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 Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:19 am

I couldn't find episode three this week. Is it next week?
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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:15 pm

Yes, I think the studios released 1 and 2 online last week, but the second episode was shown this week on TV.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:00 am

Oooo, thanks. I can't wait to see the next... I'm getting impatient. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:38 am

http://www.daemonstv.com/2011/08/19/24-meets-spooks-cinemaxs-strike-back-is-a-must-watch/

24 Meets Spooks – Cinemax’s STRIKE BACK Is A Must Watch!

As I sat down to watch Cinemax’s new series STRIKE BACK, I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this.

From what I had seen of the previews and photos (which don’t do the show justice at all by the way) sounded like a potentially good new spy show, but what I got instead was a FANTASTIC spy show in the same caliber of UK’s long running series Spooks (MI-5 in the US).

I would describe Strike Back as “24 Meets Spooks,” it has the grittiness and great story-telling of Spooks and a somewhat similar format as 24, with a case lasting it seems throughout the whole season.

Oh yes, Strike Back is the new show that needs to be on your DVR, especially if you’re a fan of spy series.

Strike Back follows U.S. Special Forces operative Damien Scott (played marvelously by Sullivan Stapleton; “Animal Kingdom”) who is called in to a British military unit to stop an international terrorist group. The series also stars Philip Winchester (Fringe, Crusoe) as Stonebridge, an operative who gets teamed up with Scott.

I have only seen two episodes so far (I would have watched more but it was unfortunately getting late) and I’m hooked!

If you have seen the show I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Are you loving it as much as I am?

Strike Back airs on Fridays at 10pm on Cinemax. Don’t miss it! You can watch the first 6 minutes from the pilot episode of Strike Back here.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:48 am

http://www.suite101.com/content/strike-back-project-dawn--sky-one-drama-back-for-second-series-a384763

Strike Back: Project Dawn – Sky One Drama Back for Second Series

Aug 16, 2011
Steve Rogerson

Strike Back returns for a second series - Photo from Sky One

Strike Back returns to Sky One for a second series on Sunday 21 August 2011 with Amanda Mealing, Philip Winchester and Eva Birthistle.

Strike Back returns to Sky One for a second series on Sunday 21 August 2011 with Eleanor Grant (played by Amanda Mealing) as the new head of Section 20, part of MI6, the secret intelligence service. Her lead commando is Michael Stonebridge (played by Philip Winchester), an intense and experienced professional. Kate Marshall (played by Eva Birthistle) is Stonebridge’s fellow hard-core field operative.

The first of the ten 45 minute episodes sees them searching for Latif, a terrorist leader, when a member of Section 20 is captured and footage of him is released on the internet. The resultant adventure takes them to Pakistan, Malaysia and India.

The series continues in the quest for Latif, who they think may be in possession of weapons of mass destruction, but they also suspect that he may be letting them believe that to distract from what he is really up to.

“Latif is the mission,” said Amanda Mealing in a Sky One press release. “He has sworn a devastating attack of citizens in the USA and UK. They have to find him urgently.”

The Actors in Strike Back: Project Dawn

Amanda Mealing is best known for her portrayal of Connie Beauchamp in Holby City from 2001 to 2010 but her career dates back to 1980 when she played Tracy Edwards in Grange Hill and Delise in The Gravy Train. Other recurring roles have included Kate in Jake’s Progress, Ruth Manning in The Grand and Jo Jo Spiers in The Lakes.

American actor Philip Winchester played a young militiaman in The Patriot when he was just 14 years old in 1998. A decade later, he was Robinson Crusoe in the series Crusoe. More recently, he has been Frank Stanton in Fringe and Leontes in Camelot.

Irish actress Eva Birthistle’s career dates back to 1983 when she played Regina Crosbie in Glenroe but she is better known for later roles such as Maria Acklam in Trust, Jane Lavery in The State Within, Eleanor Brooke in The Last Enemy and Annette Nicholls in Five Daughters. More recently, she was Sarah Cavendish in Waking the Dead.

Other regular cast members include Sullivan Stapleton as Damien Scott, Rhashan Stone as Major Oliver Sinclair, Michelle Lukes as Sergeant Julia Richmond and Alexandra Moen as Kerry Stonebridge.

The Team Behind Strike Back: Project Dawn

The original series of Strike Back was based on the novel of the same name by Chris Ryan, himself a former soldier in the Special Air Service. The new series, like the first, has been filmed on location in South Africa and is a co-production between Sky and US company Cinemax/HBO. Director duties have been shared by Dan Percival and Bill Eagles.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:49 am

http://www.themortonreport.com/entertainment/television/action-packed-strike-back-is-cinemaxs-first-scripted-drama-series/

Action Packed Strike Back is Cinemax's First Scripted Drama Series
The premium channel premieres the action series developed by Dan Percival with some help from X-Files alum, Frank Spotnitz.
By Mindy Peterman, Columnist
August 15, 2011 8:00 AM 0

Time was, the purpose of premium channels such as HBO and Cinemax was to present movies recently out of the theaters. Occasionally these channels might also air a stand-up comedy or musical special but movies were their bread and butter. Viewers loved them too. Where else could they see popular films for a minimal monthly charge in the comfort of their homes?

That was then. Now if you subscribe to Netflix or Amazon’s Screening Room, you can see movies on your TV anytime you want. With this kind of competition facing them, premium channels knew if they were to survive, they would need to develop something different: their own scripted shows.

HBO and Showtime achieved great success with their growing staple of original programming. The most recent channel to dive into the mix is Cinemax with their new drama Strike Back. This marks the first time Cinemax has worked with UK broadcaster Sky to produce an original drama series.

Strike Back couldn’t be more topical. The story is one of intrigue and espionage and concerns a “charismatic former U.S. Special Forces operative who joins forces with a stealth military unit” to thwart the attack of a sinister and crafty international terrorist group. Section 20 is the code name of this elite military unit within the British government. Its job is to obliterate the threat of high risk targets.

