A forum for fans of actor Philip Winchester
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  
Latest topics
» Problems?
by Alize Mon May 18, 2015 3:51 pm

» Admin blog
by Alize Mon May 18, 2015 3:31 pm

» How Philip Winchester Keeps Fit
by Alize Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:28 pm

» Magazines
by Alize Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:38 pm

» 2014 Happy Birthday Philip!
by Alize Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:06 pm

September 2017
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 
CalendarCalendar
Social bookmarking
Social bookmarking Digg  Social bookmarking Delicious  Social bookmarking Reddit  Social bookmarking Stumbleupon  Social bookmarking Slashdot  Social bookmarking Yahoo  Social bookmarking Google  Social bookmarking Blinklist  Social bookmarking Blogmarks  Social bookmarking Technorati  

Bookmark and share the address of Philip Winchester Fans on your social bookmarking website

Share | 
 

 Strike Back articles

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Strike Back articles   Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:49 pm

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/redeye-strike-back-brings-back-action-thrills-of-24-20110812,0,4099372.story

'Strike Back' brings back action thrills of '24'

Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester in "Strike Back." (Cinemax)
By Curt Wagner RedEye

5:55 p.m. CDT, August 12, 2011

Adrenaline junkies craving the fist-pumping, nothing-stops-the-mission heroics of Jack Bauer since "24" ended its run, Cinemax has your fix.

"Strike Back" (9 p.m. Fridays beginning Aug. 12; 2.5 stars) is a stylish, addictive action thriller that fills a definite void in the macho spy drama genre. I just wish the 10-part series didn't take Cinemax's joke name—Skinemax—so much to heart. But I'll get to that a little later.

When "24" debuted, it captured that post-9/11 desire viewers had to see the good guys score some wins over terrorists. That's why it was such a success, despite the implausibility of its many plot twists and action sequences.

Now, as we approach the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, "Strike Back" brings back that desire to kick some terrorist butt—or at least it offers an escape from downer headlines.

A joint production from Cinemax and British Sky Broadcasting, "Strike Back" is a sequel of sorts to a British miniseries that starred Richard Armitage ("Robin Hood") and Andrew Lincoln ("The Walking Dead") as a pair of British intelligence agents who work for the secret Section 20, a clandestine branch of MI-6 that specializes in high-risk, high-priority targets. In other words, they tracked down terrorists.

This series begins with Richard Armitage's character, John Porter, held captive by the notorious terrorist Latif (Jimi Mistry), who has sworn to kill Porter and launch devastating attacks against the West if Britain and the U.S. don’t free certain prisoners.

Section 20's commander, Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing), sends her ultra-serious agent, Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), to find an American named Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a former Delta Force operative who was kicked out of the U.S. Army’s intelligence unit during the Iraq war.

When Stonebridge finds Scott, the American is living above a whorehouse and kickboxing for money in Kuala Lumpur. After escaping from a group of gangsters, the two macho men form an uneasy alliance to track Latif and his group across the globe.

While they hunt Latif, Section 20 works other missions that have them cross paths with a psycho Irishman (Liam Cunningham) and other diabolical villains. The writers also have thrown in an intriguing conspiracy or two that will trouble Scott and Stonebridge all season long.

There isn’t anything too deeply intellectual here because the action moves the plot. And “Strike Back” has action to spare. And while some plot devices are familiar—hotel hostage-taking was done a couple times on the superior “MI-5”—but “Strike Back” avoids action cliches just enough to avoid being a ridiculous Steven Seagal movie.

The actors ground the show as well, adding emotional heft to what could be caricatures. Winchester, an American who has probably played more Brits than anything (most recently in “Camelot”), delivers again, this time as the “good guy” who is conflicted by his work. Stapleton, an Aussie, does a great job as the brash, unlikable American—although he says “buddy” so often you, too, might want to smack him. His Scott becomes more appealing each episode—and he’s easy on the eyes.

