of Michael Stonebridge (Armitage left the show).

Strike Back tells the story of agents that are a part of Section 20, a secret branch of the British Secret Intelligence Service. Where the first season of Strike Back was largely filed in Johannesburg, the second went big with Cape Town locations. The cast also did a real ''boot camp'' military training in South Africa to prepare them for their roles.


Viewership held up and a third season of Strike Back was just commissioned. M-Net has the rights I'm told. The pay broadcaster doesn't have a specific starting date, although Strike Back should get a broadcast slot in 2012 somewhere on M-Net.

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PostSubject: Re: Third Season articles   Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:14 pm

http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/rhona-mitra-to-join-cinemax-action-drama-strike-back-as-female-lead-in-season-2/

Rhona Mitra To Join Cinemax Action Drama ‘Strike Back’ As Female Lead In Season 2
By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Friday January 6, 2012 @ 5:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Rhona Mitra is finalizing a deal to land the new female lead on Cinemax’s Strike Back in the action drama’s upcoming 10-episode second season. She will play the beautiful, cunning and ultimately ruthless Capt. Rachel Dalton of the British military who is offered the position of head of Section 20 after a long stint working in North Africa. Mitra’s character is expected to fill the void left by the demise of Amanda Mealing’s Col. Eleanor Grant in the first season finale of Strike Back. The series, whose second season is slated to begin filming soon in South Africa, is produced by Cinemax/HBO, Left Bank and Sky, which airs the series in the U.K. Strike Back stars Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester. Season 1 told the story of a charismatic former U.S. Special Forces operative (Stapleton) who joins with a stealth British military unit when a resourceful international terrorist group plots a major attack. British-born Mitra, whose series credits include The Practice, Boston Legal and Nip/Tuck, is repped by Gersh, Untitled and UK’s Ken McReddie.

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PostSubject: Re: Third Season articles   Mon May 28, 2012 5:58 pm

Whoo-hoo! We're starting to get some news in from the third season.

http://www.iol.co.za/tonight/movies/langa-caught-up-in-strike-back-fever-1.1305390

Langa caught up in Strike Back fever

May 26 2012 at 02:05pm
By KIERAN LEGG

Gunshots rang out across Langa this week, accompanied by thick tendrils of smoke curling towards the sky, while flames crackled along the ground.

A police car screeched through the gates of an empty lot, trailing dust behind it. The township was on fire.

But the bullets were blanks, the flames controlled and the police were actors – in Strike Back, the hit US television series being filmed here.

Now in its second season (third if you count the original UK version), the series has always relied on SA to provide a backdrop to its gritty action. And Langa is the latest location for a series that has filmed and transformed every corner of SA – whether it’s passing off a town hall in Durban as a hotel in India, or a stretch of Western Cape countryside as a slice of Eastern Europe.

“It’s like the Wild West with an ocean,” lead actor Philip Winchester said of Cape Town this week.

Winchester plays the lead role of Sergeant Michael Stonebridge, a former British Special Forces soldier assigned to Section 20, a secret branch of MI6. In the first season he is teamed up with a select group of operatives and tasked with trying to stop Latif, a Pakistani terrorist, who is plotting “Project Dawn”.

The HBO series, screened on Cinemax in the US and on Sky1 in the UK, has everything we have come to expect from the US network; nudity and sex are bundled with an abundance of violence, delivering an action-intense escapade through the world of counter-terrorism. And all this has been taking place right here in SA.

“South Africa has great scenery and skilled crew,” said producer Bill Shephard. “That’s what makes it such an attractive option to shoot over here.”

The Strike Back team had set up a labyrinth of trailers in the grounds of the Langa Sports Centre for the week. The area around the centre was transformed into a hub of activity as white shuttle buses bustled film crews to and from the set. According to Shephard, renting the facility is just one of the ways they are contributing to the local community.

“We are also hiring people from Langa to make up the crowds,” he said. “There is a lot of excitement around the set.”

Children and adults were milling around outside the film set, or even sneaking in to watch the action as it roared into life with a burst of gunfire.

“We get to do a lot of amazing stunts here in South Africa, which we may not have been able to do elsewhere,” said Winchester, after coming off a set where he was firing a shotgun. “We are doing handbrake turns on Long Street and stunts on the N2.”