The first couple of episodes were immensely watchable, filled with suspense and twists you never see coming. The characters are attractive and charismatic, especially Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), the cocky, panty-chasing former Delta Force operative who, although dishonorably discharged from the Force, is needed by Section 20 for his knowledge of terrorist activities. His partner, the more by-the-book Sargent Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), presents a perfect foil for Scott.

Led by Colonel Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing), Section 20 sets up a covert operation in New Delhi, with hopes of capturing a known terrorist they believe is staying in a plush hotel there. Scott and Winchester set off to investigate but become hostages along with the other guests when terrorists take over the hotel.

If at times the plot seems somewhat implausible and the nudity and sex gratuitous, it can be overlooked. The show is fast paced, crackling with smart dialogue and rife with an interesting array of baddies who, on occasion, thwart the heroic efforts of the Section 20 good guys; Strike Back's entertainment factor is high.

Perhaps inspired by the success of his former X-Files colleague, Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Frank Spotniz joined co-executive producer and show developer Dan Percival (HBO's Dirty Wars) to produce the ten-episode series, which is based on the Chris Ryan novel. Spotniz also wrote the first four installments.

While it’s no Breaking Bad, Strike Back is good for what it is: a show that concentrates more on the action than the cerebral, and is sure to keep viewers eager to find out what the next installment will bring.

Strike Back airs on Fridays at 10pm ET on Cinemax.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

http://www.craveonline.com/tv/reviews/172617-strike-back-101-episode-1

STRIKE BACK 1:01 'Episode 1'

Damien Scott and Michael Stonebridge track a deadly terrorist to a hotel siege in India.
By Blair Marnell
August 14, 2011
2

Episode Title: "Episode 1"

Writer: Frank Spotnitz

Director: Daniel Percival

Story:

In Pakistan, John Porter (Richard Armitage) is held by a terrorist group led by a man known as Latif. At gun point, Porter is forced to read an anti-American and anti-British statement demanding the release of certain prisoners. Outside, a British Special Forces team led by Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) prepares to storm the location where Porter is being held. However, once they breach the building it quickly becomes apparent that the terrorists left a false trail leading to that location. One of the terrorists still there shoots and kills one of Michael's men, but he is in turn shot and killed by Michael.

Back in the U.K., Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing) tears into Michael and his team for going in without more actionable intelligence. She also orders him to find Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a former Delta Force operative who may be the only man alive who can identify Latif. In Malaysia, Damien is scraping out an existence as a kickboxer and he apparently agrees to throw a fight for cash. But when the other fighter keeps attacking his nose, Damien stops holding back and knocks the man out. Back at his apartment, Damien finds Michael waiting for him with news that his friend Porter is being held captive and needs his help.

Damien refuses to come with Michael until he's assured that he'll be paid. The two men then stage an escape from the building to elude the gangsters that Damien crossed by not throwing the fight. In the U.K., Damien is formally introduced to the people behind Section 20, an elite and secret British intelligence division. He once again reiterates his demand for payment before the assembled team learns that Latif is parading Porter on a live feed. Porter continuously breaks from the terrorists' scripted remarks before Latif kills him with a gunshot to the head.

Afterwards, the team gathers at a bar to remember their friend. Damien joins them, even though "it's not a paying gig." In his hotel room, Damien reflects on Porter's last words and compares them to a code that he and Porter devised years before. Damien then tracks Michael down to his home and shows him the message that Porter relayed: an allusion to something called "Project Dawn" and the name of a prominent hotel in India. Reluctantly, Michael takes Damien along with his team to infiltrate the hotel and learn how Latif is connected to it. Damien also makes a quick b-line to the hotel bar to pick up on women and get drunk.

Shortly, the hotel security team accidentally uncovers terrorists sneaking weapons into the hotel, setting off a siege in the process. Michael is trapped with the primary hostages in the lobby. As for Damien, he hears the gunfire while having sex with the bar waitress. Damien has the girl hide in the bathroom and he kills the first terrorist that enters his room. He then starts leading the girl to safety. In the lobby, Michael notes that Latif's men are looking for someone and demand that he come forward before they begin executing hostages. Michael then manages to get away with two of the hostages.

In the hotel stairwell, Michael and Damien meet up and compare notes. Because Latif is clearly looking for someone important to his plans, they figure that their target must be in the hotel with them. But before they can act upon their knowledge, they are surrounded at gun point and forced to surrender to one of the "hostages" that accompanied Michael.

Breakdown:

"Strike Back" is the most unapologetic "guy show" to come along in a long time. In a way, "Strike Back" is Spike TV's dream series; it's heavy on action and naked women. But because "Strike Back" is actually on Cinemax, there's also an abundance of sex scenes to make sure that you won't forget which channel you're watching.

From the opening episode, it seems like "Strike Back" was written by someone who thought that "24" was too complicated and thought provoking. So far, there is no moral ambiguity about "Strike Back;" which is kind of refreshing. This show doesn't try to be anything more than a straightforward action series and that is where it excels. The pilot episode features some outstanding direction and all of the fights and gun battles were entertaining to watch. And there were several sequences that felt like they could have easily been in a feature film.

This is actually the second season (or sequel series) for the British incarnation of "Strike Back," with Richard Armitage reprising his starring role as John Porter in this episode. His death probably held more resonance for fans of the original series, but it was also a powerful moment in this episode. Porter's hidden message for Damien was also well executed and it provided a good set up for the rest of the story.

As the lead characters, Michael and Damien are both pretty one note at this point. Damien in particular seems to care very little about anything except getting paid or getting laid. It's also telling that we see Damien's ass during sex before we even see his face. From the way he dismisses his girl in Malaysia and the two women that he hits on in India, I think we can safely assume that Damien is a habitual womanizer. But for a show like this that's less of a character flaw than a way to get to the next sex scene without wading through the courtship.