It’s a good thing both Stapleton and Winchester look good in the buff. This being Skinemax, the creators of the show throw a whole lot of nudity and sex at viewers. I can’t believe I’m complaining about it, but the nudity here is often gratuitous to the point of being laughable. When we first meet Scott, we see his butt before his face as he conducts an exaggerated stand-up session with one of the working gals living beneath his apartment.

I think we get the point that Scott’s a womanizer by the way he hits on every woman he meets; we don’t need to see a month’s worth of breasts and butt cheeks in every episode. Jack Bauer never even went to the bathroom, let alone slept around.

All that unnecessary sex distracts from the important stuff, like watching these testosterone titans take down the terrorists.

Watch the first six minutes of the premiere below.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog


Last edited by Alize on Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:23 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:08 am

http://www.craveonline.com/tv/previews/172587-watch-the-first-six-minutes-of-strike-back

Watch The First Six Minutes of 'Strike Back'

Cinemax's new action series gets off to a fast start as Michael Stonebridge tracks down former Delta Force Operative, Damien Scott.
By Blair Marnell
August 12, 2011

Later tonight, Strike Back will debut on Cinemax with the first of ten episodes following the elite British intelligence agency, Section 20 as they attempt to track down one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world.

"Strike Back" represents a seismic shift for Cinemax; which up to this point has seemed content to let its corporate sibling HBO have a number of original series without much internal competition. From the early trailers, "Strike Back" looks like it's going to be action packed with some occasional female nudity. Hey... this is a Cinemax show, after all!

Prior to tonight's debut, Cinemax has released the first six minutes from the premiere, in which Sergeant Michael Stonebridge ( Philip Winchester) is recruited to find former Delta Force Operative, Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) after a disastrous raid in the Middle East. But when Stonebridge catches up to Scott, he finds that Scott has some rather unique problems all of his own...

It should be noted that this is actually the second season of "Strike Back," which originated at the British network Sky. The current season is a co-production between Sky and Cinemax and will largely stand alone so that new viewers can just jump on board. The original star of the series, Richard Armitage will reprise his role as John Porter in this season and he even appears in the clip above as a prisoner of war.

"Strike Back" premieres tonight at 10PM only on Cinemax!

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:32 am

http://www.ugo.com/tv/strike-back-tv-show-clip

Cinemax's 'Strike Back' Exclusive Clip
Strike Back premieres on Cinemax on Friday, August 12th with guns blazing, and UGO has a first-look clip of the upcoming high-octane action series featuring stars Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester.
Kevin Fitzpatrick By Kevin Fitzpatrick August 12, 2011

Credit: Joe Alablas / Cinemax

Looking for action on a Friday night? Why go out, when Cinemax has you covered? Strike Back, the newest Cinemax original series from the network that brought you Femme Fatales and soon to rev The Transporter onto small screens is ready to blow you away with its new international high-octane action series.

Starring Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) Philip Winchester (Crusoe, Camelot), Amanda Mealing (Holby City), Eva Birthistle (Silent Witness), Jimi Mistry (Blood Diamond), Rhashan Stone (Episodes) and Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Strike Back follows the fast-paced adventures of British military black ops unit Section 20 as they hunt down high-risk, top-priority targets.

When one of their own is captured, the organization enlists the aid of charming former U.S. Delta Force operative Damien Scott (Stapleton), whose brash style conflicts with partner Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Winchester) and the organization at large.

Friday, August 12th sees the release of series premiere "Episode One," as Sgt. Stonebridge tracks down Scott to an underground fight club in Kuala Lampur with the hopes of recruiting him in the mission to rescue agent John Porter from the clutches of Pakistani terrorist Latif, whom only Scott and Porter can identify.

But why take our word for it when you can catch a first-look clip at the action below, and watch the premiere of Strike Back on Cinemax tonight, August 12th, from 10:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT? And that's not all! Immediately after "Episode One" ends, go to MaxGo to watch "Episode Two" in its entirey a full week before it airs!