But the local flavour doesn’t only come in the form of location; SA actress Natalie Becker is starring in the upcoming second season.

Until five years ago Becker was a popular TV and radio personality. She moved into acting and has landed a string of roles, recently appearing in The Deal, The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior, and Disgrace.

But this is her first series, and she says it’s been “a phenomenal experience”.

“I learnt how to put together, shoot and reload six different guns,” she said.

* T

he first season of Strike Back premieres locally on M-Net on June 15 at 9.30pm.

Weekend Argus

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PostSubject: Re: Third Season articles   Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:47 pm

http://articles.redeyechicago.com/2012-07-27/entertainment/32893346_1_big-screen-new-promo-cinemax

'Strike Back' Season 2 promo headed to big screen
SHOW PATROL

Sullivan Stapleton (left), Philip Winchester and "Strike Back" return for Season 2 at 9 p.m. Aug. 17 on Cinemax. Pick up the Season 1 DVD on Aug. 7.

July 27, 2012|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

Coming off their first, and successful, appearance at San Diego Comic Con International, the folks from Cinemax and "Strike Back" are gearing up for a new season of the addictive, action-packed drama with a new trailer that will be shown in movie theaters beginning today.

If you go to "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Ted" this weekend, get there early to see Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and Rhona Mitra tear up the big screen. In the coming weeks, you can see it at screenings of "The Bourne Legacy," "The Expendables 2" and "Total Recall."
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You can check it out here, but I guarantee it'll blow you away in theaters. I had the pleasure of seeing the first two episodes in a movie theater at Comic Con a few weeks back. The production values and locations for the series are feature-film worthy. Totally ... awesome ... show.

Filmed mostly in South Africa, the realistic series plunges viewers deep into the world of Section 20, an elite military black ops unit within the British government. Although Section 20 is fictional, it is based on counterterrorism units that do operate around the world. The series' writers use current world events as story points for the action, and real military operatives serve as consultants and trainers for the actors.

"They're tough mother [bleepers]," Stapleton told me during Comic Con.

The new promo gives some clues as to what the show's heroes, Damian Scott (Stapleton) and Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Winchester), are up to in the wake of Season 1's shocking finale which I won't explain here so those of you who didn't watch can pick up the Season 1 DVD when it drops Aug. 7. (If you do want to know, click the "finale recap" link to the left.) Prepare to be blown away my friends.

You'll see Mitra in the trailer, too. She joins the show this season as the mysterious and deadly Rachel Dalton.

Enjoy and keep checking back here for more on "Strike Back," which last week earned an Emmy nomination for its opening title sequence. I spent a good chunk of time with the cast at Comic Con and will have interviews, videos and photos to share before the two-hour Season 2 premiere at 9 p.m. Aug. 17 on Cinemax and throughout the season.

Check out the official Season 2 poster below.

Sullivan Stapleton (left), Philip Winchester and "Strike Back" return for Season 2 at 9 p.m. Aug. 17 on Cinemax. Pick up the Season 1 DVD on Aug. 7.

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PostSubject: Re: Third Season articles   Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:33 pm


http://www.highlighthollywood.com/2012/09/18/october-synopses-of-cinemaxs-strike-back-including-the-season-finale-highlight-hollywood-news/

October Synopses Of CINEMAX’s Strike Back Including The Season Finale, Highlight Hollywood News
September 18, 2012 Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Highlight Hollywood confirmed with Cinemax And HBO on Tuesday the final episodes this season of cable’s “Strike Back” will conclude on Friday, October 12. We have the details. STRIKE BACK is a CINEMAX Presentation in association with British Sky Broadcasting Limited; a Left Bank Pictures Production; executive producers, Andy Harries for Left Bank and Huw Kennair-Jones for Sky; co-executive producer, Tony Saint; series producer, Michael Casey.

Episode #19

Debut: FRIDAY, OCT. 5 (10:00-10:50 p.m. ET/PT)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Oct. 5 (11:30 p.m.), 6 (9:00 p.m., 11:50 p.m.), 7 (12:15p.m.), 8 (11:45 p.m.), 9 (12:05 a.m.) and 10 (8:00 p.m.)