Michael is a little bit more boring by contrast. We learn that Michael has a wife and he's trying to have a child with her. But compared to Damien, he's practically the wallpaper on this series. The last time we saw Philip Winchester on screen, he was playing the hapless champion, Leontes on "Camelot." If you missed that show, Leontes didn't amount to much more than this: "I forgive you for sleeping with my wife... my lord. If anyone had to bang her, I'm glad it was you." Or something along those lines. The point is that Winchester didn't get much of a chance to show off what he could do on that series beyond his eventual moral outrage and death.

The upside to Winchester's performance here is that he seems to get better as the episode goes on and there's every indication that "Strike Back" is going to be a buddy story about Damien and Michael. Depending upon how well Winchester and Stapleton play off of each other, that could work out nicely if their last scene in this episode is any indication.

This series is definitely not as sharp as it could be. But if you're looking for a great TV action fix, then "Strike Back" is the show for you. And if it becomes anything more than that, it will be a nice surprise.

Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:52 am

http://blog.ctnews.com/tunedin/2011/08/22/british-invasion-part-3-strike-back/

British Invasion! Part 3 Strike Back
August 22, 2011 at 1:11 am by Christopher

With ‘TUNED IN’ we will converse about TV Shows. Our likes and dislikes with the many
different varieties of shows that are out there on Networks big and small. Giving our opinions and hoping you will share yours. With that, we will have ‘Television Covered’.

Strike Back 2. Missing Jack Bauer and “24” ? I think I have your “fix” right here! Strike Back 2: Project Dawn, Airs on Cinemax on Friday nights at 10. ok, its not really as good as “24”, but it makes a good stand-in.

A little history. Strike back was a British Tv Show that aired on the Sky 1 TV
network in 2010 in Great Britain. Produced by Left Bank Pictures. Its based on the novel by Chis Ryan a best-selling author, and a ex member of the special forces regiment of the British Army, SAS. the show followed the adventures of Section 20 a branch of MI6, (The British version of the CIA) there mission was to stop terror attacks anywhere in the world. One of the key players was John Porter, played by Richard Armitage ( Star Wars Episode I, Spooks, Captain America, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012) a disgraced Army officer, trying to clear his name. Given a second chance by Section 20.

Strike Back 2: is the second season of the show. This time the show is co produced by Sky 1 and Cinemax. were the first season was billed as “DIE HARD style action around every corner” this one delivers the goods!

The show starts a few months after the ending of the first season, were we met the first of the 2 lead characters Sergeant Michael Stonebridge played by American actor Philip Winchester ( The Patriot, Thunderbirds, Crusoe, Fringe, Camelot ) on a mission to save John Porter, lead character of the first season. After the consequences of that mission we met Damian Scott, played by Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton a dishonorably discharged Delta Force operative. Together they piece together the clues left by John Porter to find their target.

This Military drama plays more like a “buddy cop” movie with bigger guns and louder explosions. The two leads have good chemistry together, and the action does come hard and fast ( like it should in a action show).

Bloody, violent, and some nudity its not recommended for all ages.

If you are a fan of “24” I recommend you give it a try. And the theme song kicks-ass also!

This is Cinemax’s first original Tv programing since its debut over 25 years ago.

Good Stuff!

Seen any of this show? First or second season, let us know what you think.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:54 am

http://unpopcult.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/strike-back-project-dawn-ep-1/

Strike Back Project Dawn ep 1
August 22, 2011 CJ Cregg

If last year’s Strike Back was “Spooks Abroad: With Extra Armitage”, so this year’s Project Dawn seems more like Hawaii “MI Five-O: With Added Sex and Violence”. And Connie Beauchamp from Holby City.

Richard Armitage’s John Porter starts off the first ep but sensibly, given the script, doesn’t hang about for long (too busy saving Middle Earth, I guess), so our new leading men are Philip Winchester’s Stonebridge, stiff upper-lipped honourable English gent from Section 20 (they deal with “high risk, priority targets”, dontcha know), and the obligatory “maverick”, dishonourably discharged American ex-agent Scott, played by Sullivan Stapleton. Happily married man vs prolific womaniser, team player vs mercenary, night vs day, chalk vs cheese – we first meet Stonebridge in command of a heroic rescue attempt, we first meet Scott in a gratuitous nude sex scene (the first of several for him, for those keeping track) interrupted by a local gangster he throws bare-knuckle fights for, so, yes, okay, we get it, they’re different.

They team up – of course. They find themselves in trouble – of course. And there’s a whole heap of shooting, shouting and rescuing helpless locals and comely females; of course. Amanda Mealing’s Colonel Grant gets to boss them about a bit (not that they listen), and Eva Birthistle’s Kate gets to run and swear with them a bit, but the Section 20 ladies’ main job is really to stand back and let the boys have their fun, so this first ep was essentially a big, noisy, odd couple/buddy movie shoot’em up, with a frankly comical amount of sex, skin and stereotypes chucked in.

And yes, that sounds like it should have been a good laugh, but it really wasn’t – this type of thing has been done far better and far more entertainingly numerous times before. The most (or perhaps only) intelligent thing about it was the sneaky nod to The X-Files from writer Frank Spotnitz – Stonebridge and Scott’s cover names are Langly and Byers. Now that was funny. But the rest of it was cheesy, unpleasant and, despite the millions spent on it, very, very cheap.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:57 am

http://www.reelgoddess.com/2011/08/18/review-recap-strike/

Review & Recap: Strike Back
Strike Back Banner

It seems that jumping into the original programming pool is the way to go. With the success that AMC, HBO and Showtime have enjoyed, it was only a matter of time for other cable networks to test the waters too. Cinemax is the latest with the launch of their first ever scripted original series, Strike Back, which premiered this past Friday.