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:35 am

http://tvovermind.zap2it.com/cable/hbo/strike-back/strike-back-review-5-reasons-to-watch-series-premiere/86522

Strike Back Review: 5 Things to Watch For in the Premiere

Written By Clarissa
August 12th, 2011 - (2 days ago)

strike backHBO/Cinemax has paired up with the UK broadcaster Sky to produce its first original Cinemax series: Strike Back. The show, which premieres tonight on Cinemax and HBO Canada at 10:00 p.m., is a fast, furious and enjoyable new series that blends politics and action, with a bit of "buddy comedy" thrown in for good measure.

Season 1 of Strike Back will have 10 episodes in total and will air on Friday nights. Thanks to HBO, I've seen the first two episodes of the series and I can't wait to watch the rest of the season. This show is full of great actors and an intriguing story arc, and it's not too shabby with the fight scenes. Here are five things to watch for - and enjoy - in this new show.

(Update: Strike Back actually aired its first season in the UK, but has paired with Cinemax for season 2 and the show is essentially being promoted as if it is a new series for North American audiences. While the premise remains the same, the focus has shifted somewhat in its second season. For example, John Porter was the lead in season one, but with his character's departure, new characters are stepping to the forefront or being introduced).

(1) Political Intrigue: The set-up of the show isn't breaking the mold, but that doesn't mean it's not interesting. Essentially, a Pakistani terrorist by the name of Latif manages to capture and kill a man named John Porter, who also happens to be an operative for a secret British military division called Section 20. After Porter's death, his superior (Col. Eleanor Grant) and his colleagues (Sgt. Michael Stonebridge and Capt. Kate Marshall) recruit an ex-Delta Force soldier named Damian Scott, who, along with Porter, is the only person who can recognize and identify Latif. After uncovering a potential plot by Latif's organization, the group heads to India to thwart a potential attack. The plot of first two episodes involve the Indian military, the Pakistani ISI, the issue of WMDs in Iraq, and potential military and government cover-ups. There's a few twists and red herrings thrown in for good measure and by the end of the second episode the political storyline that's sure to dominate the rest of the season is introduced.

(2) Amazing Action: This show is chalk-full of action, from hand-to-hand combat to flying bullets. All of it adds up to a fast-paced and brutal show that is thrilling. There's also an action sequence towards the end of the second episode that had the members of our little screening group applauding for how cool and tense it was. If you need your post-24 fix every week, then Strike Back is the show you should be watching.

strike back(3) Lead Actors: The cast is full of attractive and solid actors and actresses, but I think it's worth pointing out that its two leading men - Sullivan Stapleton as the American Damian Scott and Philip Winchester as the British Michael Stonebridge - are great in their roles. Not only are they easy on the eyes (you'll like that fact, ladies), but they're rugged manly-men whose characters have great rapport with one another. They play the comedy aspect (ie. two vastly different men whose personalities don't really mesh) well, but their budding friendship, which develops throughout the first two episodes, plays as realistic and creates a solid basis for the show.

(4) Adult Situations: This show doesn't pull any punches. It's gritty. People die. Sometimes those people aren't adults. Sure, some of them get saved, but there are a lot of casualties. People also have sex (lots of it). The violence isn't gory by any means, but focusing the story on international terrorism requires that they show the brutal and adult world that can exist in this sphere. And you have to respect the show for not sugar-coating it. Strike Back is a cable show on a cable channel and - like True Blood or The Sopranos - it doesn't pretend to be anything else but made for adults. You might also respect a scene where one of the lead actors manages to take down someone while he's naked. Which is...impressive. Seriously.

(5) Production Value & Locations: In a show focused on a counter-terrorism/military group, you would think that the characters are spending a lot of time inside a boring (albeit decked-out) government office. Fortunately, the world of Strike Back goes far beyond that. Sure, there's a few scenes in HQ or the mobile command area, but most of the action takes place in exotic locales. And nothing about the show looks cheap. There's obviously a solid budget backing this show, and if there isn't then someone out there is doing a terrific job making it look like there is. The production value of the show is terrific and adds to the appeal as Section 20 travels from Kuala Lampur to Pakistan to India in order to try and apprehend Latif.