Now a wanted man, Knox (Charles Dance) hatches a plan for the nuclear bombs that involves several African nations plagued by political unrest and unstable militia factions. When the transport for one of the nukes is recognized at the scene of a crime, Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) mount a dangerous pursuit. Dalton (Rhona Mitra) confronts Christy Bryant (Stephanie Vogt) about the CIA’s dealings in Africa. Matlock (Vincent Regan) reveals his true motives behind joining Knox to Hanson (Shane Taylor), who continues to be a major distraction for Stonebridge.
Directed by Bill Eagles; written by Tony Saint.

Episode #20 (season finale)

Debut: FRIDAY, OCT. 12 (10:00-10:50 p.m.)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Oct. 12 (11:30 p.m.), 13 (9:00 p.m., 11:30 p.m.), 14 (noon), 15 (12:45 a.m.), 16 (12:10 a.m.) and 17 (8:00 p.m.)

Scott questions Bryant about her role in Knox’s plan and appeals to her for help, but Scott’s dark past may dictate his course of action. Stonebridge attempts to focus on the mission, but is consumed by thoughts of revenge. South Africanpolice team up with Section 20 to find the nukes and Knox before he can carry out his plan.
Directed by Bill Eagles; written by Tony Saint.

For more on the series, please visit facebook.com/cinemax, twitter.com @Cinemax #StrikeBack and youtube.com/Cinemax.

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PostSubject: Re: Third Season articles   Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:42 pm

http://www.redeyechicago.com/entertainment/tv/redeye-strike-back-how-to-crack-someones-ribs-tv-20120928,0,7535090.story

'Strike Back' debrief: How to crack someone's ribs

By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol RedEye

1:38 a.m. CDT, September 29, 2012

Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched Episode 18 of "Strike Back," spoilers ahead.

The actors in the military drama "Strike Back" may just be pretending to fight, fire weapons and kill enemies in various ways, but that doesn't mean they don't get hurt.

Take, for instance, Shane Taylor, who plays one of this season's bad guys, former soldier-turned-killer Craig Hanson. In the Sept. 28 episode, Hanson has a run-in with Damien Scott, played by series star Sullivan Stapleton. And, well, somebody got hurt. I'll let director Michael Bassett explain:

"There is a fight sequence ... which is so brutal Sully broke the actor's ribs," Bassett told me at San Diego Comic Con. "[It was] entirely by accident. There were all the fight coordinators around, so it's safe, it's safe, it's safe, but when you're really going for it as intensely as you can that's what happens."

According to Stapleton, Taylor's ribs may have been cracked before their fight scene, which you can see in the exclusive video above. "I didn't break his ribs," Stapleton says in the video, laughing. "He says I broke his ribs; I didn't break his ribs."

Stapleton claims Taylor mentioned he was feeling some rib pain before their fight, but he hadn't consulted with a doctor about it. He adds, "I was as gentle as I could be."

I you believe what Bassett says about Stapleton, you might doubt the actor. The director told me that all the cast members and guest stars go 100 percent when filming action sequences in an effort to make them as believable as possible. The actors do about 95 percent of the stunt work, according Philip Winchester, who plays Scott's partner Stonebridge. But when Stapleton fights, Bassett said, it's almost for real.

"When Sully fights he gives no quarter whatsoever. He fights like he means it and you can see it in his eyes," Bassett said. "For the actor he's fighting, that's tricky, but for me as a director it's absolutely wonderful. ... For me, I love it."

Taylor's character, Craig Hanson, apparently can handle as much pain as the actor. He's been shot, his face has been burned by steam and he's survived a car wreck. But with only two episodes left in the season, I have to think he's going to finally pay for murdering Stonebridge's wife. Winchester didn't take the bait when I fished for an answer during an earlier interview. But he did praise Taylor.

"Shane Taylor came in and he just smashed Hanson so hard," Winchester said. "He did such an amazing job at making him human. He made him likable and he made him a character that you just love to hate as well, but he just did such a good job of humanizing this sort of animal."

You'll have to watch the final two episodes to see what happens to Hanson, and how Taylor rebounded after those alleged cracked ribs. Cinemax debuts new episodes of "Strike Back" at 9 p.m. CT Fridays.