After viewing the first episode a couple of things stood out that piqued my interest. First was the British-heavy cast. Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore British television and have no problem with a British cast. But knowing American TV, this stood out. I also noticed that this show is being produced by the British network Sky Television. I decided to do some digging and found that even though this is being scripted for Cinemax, this is a British show and it’s technically not the first season.

In the grand scheme of things, what we’re seeing on Cinemax is the second season of a show called Chris Ryan’s Strike Back. That season is available on DVD but after watching this first episode, I don’t think it’s a necessity. I didn’t realize there even was a first season until I started doing research. They wrote the premier so that new viewers would not feel out of the loop and it’s easy to pick up. Given, there are some things that would probably make more sense, but really, it’s not a big deal.

In a nutshell, Strike Back focuses on Section 20, a covert branch of MI:6. One of their operatives, John Porter (Richard Armitage), was taken hostage by a Pakistani terrorist named Latif, who has been on their radar for years. The problem being that only Porter, and one other man, Damian Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), who happens to be an American, knows what he looks like.

Scott is a former special teams operator who was dishonorably discharged from the service and who is currently spending his time between brothels and underground fight rings in Kuala Lumpur. He’s approached by Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and is asked to help find Latif. He agrees, reluctantly, and the two men soon find themselves in the middle of a hostage situation in New Delhi.

So that pretty much takes you up to the end of the first episode. There’s quite a bit of sex on display, as well as blood, guts and violence. So it’s like 24, but on steroids. It’s in the same vein as 24, but with A LOT more T & A. I mean A LOT more. It is Cinemax after all. It’s certainly not for young eyes, or ears for that matter. If you can, I would even keep the kids away from the previews of other shows that Cinemax airs before the episode starts.

While some of the machismo may seem like overkill, it falls in line with the offending character. Mainly this issue lies with the character of Damian Scott. He’s all brute and very little finesse, but did manage to show a little bit of tenderness late in the episode. It’s hard to gauge just what type of character he’s going to be after only one episode but I refuse to hold his blatant F bombs or man-whore-ish ways against him this early in the game. He’s surly, burly and buff, but seems like he could be that type of character that grows on you. He may irritate you, but you can’t help but like him in the end.

As for the character of Sgt. Michael Stonebridge, well, he’s the antithesis of Scott. He’s a military man, and a husband. He follows his orders, but has a rather dry quality to him that makes him likeable, but maybe at arm’s length. He seems like he’s all about the mission at hand, and can be very by-the-book. I have a feeling that Scott will bring him out of his comfort zone at some point. Philip Winchester pulls off the British accent very very well. I never would have known that he’s not British had I not looked it up. Turns out they have an Australian playing the American and an American playing the Brit. Interesting choices, but they seem to fit.

During the episode, I wasn’t quite sure if this is one I would stick with. However, those crafty writers ended the first episode with a cliffhanger so of course I need to watch the second. Which will probably lead to a third…etc. etc. etc. If I’m being completely honest, I ‘ll just say now, that yes, I’ll follow along for all 10 episodes.

MoMax will replay the first episode on Friday before the new episode airs on Cinemax. Check your local listings for showtimes. Care to see what all this is about? Check out the trailer below.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:59 am

http://tv-tastic.com/2011/08/18/strike-back-cinemax-friday-1000-p-m/

Strike Back (Cinemax, Friday – 10:00 p.m.)
Posted on August 18, 2011 by Shawn P. O'Halloran

A high-octane, globe-spanning thriller with storylines ripped from today’s headlines, Strike Back, Cinemax’s first scripted prime-time original drama series, focuses on two members of a top-secret intelligence agency known as Section 20: Michael Stonebridge, a British sergeant on the elite counter-terrorism team, and Damien Scott, a former U.S. Delta Force operative who was discharged on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Stonebridge, Scott and the rest of Section 20 criss-cross the globe on the trail of a deadly international terrorist named Latif, who is planning a major attack involving a cache of WMD that could have global repercussions. – Cinemax

(NOTE: The ‘Tastic has changed its rating system. We are now using a 100 point scale)

Our Rating: 90 out of 100

There are some shows that we go into saying to ourselves, “this could be a lot of fun or this could be complete crap” and it doesn’t seem like there really is a chance that there could be a middle ground for it. Cinemax’s first serialized drama, Strike Back, is no exception and adding to the either/or possibilities for the series is the fact that it’s on at 10:00 p.m. on Friday nights… and it premiered in the middle of summer. No one watches television at 10:00 p.m. on Friday except your grandmother who’s watching 20/20. The coveted 18 – 49 demographic is out getting their freak on. Well, they all need to get their twerking asses home (NOTE: thanks to YouTube, we just learned what twerking was yesterday, so… we’re hip.) and sober up because they now have a reason to not leave the house… and to subscribe to a premium cable package.

THIS is what an action show is all about. We’ve seen a few comparisons to 24 thrown around and, honestly, for about twenty seconds we were thinking the same thing, but then it dawned on us that the shows are very dissimilar except for the fact that they focus on a counter-terrorist organization, are action-packed and seem to throw in a cliffhanger/big twist at the end of each episode. Well… OK, we will concede that it would appear “on paper” at least, that they are a lot alike but we think the comparisons and the noted similarities of the show by ourselves and others is more representative of nostalgia and 24 withdrawal more than anything else. Don’t forget, we were promised that NBC’s The Event was going to be the next 24, heck it was going to be Lost meets 24 but that didn’t quite work out that way at all. We’re all just jonesing for the next 24, is all.