It would be easy to dismiss Strike Back as a silly summer show airing on a Friday night, but no one should do so. It's a fun and ferocious series that blends humor, action, bromance and story and is interesting enough, in my humble opinion, to turn a skeptic into an interested and dedicated viewer. The show isn't just a way to pass the time, it's enjoyable for its own sake and you should tune in.

Strike Back premieres tonight (Friday, August 12) at 10:00 p.m. on Cinemax and HBO Canada. To view three sneak peeks and learn more about the characters, click here. I've also included the first six minutes of the show below.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:24 pm

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/news/article_1656868.php/Things-to-come-on-British-TV-for-Autumn-and-Winter

Things to come on British TV for Autumn and Winter

By Ian Cullen Aug 14, 2011, 16:30 GMT

On an up note. Next week will see the launch of a new series of 'Strike Back' on Sky One. Readers of Monsters and Critics will probably remember 'Strike Back' from last year.

Well, I for one have been waiting for the new series to begin for what seems like months. It’s been widely advertised on Sky One, but no start date has been revealed in these adverts, which is why am thankful that my TV Guide has a brief glimpse of things to come in the back pages.

Last year's series starred Richard Armitage as John Porter, but this years show looks to be with a different cast and telling a different story, but over ten episodes as apposed to the six episode arc that we enjoyed last year.

The new series of 'Strike Back' stars Philip Winchester and Amanda Mealing and will get off to an explosive start during the week commencing 22 August. For me last years series was must watch television hopefully this new season will carry on that tradition.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:41 pm

http://www.starpulse.com/news/HBO/2011/08/10/strike_back_interactive_billboard_laun

'Strike Back' Interactive Billboard Launches in New York
August 10th, 2011 9:15am EDT

To kick off the new original series, "Strike Back," Cinemax launched an interactive billboard in New York. Embedded into a huge scopic wallscape featuring the gritty key art, the SuperWall will scale across eighteen 46" screens to give a multi-layered experience that hits consumers on three different levels:

• The SuperWall gives consumers a massive visual experience by playing large-scale video across all eighteen screens at once;

• Armed with a set of cameras, the SuperWall captures movement and reacts to pedestrians as they walk by;

• Split among four interactive stations, the SuperWall allows users to interact and engage with the wallʼs digital mainframe to learn more about the organization, its major players, its missions, and to even enlist in S20.

Never before have large-scale video playback, reactivity, and interactivity been combined into one experience. A revolutionary piece that evokes pseudo military intelligence, the SuperWall is the perfect entry point into the world of "Strike Back."

The interactive billboard housed at 225 West 34th Street will be actively displaying content for 24-hours a day throughout the month of August and will help promote the premiere of "Strike Back" on Cinemax, August 12th at 10pm.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:38 pm

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/22/3090605/cinemax-launches-first-ever-prime.html

Posted on Mon, Aug. 22, 2011 07:09 AM

Cinemax launches first-ever prime-time series, more are on the way
By STEVEN ZEITCHIK
Los Angeles Times

For a long time, the approximately 12 million viewers who subscribe to Cinemax have pretty much known what they were going to get when they flipped to the pay-cable channel after the kids had gone to bed: big-budget Hollywood movies long past their moment and original series, such as "Zane's Sex Chronicles," meant to be watched with the lights out.

But if executives at the network have their way, Cinemax will soon become known for something else: a place to find high-caliber new entertainment from top creators such as Alan Ball and Luc Besson.

On Aug. 12, the network, so often the forgotten little sister of pay-TV powerhouse HBO, began broadcasting its first prime-time original series since it launched 31 years ago. "Strike Back" is a buddy action series about a strong and silent British operative (Philip Winchester) and his freewheeling American partner (Sullivan Stapleton). The two gleefully globetrot from one military and political crisis to another, using ingenuity and violence to settle their problems, Jack Bauer style. The show's co-executive producer and writer is Frank Spotnitz, a key figure behind "The X-Files."