By the way: Shane Taylor, if Sully really did crack your ribs, he says he's sorry. (Call me, we'll clear this up.)


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PostSubject: Re: Third Season articles   Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:45 pm

http://www.redeyechicago.com/entertainment/tv/redeye-michael-bassett-interview-strike-back-tv-20120928,0,5210356.story

Director Michael Bassett rocks 'Strike Back'

By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol RedEye

8:45 p.m. CDT, September 28, 2012

Director Michael Bassett loves to blow stuff up. That's why Cinemax's "Strike Back" was the perfect choice for his first TV directing gig.

"I blow up an ambulance and it's one of the biggest indoor explosions I've ever seen," Bassett told me at San Diego Comic Con. "When the shockwave hits you—you're sitting at your monitors 50 yards or 100 yards away—and then suddenly you just feel this wallop of air. Your crew is like, '[gasping sound].' It's total excitement."

Viewers will see that explosion in the current season's eighth episode, debuting at 9 p.m. Sept. 28. (See at photo here.) It's the second of Bassett's two-episode arc that began last week with military ops unit Section 20 chasing the nuclear devices stolen by Conrad Knox (Charles Dance) to Zimbabwe, where Knox broke opposition leader Walter Lutulu (Eamonn Walker) out of prison to lead a coup against the regime of Robert Mugabe.

Knox's unpredictable moves have kept Section 20 operatives Stonebridge (Phil Winchester) and Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) in the line of fire throughout Bassett's episodes, which is exactly what the director had in mind when he signed up for the job.

"It's just relentless action," he said. "For a show in which two episodes shot in 24 days, it's more action than I've ever done."

When it came to pumping up the action, Bassett had a willing cohort in Winchester. The two had worked together previously on the film "Solomon Kane," which incidentally opens this weekend in theaters. Winchester suggested Bassett come onboard to direct "Strike Back," and he was pleased with the result.

"He had me doing things like jumping out of a moving jeep onto the back of another moving jeep. So I liked him because he ramped up my stunt quota quite a bit, and stuck me in a parking garage with an exploding van and things like that," the actor told me. "He single-handedly gave me more dangerous stunts in one episode than I had the whole year."

As much as Bassett, whose film "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" opens Oct. 26, was living a "childhood dream" getting to blow things up, he was also happy to have the chance to work with acting greats Dance ("Game of Thrones") and Walker ("Oz," and currently in Chicago filming "Chicago Fire").
"I got to put Eamonn Walker and Charles Dance together and they're fantastic," he said. "[Watching] two heavyweight actors doing their thing, which is a real privilege."

Bassett and I talked more about filming the action and character moments and how his research and real-life events in Zimbabwe altered the scripts for his two-episode block.

How did you get involved with this?
I knew the [Sky TV] first season [which aired in the UK] and I knew Phil Winchester because I directed him in a movie I made called “Solomon Kane.” He's terrific and I actually auditioned Phil for stuff years before, which was for movies that never got made. I always thought he was wonderful, so as soon as I got an opportunity to work with the guy, a role comes on that they're right for you cast them. Phil was in “Kane.” I went off, did “Kane.” Then I did a movie called “Silent Hill,” which comes out Halloween. I finished that movie in Toronto and Phil and I were emailing over Christmas and I said, “What are you doing?” He said, “I'm doing a new series ‘Strike Back.’ What are you doing next year buddy?” “Nothing really. I'm going to take a bit of time off.” He said, “No, no, come do ‘Strike Back.’” Which I thought was a bit of a joke and I said, “All right, I'll do it.” And a week later I got a call from the producers saying, “Would you come in for a meeting?”

Now, I had never done television before. I just did features, but I love the format of the show. I like the action, adventure. I like that it's strong military. It's kind of real and gritty and it's got these two great characters at the center of it, Scott and Stonebridge. My childhood in the UK there was a show called “The Professionals.” Americans won't know this, but it was a similar kind of thing. It was about MI5 and two guys who go out and fight terrorists and criminals. To me “Strike Back” was like a modern version of that, so it's was my opportunity to kind of relive a childhood dream of making a show that was like that.