Truthfully speaking, Strike Back plays out and is produced much more like a feature film than it is a television series, even a premium cable television series. We can only imagine what the budget on this show is as they don’t seem to be pulling any punches at all and it should be noted that although this is the first season of the show for us here in the U.S., this was originally a Sky 1 show in the U.K. (Chris Ryan’s Strike Back) so what we’re watching now is actually season two (known as Strike Back: Project Dawn in the U.K.) . This is the same thing that Starz did with Torchwood: Miracle Day and it’s becoming kind of annoying. Yeah, we get the fact that you’re taking great U.K. series and adapting them for the U.S. audiences in such a way that they don’t have to see the previous seasons in order to immediately catch on but it’s just retarded. Just based on the description in Wikipedia, if you didn’t see the first season on Chris Ryan’s Strike Back, than you missed a lot and we know for certain that the same can be said for the first three seasons of Torchwood. Hey, Cinemax and Starz: get your acts together and order the prior seasons and air them before your network exclusive show. You’re doing a disservice to your audiences by not.

Anyway, as clichéd as it sounds, Strike Back truly is a non-stop adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are complex and well-developed, the plotline is smart and will keep you guessing and unlike the most of the shows on HBO that are just plain lazy, the violence and language is actually more-or-less appropriate when considered in context with the show. Now, there is a TON of gratuitous sex and nakedness going on but the damned show is so good that they get a pass from us on this. Honestly, in this case the T ‘n A seems more like an added bonus on this testosterone filled thrill-ride.

Speaking of clichéd, though, as good as the show is, we did have two complaints: we really do like the characters but the characters of both Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) and Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), our male leads, came off as very clichéd and cartoonish in the beginning of the first episode. It was just kind of silly, stereotypical action-movie character crap that was very off-putting. As the episode progressed it improved dramatically with both characters showing much deeper levels of complexity.

Our other complaint was the “cliffhanger”/”big-twist” at the end of the episode. Without giving anything away, if you watched this episode and didn’t see the twist coming the moment character-X was introduced than you were asleep. That or you never watched 24 or Die Hard or any one of a number of action films/television shows. It was lame, it was lazy and it was predictable. We love a good twist, but don’t treat us like we’re morons.

You can watch full episodes of Strike Back, here.

…And for your added viewing pleasure, right here!

And to sweeten the deal, some saint has posted the entire first season, right here!

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:00 am

http://knuckleskin.com/2011/08/cinemax%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98strike-back%E2%80%99-puts-brits-and-an-american-on-the-heels-of-terrorists/

Cinemax’s ‘Strike Back’ Puts Brits And An American On The Heels Of Terrorists
Submitted by Penn Collins on August 16, 2011 – 6:19 pmNo Comment

Oh, terrorists! When will you learn that you’ll never win against the good guys, especially when the good guys are a U.S. Special Forces operative and a crack British military team?

Such is the plot of Strike Back, a joint venture between HBO/Cinemax and Britain’s Sky that is will launch its ten-episode first season this Friday, August 12th at 10 PM Eastern on Cinemax. The partnership gives the series a very international feel in the style of the Bourne franchise. The show’s quick pace takes the team from South Africa to India to Chechnya to England. Bring your passport.

We’ve got a clip for you, but first a little background courtesy of the show’s producers:

The team that tracks the terrorists is Section 20, an elite military black ops unit within the British government that focuses on high-risk, top-priority targets. When one of their own is captured and held hostage, the group enlists the help of Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a former Delta Force operative who is familiar with the terrorists. Although he has good instincts and skills, his cocky style is often at odds with the more formal team, especially the more by-the-book Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester).

If you like the type of shows in which guys are pulling bullets out of each other’s legs, then this is probably for you.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:16 am

http://danowen.blogspot.com/2011/08/review-strike-back-project-dawn-21.html

Trending: Dan's Media Digest
Review: STRIKE BACK: PROJECT DAWN, 2.1

Monday, August 22, 2011 Labels: Strike Back, TV Reviews

Sky had success with their three-part action-drama Strike Back in early-2010; based on the best-selling novel by former-SAS soldier Chris Ryan and starring Richard Armitage (Spooks, Robin Hood) as British hero John Porter. The long-awaited sequel has transformed into a very different beast; both because Sky now has a co-production partner in US cable network Cinemax (a subsidiary of HBO), and the limited availability of its leading man because of his commitment to The Hobbit.

The former isn't going to worry many viewers, as Strike Back now has an improved budget, more resources, and a 10-episode order, but the latter unfortunately means Armitage's chiseled hero is killed off within 15-minutes. Knowing the popularity of Armitage and his role in making Strike Back a hit last year (by attracting a female demographic to a very macho series), it's a major change that feels akin to writing Kiefer Sutherland out of 24's second season. Oddly, it's nowhere near as shocking as that theoretical death scene, perhaps because the show's trailers had already prepared audiences for the likelihood of Porter's demise (Armitage barely featured in any promotional material).

Can Strike Back pick itself up and soldier on, making you quickly forget its original protagonist? Based on this fast-paced and entertaining premiere, I think that's very possible, perhaps even a certainty. For starters, they've replaced Armitage with two equally attractive actors: Philip Winchester (Camelot) as by-the-book Sgt Michael Stonebridge, the poster boy of fictional British intelligence agency Section 20; and Sullivan Stapleton (December Boys) as maverick former-Delta Force operative Damien Scott, a brash, continually horny American. This gives the show a hackneyed "buddy" element to play with, but it works surprisingly well. Stonebridge even finds Scott bare-knuckle fighting in Kuala Lumpur, years after his dishonourable discharge, but that's exactly the cliché you expect from a show like Strike Back. It was either that or a Buddhist temple in the Himalayas.

It may share DNA with the likes of the venerable Spooks and innovative 24, but in many ways Strike Back's heart is twinned with posturing Steven Seagal movies. The combative title's the dead giveaway. This show plays in a world where the complexities of global terrorism can be reduced to that of a Time Crisis coin-op arcade. The violent takeover of a luxury hotel, by terrorists who start ruthlessly assassinating hostages, even plays like Level 1 of a video-game. So far it makes 24 look like a John le Carré novel.