It's the first of several programs that will occupy a Friday night time period that executives hope will become as much of a destination as HBO's Sunday night bloc. They include a television adaptation of the "Transporter" action-film franchise; a show about an ex-con in a small town that's executive produced by "True Blood" and "Six Feet Under" creator Alan Ball; and a series from Spotnitz that will be built around a female butt-kicking heroine a la "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "Salt."

The idea, the executives say, is not only to create a new vein of entertainment but also to turn cable television's penchant for moral ambiguity and dislikable characters on its head.

"This is not dark programming," said Eric Kessler, the co-president of HBO, who also works heavily on Cinemax. "This is fun, sexy programming with action and humor. We want people to get their fill of things they don't necessarily see elsewhere on cable."

Kessler points out that, unlike a broadcast network, which also has a mandate for fun and humor but is limited in the amount of sex and violence it can portray, a pay channel like Cinemax can show graphic content without fear of FCC reprisal.

Given these advantages, then, why now? Kessler says that executives simply felt the time was finally right to jump into the original-programming game. But there may be a more powerful business reason.

HBO stood at the forefront of what has become a revolution in original series when it created shows like "Sex and the City" and "The Sopranos" more than a decade ago. Soon after, other cable networks followed. These days, nearly every piece of cable real estate is filled with original series. Direct Cinemax competitor Encore, the Starz sister network known for feature films, is airing several original miniseries this year. A network that just a few years ago was known for broadcasting old movies, AMC, has some of the most acclaimed series on television, while FX and Showtime take their share of the cable audience.

But while some networks want original content so they can add viewers and thus attract advertising dollars, Cinemax needs content to maintain and increase its subscriber base. Right now, the channel's subscriber number is less than half of HBO's 28.1 million (and, as competitors are quick to point out, many of those Cinemax subscribers receive the network because they get a discount with their HBO subscriptions). If Cinemax hopes to persuade a critical mass of viewers to pay full price, it needs to add something fresh. And fresh, in an era of easily available online porn and movies, means original series. (Not that the network is halting the movies or the soft-core porn.)

Cable and satellite TV operators also must be persuaded that Cinemax has content compelling enough that those operators should then promote the channel in their advertisements, mailings and customer-service calls.

The channel does hold an advantage in its bid to create compelling original series: Many of its programming decisions are made by people who also run HBO, giving the network relationships with platinum-caliber creative types. "Transporter," for instance, unites the network with the French genre auteur Besson, who wrote and produced the films and will executive produce the series. The show, about the life of the mysterious criminal-world driver Frank Martin (played by Jason Statham in the films and Chris Vance in the TV version), is shooting and will air next year. "Banshee," the Alan Ball show, looks to shoot in the spring.

But those high-level relationships also could pose an issue: Top-level producers and show runners generally want their work to be taken seriously. The overall context of Cinemax is, by its own executives' admission, "high-octane" and "fun."

This may have already led to a difference of perspective on "Strike Back." Although executives at Cinemax indeed use the phrase "high-octane" to describe the series, its co-executive producer and director, Dan Percival, said he resists the term.

"I'm a fan of action shows that aren't just action but have a point of view," he said, pointing out that the series is based on a memoir from a British special-forces agent and also uses real-life operatives as consultants. "We think we have something to say with our engagement with a world in conflict, that's at conflict with itself, and the human cost it takes on soldiers and civilians."

The network will face other obstacles as it undergoes its reinvention. On many cable systems, Cinemax itself is difficult to find, usually appearing on the dial behind many of the HBO spinoff channels such as HBO Family and HBO Comedy. And even with promotion on HBO and an outdoor-marketing blitz - try driving five blocks in Los Angeles without seeing a "Strike Back" billboard - educating viewers that a network composed primarily of movies is now running an original series is never easy.