I met the producers. I pitched them what I'd do with it. I said I think we can make it cinematic and bigger and more action packed and more character driven. They seemed to like what I said. They said go to South Africa and we'll give you some episodes to do ... I signed up for scripts, which ended up getting changed. I thought I was doing a jungle adventure, which is what I really wanted to do. They got changed and ended up working into a different storyline, but it turned out that I get to work with Charles Dance, who is the principle baddie for the season. He's brilliant.

He’s so scary in this.
Charles is brilliant because he brings gravitas and charisma and power to whatever you give him to say. If you give him good stuff to say as well then he's really good. And of course he's Tywin Lannister in “Game of Thrones,” so to have that guy, you know? The first time I met Charles we had dinner and we talked about “Last Action Hero” and “Golden Child” and all those, the movies from the 80s when he was really doing stuff—“Alien 3.” For me it was an opportunity to work with an actor I wanted to work with for a long time. So Charlie was terrific.

Then I got to cast a British actor called Eamonn Walker, who is very, very powerful. He was one of the leads in a show called “Oz,” which was one of HBO's first original series. He played a Muslim leader in “Oz” and he's incredibly charismatic, terrifyingly charismatic. Again, as soon as I saw in the script there was an opportunity for this character and I thought I've got to get Eamonn Walker into this.

When you step into this thing do they—were you able to see the scripts for everything before, of the season before your episodes, so that you knew sort of the whole arc or did somebody explain it to you?
Yeah, I mean obviously they have a full arc for what they want to happen in the 10 episodes. I read the first couple of episodes and then I got outlines for the next two, three, four. You're supposed to know where you're picking up from. .... There is a kind of structure to build towards. I came at mine thinking I know what the boys have got and I know what the story is, but I'm treating mine like it's a movie, so I'm doing a 90-minute movie and it's just action for 65 of those 90 minutes. There is stuff happening all the time.

That's why they're doing blocks because you're doing these two episodes at once.
So I treat it like it's a movie. I treat the script like it's a movie script. And though it's a serial element, the boys know what they're doing with the characters and there is an overarching element of “OK, this is how the relationships are changing and developing.”

I think it's a competition. I want to make the best blocks. I want the whole show to be terrific and we're all working together. I want people to sit down and watch mine and go, “Boy those stand out. This is good stuff; he’s doing a great job.” It's my job as director to come onboard and say, “Everybody right, OK, now you've done what you've done before; this is great and I'm very pleased for you. We've got to change gear. We've got to make it better. We've got to just keep making things work better and faster and more efficiently and more exciting.”

There is no show like this on television—big budget U.S. TV stuff, the UK TV stuff, there is nothing which puts this kind of intensity of action on the screen and that's why it's exciting to do as a director. It's incredibly exciting. Coming off a slow 3D horror movie, which is very particular and there are lots and lots of special effects to suddenly kind of make a rock-and-roll action adventure military show it's wonderful.

And because of the shooting schedule too.
Yeah, you’ve got to know what you’re going to do. But the great thing is that Phil and Sullivan are so well trained from the military point of view and we have fully professional military advisors on the show all the time. We have ace Special Forces guys standing next to me saying, “We would not do it like that.”

So you go, “OK, how would you do it? Talk to me about tactics. The script calls for this bit of action.” They say,” We’d do this, this and this,” and great, that looks even better. It's more realistic. Phil and Sully are all over that, the precision of the military stuff, how they hold their weapons, how comfortable they are with the guns and Rhona [Mitra] is like that and even Liam [Garrigan] and Michelle [Lukes]. They're all good with their firearms. They go off and do firearm training. ... They can say, “OK, this is how heavy this is. This is how long it takes to reload and this is how hot a bit of shell casing is when it hits.” Just the reality of those little moments is great.

Did you find that there was just no way you could do some things the way the military advisors would do it because of filming constraints?
Sometimes. You'll ask a military advisor how they would do something and they'll say, “We would bring in 10 Black Hawks [helicopters].” You go, “Yeah, can't do that.” [Laughs.] “Let's think about another tactic.”

Some things won’t work visually, so I'd offer another option and they'd say, “That's OK, we would do that.” It's a question of picking the stuff which works visually. It's an entertainment TV show. That's its first job. It has to be credible because that's the aim of the whole thing, to make it real. It's really about a potential coup in Zimbabwe. It's really about how these boys would operate in military unit.
So if we can make those two things match and be the best version of that then you've got a show. I think you've got a show which is like nothing else. It's not “The A-Team.” Bullets hurt. People get killed. It's violent and it's aggressive and there is lots of bad language and there are lots of naked girls.