But I don't particularly care Strike Back has a reductive swagger about it. Not every action thriller needs lofty ambitions; sometimes you just want the fun of a "clean-cut British hunk" and a "tattooed American bad boy" jetting around the world trying to catch the terrorist mastermind responsible for killing their mutual friend, who's also plotting something codenamed Project Dawn. The action's tight and efficient, there's a smattering of nudity to titillate both sexes, plausible violence (loved a naked Scott's disarming of a baddie using a towel), plus some fun twists and turns—including a last-minute reveal I should have seen coming, but somehow didn't. There's intelligent playfulness to Frank Spotnitz's (The X Files) script, as well—such as the moment Jimi Mistry's character makes his entrance and the scene allows you to assume he must be the big villain, when in fact he's an ally who just happens to be of Indian ethnicity (thus making the audience complicit in racial profiling).

Overall, I'm not convinced Strike Back: Project Dawn will offer enough depth to warrant episodic reviews, but it seems likely it'll provide a few months of entertainment. There's nothing original about its style, aesthetic, premise, story or characters—but as the TV equivalent of a Friday night straight-to-video action movie rental, Strike Back's a capable and effective offering.

written by Frank Spotnitz / directed by Daniel Percival / 21 August 2011 / Sky1

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:17 am

http://blog.ctnews.com/tunedin/2011/08/22/british-invasion-part-3-strike-back/

British Invasion! Part 3 Strike Back
August 22, 2011 at 1:11 am by Christopher

With ‘TUNED IN’ we will converse about TV Shows. Our likes and dislikes with the many
different varieties of shows that are out there on Networks big and small. Giving our opinions and hoping you will share yours. With that, we will have ‘Television Covered’.

Strike Back 2. Missing Jack Bauer and “24” ? I think I have your “fix” right here! Strike Back 2: Project Dawn, Airs on Cinemax on Friday nights at 10. ok, its not really as good as “24”, but it makes a good stand-in.

A little history. Strike back was a British Tv Show that aired on the Sky 1 TV
network in 2010 in Great Britain. Produced by Left Bank Pictures. Its based on the novel by Chis Ryan a best-selling author, and a ex member of the special forces regiment of the British Army, SAS. the show followed the adventures of Section 20 a branch of MI6, (The British version of the CIA) there mission was to stop terror attacks anywhere in the world. One of the key players was John Porter, played by Richard Armitage ( Star Wars Episode I, Spooks, Captain America, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012) a disgraced Army officer, trying to clear his name. Given a second chance by Section 20.

Strike Back 2: is the second season of the show. This time the show is co produced by Sky 1 and Cinemax. were the first season was billed as “DIE HARD style action around every corner” this one delivers the goods!

The show starts a few months after the ending of the first season, were we met the first of the 2 lead characters Sergeant Michael Stonebridge played by American actor Philip Winchester ( The Patriot, Thunderbirds, Crusoe, Fringe, Camelot ) on a mission to save John Porter, lead character of the first season. After the consequences of that mission we met Damian Scott, played by Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton a dishonorably discharged Delta Force operative. Together they piece together the clues left by John Porter to find their target.

This Military drama plays more like a “buddy cop” movie with bigger guns and louder explosions. The two leads have good chemistry together, and the action does come hard and fast ( like it should in a action show).

Bloody, violent, and some nudity its not recommended for all ages.

If you are a fan of “24” I recommend you give it a try. And the theme song kicks-ass also!

This is Cinemax’s first original Tv programing since its debut over 25 years ago.

Good Stuff!

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:18 am

http://unpopcult.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/strike-back-project-dawn-ep-1/

trike Back Project Dawn ep 1
August 22, 2011 CJ Cregg Leave a comment Go to comments

If last year’s Strike Back was “Spooks Abroad: With Extra Armitage”, so this year’s Project Dawn seems more like Hawaii “MI Five-O: With Added Sex and Violence”. And Connie Beauchamp from Holby City.

Richard Armitage’s John Porter starts off the first ep but sensibly, given the script, doesn’t hang about for long (too busy saving Middle Earth, I guess), so our new leading men are Philip Winchester’s Stonebridge, stiff upper-lipped honourable English gent from Section 20 (they deal with “high risk, priority targets”, dontcha know), and the obligatory “maverick”, dishonourably discharged American ex-agent Scott, played by Sullivan Stapleton. Happily married man vs prolific womaniser, team player vs mercenary, night vs day, chalk vs cheese – we first meet Stonebridge in command of a heroic rescue attempt, we first meet Scott in a gratuitous nude sex scene (the first of several for him, for those keeping track) interrupted by a local gangster he throws bare-knuckle fights for, so, yes, okay, we get it, they’re different.

They team up – of course. They find themselves in trouble – of course. And there’s a whole heap of shooting, shouting and rescuing helpless locals and comely females; of course. Amanda Mealing’s Colonel Grant gets to boss them about a bit (not that they listen), and Eva Birthistle’s Kate gets to run and swear with them a bit, but the Section 20 ladies’ main job is really to stand back and let the boys have their fun, so this first ep was essentially a big, noisy, odd couple/buddy movie shoot’em up, with a frankly comical amount of sex, skin and stereotypes chucked in.

And yes, that sounds like it should have been a good laugh, but it really wasn’t – this type of thing has been done far better and far more entertainingly numerous times before. The most (or perhaps only) intelligent thing about it was the sneaky nod to The X-Files from writer Frank Spotnitz – Stonebridge and Scott’s cover names are Langly and Byers. Now that was funny. But the rest of it was cheesy, unpleasant and, despite the millions spent on it, very, very cheap.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:19 am

http://gimoney.com/2011/08/whats-not-cool-about-strike-back-from-cinemax/

What’s Not Cool About Strike Back From Cinemax?
By
Javier Rodriguez
– August 21, 2011Posted in: Entertainment, News

Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester in Strike Back. Photo by Liam Daniel – © HBO USA, SKY Atlantic & Left Bank Pictures UK2011
Late Summer Hit Bursts Onto Cinemax

I was concerned I would not have any shows to hold me over until Showtime’s Dexter and Californication return. Well, at least until the Fall season starts. Then ‘Max came out with a late -Summer newbie show that already has me eagerly anticipating the next episode. It’s the new action thriller drama Strike Back. It’s like 24, but with 2 leading men and European accents. HBO Miniseries President, Karen Antholis, said, “We looked at what our customers appreciated…and the best-performing programs were high-octane, combat-oriented action movies”(TV Guide).