Cinemax will try to build momentum by airing its programs after similarly themed films. Friday's episode of "Strike Back," for instance, followed an airing of "Machete," Robert Rodriguez's 2010 ode to exploitation cinema. "We want people to feel like they're getting a little mini-action movie every week, but in the context of a larger series," said Kary Antholis, who is president of HBO miniseries and who also oversees the new original-series programming at Cinemax.

"Strike Back" is off to a respectable start: The first episode premiered to 567,000 viewers, a decent if not overwhelming number for a new pay-cable series. By comparison, "Game of Thrones" debuted to 2.2 million viewers, although HBO has the advantage of being in more than twice as many homes.

Cinemax executives say they are aware of the hurdles but believe they have a larger mission. "There will be challenges, and this will take time," Kessler said. "We realize it's a first step. But we're committed to this as a long-term plan. We think there's a real need for it in the cable universe."
Posted on Mon, Aug. 22, 2011 07:09 AM

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:47 pm

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Strike-Explodes-Cinemax-1036490.aspx

Strike Back Explodes Onto Cinemax
Michael Schneider
Aug 19, 2011 07:00 AM ET
by Michael Schneider

They're blowing things up at Cinemax — literally. The channel, a testosterone-dripping younger brother to HBO, is adding the explosive new action series Strike Back in a bid to expand its oft-maligned original programming.

"Cinemax needed to evolve and feel like a premium to subscribers," says HBO miniseries president Kary Antholis, who also oversees shows for Cinemax. "We're trying to grow the brand to a place where it's serving another purpose for people."

But fans of "Skin-emax" will be relieved to hear that Strike Back features all kinds of action — both in the bedroom and on the battlefield. "We looked at what our customers appreciated about Cinemax in the first place, and the best-performing programs were high-octane, combat-oriented action movies," Antholis says.

Among the most popular movie titles on the channel: the Transporter (which Cinemax is also turning into a TV series; alas, without star Jason Statham), Transformers and X-Men franchises. Strike Back, which could be described as a hopped-up-on-steroids version of 24, should fit in just fine.

The series revolves around a U.S. Special Forces operative (Sullivan Stapleton of Animal Kingdom) who teams up with a British black-ops agent (Fringe's Philip Winchester) to stop international terrorists. "It's boys being boys, killing bad guys, blowing s--t up, stealing cars and jumping out of choppers," says Stapleton, who relished the action and was put through a grueling boot camp in order to emulate the real special-ops unit Delta Force. "We went to hell and back."

Strike Back was inspired by a series of novels by British writer Chris Ryan. "His books are not brilliant literature, but they're epic and these wonderful, almost Greek tragedies," says executive producer Dan Percival, who also directed several episodes. "It's people caught and compromised by the desire to do right, finding themselves in impossible situations where moral choices are blurred."

The original season of Strike Back was produced for British channel Sky1 in 2010 and featured Captain America costar Richard Armitage (who wasn't available for Season 2). Antholis believed the show would make a great fit for the new Cinemax and struck a deal to coproduce Season 2 with Sky.

With Cinemax on board, Strike Back was revamped. The budget was increased (to a hefty $3 million an episode), and Stapleton's American character was added. X-Files alum Frank Spotnitz was also brought in to write several episodes. "We're incredibly proud of what they've done," Antholis says. "We're giving people the equivalent of a mini action movie in every episode."

The show, which was shot on location in South Africa and Hungary, contains plots ripped from the headlines and inspired by events like the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The season focuses on a Pakistani terrorist and shines a light on that country's instability — a plot that became even more relevant when Osama bin Laden was found and killed there.

Percival admits it was strange to be making a show about terrorism as that story unfolded. "What was surreal was seeing the kind of rhetoric playing out in the real world that we were dramatizing," he says. "But that's the world that Strike Back lives in."