Now this is like a perfect television show I just described and if it didn't exist I would want to invent it. [Laughs.] The privilege is just coming in, plugging into the show, basically doing a holiday for me. You get to go to South Africa for a few months. You get to do all the really cool things which you dream about as a kid. Working with actors who are great fun and they know their job. We're all having—it's not a great time in the sense that we're all laughing—it's intense. You're focused and you've got to keep the machine moving, but at the end of the day you’re smiling thinking we did some good stuff, we blew up some big things and the truck chases and the gun fights and in the middle of that there are two great characters that you want to spend time with.

How much planning of yours is spent on the explosions?
Yeah, sometimes an explosion is written into the script and sometimes you go, “Oh I can get an explosion in here.” Sometimes it will say “and there is a gunfight” and you go, “OK, well this is the environment; this is the number of people they're fighting; how would you do it?” And the military guys say, “Well we would throw some grenades in there” or “We would use some C4 here and you go, “Oh great, let's do a bang.”

There is nothing better than doing a big explosion. It's the kid in me. When I was a teenager I used to empty out fireworks and steal the gun powder. In the UK that's a big deal. There are no guns. I would fill up little toy models with gun powder and blow them to pieces on camera and this is like a big version of that. It's a childhood dream come true.

The actors are right next to most of the explosions.
I put them as close as I can. [Laughs.] The idea is you say to the special effects guys, “OK, give me the safe distance and we'll do the most dangerous thing we can do as long as it's safe.” Tthere is an incredibly fine line of pushing it, pushing it, pushing it and then you push it to the point where you go, “No, that's not safe, but by God it looks cool.” So the idea is to find that optimum distance of what's great for the audience and safe for the actors. It makes me feel like I'm making the best show I can.

And they don’t use stunt guys very often.
They try not to, but the boys are so physically capable. There’s a truck chase at the end of my episode where Stonebridge's character has to jump from a moving vehicle to another moving vehicle. There are obviously safety rigs. He's not going to fall off and go under the wheel of a truck, but he's physically jumping from two moving vehicles. We figured out how we're going to do it and Phil was going to grab this bit and climb onto the back of the truck. The truth of the matter is, he jumped from the front of the moving Land Rover into the back of the truck without touching the tailgate because he's so damn fit. It was like, “OK, well, that happened.”

They are fit. They do fight training. They come back black and blue from their physical combat training sessions. They all know how to look after themselves. ... You feel very confident handing stuff over. Pick up that gun, pick up that grenade launcher, pick up whatever, you're going to do a fight sequence now.

Did you have to do research on the real-life world events that the show covers?
What was interesting for me is that my episode revolves around a potential coup in Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe's regime being maybe taken over. You go, “OK how does a coup in an African country work? If you're bringing in Special Forces guys, mercenaries, freelance soldiers how would you do a coup?” So the first thing is you do research that, and there were writers on the show, but I want to know. I want to be able to have the input and make it work.

While we were doing it, Mugabe was supposedly very, very ill. There was rumor for a few days that he was dead, so that had a huge influence on how the show was going to work because we were using real-world politics as our basis. Then it was like no, no, he's not dead, he's OK. But there was a version of the script circulating for a few days where it was a post-Mugabe regime and how that would work. We found a document online describing how you would launch a coup in Zimbabwe. Somebody figured it out. It's incredibly hard to do.

We had to make sure our structure more or less hit that kind of reality. A few years ago, there was an English mercenary who was trying to take over a small African country. I read his book and I read about how he would do his coup and the weapons and the tactics. So you do immerse yourself in that world. I'm interested in the military aspect anyway, so bringing those things together is good.

Having said that, it's still an entertainment show and you don't want to get bogged down in that kind of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” aspect of how spooks work. These boys go out and kick ass; that's their job. That's the fun stuff, so it's about balancing the reality. Mostly in the real world things happen more slowly, not so many bullets get fired and there aren’t such big explosions, but you use the foundation of a reality to make the fantasy exciting.