The first 2 episodes take place overseas. The show begins somewhere in Asia. Right of the bat, you get betting, brothels and bare-knuckle brawling; the the kind of things that Cinemax, and other cable networks, gratuitously, display on your HD screen without the network censorship. Strike Back also introduces yet another clandestine, unheard of, uber-secret organization named Section 20. I suppose the old standard MI5,6,7,etc. is already “owned” by Tom Cruise and the gang.

What’s interesting about this show is that it takes place in modern-day news hotspots. I am writing this with only 2 episodes watched, but I am interested in seeing more. It will be one of my weekly entertainment highlights until some of the Summer comic movies start releasing on Blu-ray. Times are tough, so I have had to severely trim my movie-going habits and retrain myself to wait. What is it “they” say, patience is a virtue? If this is true, I must rank in the top three, below JC. No kidding, but I digress.
The First Guy (in order of appearance)

Damien Scott

Strike Back has 2 very smooth leading dudes. The first guy we are introduced to is Damien Scott, played by Sullivan Stapleton. I have only seen him in Darkness Falls, and honestly had to find out about it through IMDB. His character is a former Delta Force commando who is dishonorably discharged due to some obscure circumstances involving WMDs (weapons of mass dest…). He gets “invited” to assist Section 20 in identifying a bad guy who no one has photographed. Not original, but is handled very well. Dig it?

Damien Scott is your typical brash, All-American-type. An expat, now living in Asia, he gets by through intuition and from-the-hip style tactics. He’s confident with a weapon and has a way with women. Scott might come off as arrogant, but he looks like he gets the job done. Plus, his background suggests a connection to the bigger storyline which begins to develop.
The Second Guy

Sgt. Michael Stonebridge

The other leading guy is Philip Winchester. He plays the cold, calculated, but really badass character, named Michael Stonebridge. What’s great is that he also gets down and dirty, just in a different way. He kind of reminds me of Iceman from Top Gun, minus the hair highlights, or maybe Daniel Craig’s version of a grittier 007.

This guy has done all sorts of work. I am referring to the actor, not the TV character. Chances are you have seen his characters and not really thought much about him. He doesn’t seem to have had his breakthrough role…until now.

I liked him in the STARZ version of Camelot. Which works out because his character had…um, lets say, a problem of which he might not recover from anytime soon. I am trying not to give the plot twists away, in case you have not seen it. I was not too impressed with the first season because I can’t say I am sold on the actor playing as King Arthur in the show. But, Leontes (played by Winchester) is actually one of the better characters in it. I also like Merlin, played by Joseph Fiennes, the non-Voldemort acting brother.

Speaking of Strike Back, Stonebridge is like the balance to Scott. Stonebridge is more likely to follow orders and risk his life for someone else than the others. He is also hints of internal conflicts, which always adds interest. There is more than meets the eye with him. In some respects, he has similar qualities to his Camelot counterpart (Leontes), but is distinct enough that he carries the co-leading guy role well. I might actually check out some of his older movies on Netflix.

This guy has done A Walk in My Shoes, Fringe, Crusoe and Warehouse 13. According to IMDB, he is also in Solomon Kane, a movie I have been lobbying to watch. It has yet to be released. I now have one more reason to want to watch it.

If you have Cinemax and some space on your DVR, give this one a try. It’s no too late to pick-up on the last 2 episodes. There is also a Cinemax On Demand channel on some cable and satellite services that would allow you to download the episodes in HD. Hurry up, you still might have time to watch the first two before the next new episode on Friday at 10 pm EST.

I now have to get back to writing my business plan. I was about to, but then I got sucked into writing this post about Strike Back. Procrastination is a killer. I actually downloaded the opening song, Short Change Hero, form iTunes. I have played it about 12 times as I wrote this. Good tune and good show.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:21 am

http://www.uk-telly-surfer-new-tv-drama-guide.com/2011/08/strike-back-returns-to-sky1-900pm.html

Saturday, 20 August 2011
Strike Back returns to Sky1 9.00pm tomorrow with new series: Project Dawn

Strike Back Project Dawn bursts back onto our screens as agent John Porter (Richard Armitage) is kidnapped by Pakistani terrorist Latif.

The rest of his team from Section 20, the Military Intelligence Unit, have to race against the clock to find him.

© BSkyB
Led by Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing) Section 20 quickly learn that only one other man, former U.S. Delta Force operative, and serial lothario Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), can identify Latif.

Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), is tasked with finding Scott. After being tracked down in an underground fight ring in Kuala Lumpur, Scott agrees to help Section 20. He decodes a hidden message from one of Porter's hostage transmissions that warns of a terror attack at a hotel in India and a plot known as Project Dawn, which the unit has been tracking for some time.

The intelligence is proved correct when terrorists seize the hotel with hostages, including Scott and Stonebridge, trapped inside...

Source: Sky1.com
Posted by Telly Surfer at 10:04

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:08 pm

http://moviesmusicandtelevision.blogspot.com/2011/08/strike-back-project-dawn-episode-1.html

Movie Reviews
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Strike Back: Project Dawn Episode 1
Do you like this story?

I vaguely remember watching this show when it aired back in 2010, starring Spook’s Richard Armitage as MI6's section 20 agent John Porter. It was only a six part show first time around and I don’t remember if I watched it all, needless to say it never really left a lasting impression. I saw the previews for the second series aptly named Project Dawn, again starring Richard Armitage. Unfortunately for this series though his commitment towards playing the Hobbit has got in the way meaning that within the first 15 minutes of this episode Porter’s character was killed off. Good start.