British actress Amanda Mealing (Four Weddings and a Funeral), who plays a take-charge colonel, says the cast and crew came to work the day after bin Laden was taken down, and compared the stories on Strike Back to the Special Forces mission to hunt the Al Qaeda leader. "It's a drama — we're not making a documentary. But to think that what we're doing is actually going on... It sent a chill through everyone," she says.

Strike Back doesn't shy away from showing the brutality of terrorism, with heads blown off, children in danger and snipers around every corner. A major character even dies in the first episode. Percival says no one on the show is safe. "There's a running joke on the set that you never know when the bullet is coming for you," he says. "There will be something that confounds your expectations every week. But that's war — and real life."

Strike Back premieres Friday at 10/9c on Cinemax.

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:51 am

http://www.multichannel.com/article/472425-Cinemax_Makes_Ratings_Strike_With_Original_Series_Debut.php

Cinemax Makes Ratings 'Strike' With Original Series Debut
'Strike Back' Draws 1.1 Million Cumulative Viewers In Network Premiere
by R. Thomas Umstead -- Multichannel News, 8/15/2011 5:57:02 PM

Cinemax's first original series, Strike Back, jumped out to a strong start in its Aug. 12 debut.

Strike BackThe series, which stars Sullivan Stapleton as a former U.S. Special Forces operative who teams with an elite British military unit led by Philip Winchester to try to thwart an international terrorist group, drew 1.1 million viewers over three plays this past Friday, according to network officials.

The 10 p.m. premiere broadcast drew 567,000 viewers, triple the time period's year-to-date average and marking the best performance in the time slot since an airing of the movie Titanic more than six years ago, said the network.

An additional 286,000 and 248,000 viewers watched the 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. plays, respectively, according to network officials.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:02 am

http://www.thetvhitlist.com/quick-hits/ratings-cinemax-%E2%80%9Cstrikes%E2%80%9D-up-a-respectable-debut-2718.html/

Ratings: Cinemax “Strikes” up a respectable debut

by Modi on August 15, 2011

Cinemax’s entry into the world of original series can be seen as a success.

After watching its sister network HBO consistently dominate the field they decided to make a foray into the world of original programming. The first of which, “Strike Back,” premiered on Friday night and drew 567,000 viewers across the net’s 16.7 million homes.

While that may need seem incredibly high compared to the numbers HBO pulls in, it was actually was Cinemax’s best ratings performance in that time slot in the last six years. They had previously reached that high with an airing of “Titanic” in 2005.

Counting the two repeats of the episode airing immediately following the premiere, the show bumped its average up to 1.1 million viewers. By comparison to other rival networks that number comes in very close to “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” which earned 659,000 viewers over its 21.6 million homes. It’s also very close to the network’s “Torchwood: Miracle Day” and Showtime’s “Episodes” starring Matt LeBlanc.

“Strike Back” airs Friday nights at 10pm on Cinemax and stars Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:53 am

http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Friday+Strike+Back+shows+there+life+post+thrillers/5308897/story.html

TV Friday: Strike Back shows there’s life in post-9/11 spy thrillers


By Alex Strachan, Postmedia News August 25, 2011


Even U.K. cool guys don't look at explosions. But Strike Back is proving to be more than a testosterone-fuelled rehash of 24.
Photograph by: Submitted, Sky1

After three weeks, the U.K. Cinemax spy thriller Strike Back (HBO, 10 p.m.), made in South Africa and now airing Fridays on HBO Canada, is showing signs of defying those early critics who wrote it off as a testosterone-driven remake of 24 and Spooks, but on a shoestring budget.

It is that – Sullivan Stapleton is unlikely to make you forget Kiefer Sutherland – and the ideas are nowhere near as subtle or politically astute as those in Spooks.

Strike Back is not trash, though, as last week’s two-parter about a terrorist attack on a palatial tourist hotel in Pakistan proved.