Do you find directing the action stuff more fun or the character moments?
The thing about this show is you don't want a quiet character moment. You want a noisy character moment in the middle of the action because that's when it's exciting. The characters are not reflective characters. They're soldiers. They don't stop and think about what they've done. In the middle of the action is when they are the most alive. For me as an audience member and as a director, I like the action. It's great fun to do.

But I absolutely love character-driven action because that's the best kind of action. It’s driven by the characters in the middle of what they've got to do. You try and find a character in the action. The pause between the gunfights is when they're most human. To actually just stop the action and go away and have a quiet, thoughtful moment can be fun and it's a very good opportunity for the boys to do some good performances. But I would rather try and make sure that happens within the context of the action of the show itself and then just keep everything barreling along. The difficulty is you'll shoot that stuff and it gets cut in the edit because the show is about the energy and you don't want to stop and say, “OK, we're thinking and talking now.” Let’s make that contemplation happen in the midst of the chaos, which is the way I want to do it.

Right, which is I think the show does that.
I think it does and for me, and I can't speak for the other directors because I only did two episodes out of 10, that's what you want to find. That's what makes it work. It's not a stop-start show. It doesn't stop for, “Let's have a talk about what we've just done.” It’s “Let’s keep doing the thing that we do.”
The relationship between the boys is so strong that you kind of know how they feel about each other at this stage and that’s great. There is a lot of unspoken stuff and if you shoot that well enough then you get a huge amount of character from a look or from a gesture or from how their body language is with each other as well. My job as a director is to make sure that happens and their job as actors is to do it right.

The action only stops for shagging.
[Laughs.] That’s a character moment, too.

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PostSubject: Re: Third Season articles   Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:10 pm

http://www.tvequals.com/2012/10/12/strike-back-101-what-you-should-know/

Strike Back 101: What You Should Know

Welcome to our very first Strike Back Day article!

As a way of starting things off properly, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share a few of the things that you should know about this wonderful series that we encountered a little over a year ago.
The Guys


Strike Back Season 2

At the core of the series are the guys: Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) a British sergeant and Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a former U.S. Delta Force operative. Their friendship forms a solid anchor to the show by allowing us to root for these guys and follow their journey as they face up to the dangers and challenges of the mission in front of them.
Section 20


The top-secret British intelligence agency that the guys work for, which is in charge of stopping terrorist threats wherever they are. The methods of the agency are bold, ruthless and determined. Once they are assigned a mission, they don’t relent until they get their target. If you are ever on their radar, it’s not a matter of if but when they get you. And chances are, when they do, you will be probably staring down the baril of an assault rifle held by either Stonebridge or Scott.
Action, Action, Action


No other series does action scenes like Strike Back.

They are big, always captivating and never cheezy. They often leave you with the “Oh Sh#$” face plastered all over you. Whether it is the car chases in the slums of South Africa or the firefights in the middle of the desert, you always get to watch heart-pumping, tension-filled action-packed scenes that manage to keep you on the edge of your seat.
International Intrigue


Get ready for some schooling because nowhere will you learn more about world politics that on Strike Back.

Unlike some series who just invent fictional countries with fictional problems, this show takes it a step further and uses real geo-political concerns and issues as the backdrop for their intrigue. Whether it is highlighting how intrinsically related human trafficking is to terrorism like in Season 1 or how Africa is currently at the center of a power struggle between different foreign interests, you will learn more watching a season of Strike Back than you would catching the evening news.
Nobody Is Perfect



I like my characters to feel real and not cut out of a comic-book. So many series fall into the trap of making their heroes too perfect but not Strike Back.

While the two main characters Stonebridge and Scott surely come off as highly competent operatives, all is not easy for them. For one, they have their own demons, that can be tied to their own past like Scott or their current family situations like Stonedbridge.

Furterhmore, instead of saddling them with TV problems (ie. problems that can easily be solved with 1-2 lines of dialogue), these guys are often confronted with complex, gut-wrenching choices that they don’t always get right, which makes them interesting to follow as we can relate to that frailty.


And that’s Strike Back in a nutshell. What else do you think newcomers should know about Strike Back? Chime in below with your thoughts or reach out to us on Twitter @tvequals.

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