Que Amanda Mealing (Holby City) as Colonel Elanor Grant head of fictional MI6 secret section 20, in the role she gets to boss around two new characters. The clean cut Philip Winchester (Camelot) who plays Michael Stonebridge a British intelligence agent who plays by the book, he is joined by Aussie actor Sullivan Stapelton (December Boys) as Damien Scott a former Delta Force Operative who to be honest just likes shooting guns and shagging women, what more do you want on a Sunday night?

The second series is back with some added weight thanks to a joint production and investment from American network HBO, the show will arie in the US on the Cinemax channel. What does this mean? Well you would like to think an even better show than the one that was so critically raved about last year, unfortunately for me though that simply wasn't the case with Project Dawn.

Don't get me wrong it was enjoyable enough and was certainly a lot better than Jerry Bruckheimer's Chase (review coming soon) but for the added investment from HBO me and many others from what I have read were expecting more than a shoot up shagging fest. It was of course only the first episode we are learning about the new characters Stonebridge and Scott in particular, straight laced not so straight laced I think we definitely got the picture that the new Section 20 partners could not be more opposite, but hey sometimes they attract, right?

The story is good and does look as if the 10 episode order of this series should pick up some serious steam in it's efforts to be like 24, a show which I don't think it will measure up to. In the first episode we saw terrorist leader Latif and his team take over a hotel in New Delhi, India, holding the guests hostage and offing them one by one until they found the man they where looking for named Mahmood. One thing Latif didn't bank on was that two section 20 operatives were already in the hotel and made an attempt at a fight back, unfortunately for them though two v eleven are not such good odds causing them to be taken hostage also.

All of this is happening whilst Colonel Grant has shipped her entire section 20 unit to New Delhi without informing the Indian government or military, only a mystery Indian intelligence agent in the form of Jimmy Mistri turns up to see what was going on. This is TV remember but that amount of activity would surely cause some questions to be asked.

It was a really good set up episode, cheesy in parts with one liners that will probably grow on you once you are more familiar with the characters. It certainly didn't put me off and I even watched the first episode again midweek to re cap anything I may have missed. I will be watching tonight and the show promises to provide us with a good couple of months entertainment.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike Back Ep. 1 reviews   Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:25 pm

http://downtowncanyonville.com/war-sex-and-counterterrorism

PostHeaderIcon War, Sex and Counterterrorism
PostDateIcon September 2nd, 2011 |
By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
[TV REVIEW]

Cinemax

Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester in ‘Strike Back.’

The shadow of “24″ hangs heavy over “Strike Back,” an enterprise full of sound, fury and copious bloodletting. Also an undergraduate raunchiness—altogether not the sort of thing Agent Jack Bauer would have found acceptable. Still, this series, about an underground British antiterror team that has joined forces with U.S. Special Forces veteran Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), does succeed in wresting plenty of high-level suspense out of these low-aiming scripts—no small miracle.

That’s especially evident in the first two episodes set in Delhi. There, the ace antiterror team Section 20 battles terrorists mounting an assault on a luxury hotel and taking hostages they kill in a bloody rampage. But the terrorists are after bigger game. The Pakistani operative behind this attack is interested in something far more lethal, involving weapons of mass destruction—a program called Project Dawn.
Strike Back

Begins Aug. 12, 10-10:45 p.m. ET on Cinemax

The story could hardly be more timely, with its tangled—and, as it turns out, well-justified—suspicions, in midbattle, about who can and cannot be trusted, and about whether Pakistani security agents are friends or agents of terror. The resulting atmosphere of menace—the deceptions at every turn—informs these first episodes with a raw power. Raw, too, because they draw heavily on the details of the 2008 Mumbai massacres. On Nov. 26 of that year, 12 terrorists trained by a Pakistan-based Jihadi organization arrived in Mumbai by boat. They then made their way easily, methodically, to the city’s landmark institutions, including its two grandest hotels, killing everyone they could in each place. They also took hostages. The death toll would come to more than 200, with hundreds maimed.

The opening episodes’ scenes of terrified hotel guests hunted down as the killers move from room to room—the incident of the guest whose life the killers spare because he is, like them, a Muslim—all echo the facts of that event. It is to this unforgettable history that the show’s first chapters, set in India, owe their drama and coherence.

As the series rolls on to other destinations and newer battles, plot cohesiveness becomes, at best, spotty. Section 20 soon takes on a new terrorist superman and, with him, machinations of endless complexity. All begin unfolding in episode three, which takes us to South Africa—operating base of the new terrorist impressario, who is this time an ex-IRA member and a key link in the aforementioned global terror plot. With Section 20 on the job—Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), agent Scott, team leader Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing) and Captain Kate Marshall (Eva Birthistle)—there’s no lack of action.

There is no lack of it in the bedroom either, or substitutions therefor. You know there’s trouble in the writing and creativity department when it becomes clear the furniture-shaking sex scenes that pop up early in the series are a staple of the action. The noise of these couplings is admittedly some decibels lower than the regular stretches of ear-drum-shattering gunfire and screeching cars—though not by much. But no worry: with seduction dialogue like the kind here—a kind beyond satire—a temporary hearing problem can be a blessing. Some of these encounters are, to be sure, stranger than others. See, for instance, the U.S. undercover agent and the female terrorist stop dead while racing to an urgent mission to engage in a standup. A pause that does not refresh, it turns out, or at least not for long.

Only four episodes into “Strike Back”—all that were released for review—there’s no telling how the search for the master terrorist will go, but it’s a good bet that Section 20 will deliver the answer. A good bet, too, that—notwithstanding the show’s lurches into unintended farce—there’lll be more than enough raw-nerve action, bullets to the head and near catastrophes to keep viewers happy to the end.
***

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