Tonight’s outing, about an armoured-car robbery in Johannesburg, reputed to be the carjacking capital of the world, is another example of TV mayhem ripped from the headlines. It’s becoming increasingly evident, though, that Strike Back isn’t just another crime-of-the-week procedural. Each week’s story is linked to the next, despite the varying settings.

The seemingly disconnected action is all part of a larger plan. Strike Back is a serialized tale about a shadowy terrorist organization with links around the globe, reaching into the corridors of power and tunnelling deep inside Western governments.

Strike Back comes at a tricky time for post-9/11 TV paranoiac shows. 24 has been retired and the next season of Spooks – renamed MI-5 in North America – will be that show’s last.

A new anti-terrorism drama, Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis and co-created by longtime 24 executive producer Howard Gordon, is being readied for the U.S. pay-cable channel Showtime, but has yet to air. The Border, CBC-TV’s attempt at a Canadian take on Spooks, has been officially retired. With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 looming, shows like 24 and Spooks are looking increasingly passé.

And yet Strike Back, with its buddy-cop bromance between Stapleton’s excitable U.S. Special Forces operative Damien Scott and Philip Winchester’s buttoned-down by-the-book U.K. operative Michael Stonebridge, manages a brisk, preppy pace that keeps things moving along without overtaxing the brain.

And because Strike Back hails from the U.K., and not a U.S. broadcast network, it’s unafraid to place its characters in jeopardy – real jeopardy, and not fake they’ll-get-out-of-it-by-the-end-the-hour jeopardy. True to British TV tradition, last week’s episode ended with a kidnap victim – and potential recurring character – being killed at the end, just as it seemed everything and everyone was going to turn out just fine following a successful special-forces rescue on the stricken hotel.

Strike Back is no Emmy winner. It won’t win any BAFTA Awards. It’s much better than the early notices would suggest, though. There may be life left in post-9/11 TV spy thrillers after all.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:13 am

http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_18740871

Cinemax launches its first prime-time series, more on way
By Steven Zeitchik
Los Angeles Times
Updated: 08/23/2011 03:44:13 PM CDT

NEW YORK - For a long time, the approximately 12 million viewers who subscribe to Cinemax have pretty much known what they were going to get when they flipped to the pay-cable channel after the kids had gone to bed: big-budget Hollywood movies long past their moment and original series, such as "Zane's Sex Chronicles," meant to be watched with the lights out.

But if executives at the network have their way, Cinemax will soon become known for something else: a place to find high-caliber new entertainment from top creators such as Alan Ball and Luc Besson.

On Aug. 12, the network, so often the forgotten little sister of pay-TV powerhouse HBO, began broadcasting its first prime-time original series since it launched 31 years ago. "Strike Back" is a buddy action series about a strong and silent British operative (Philip Winchester) and his freewheeling American partner (Sullivan Stapleton). The two gleefully globetrot from one military and political crisis to another, using ingenuity and violence to settle their problems, Jack Bauer style. The show's co-executive producer and writer is Frank Spotnitz, a key figure behind "The X-Files."

It's the first of several programs that will occupy a Friday night time period that executives hope will become as much of a destination as HBO's Sunday night bloc. They include a television adaptation of the "Transporter" action-film franchise; a show about an ex-con in a small town that's executive produced by "True Blood" and "Six
Advertisement
Feet Under" creator Alan Ball; and a series from Spotnitz that will be built around a female butt-kicking heroine a la "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "Salt."

The idea, the executives say, is not only to create a new vein of entertainment but also to turn cable television's penchant for moral ambiguity and dislikable characters on its head.

"This is not dark programming," said Eric Kessler, the co-president of HBO, who also works heavily on Cinemax. "This is fun, sexy programming with action and humor. We want people to get their fill of things they don't necessarily see elsewhere on cable."

Kessler points out that, unlike a broadcast network, which also has a mandate for fun and humor but is limited in the amount of sex and violence it can portray, a pay channel like Cinemax can show graphic content without fear of FCC reprisal.

Given these advantages, then, why now? Kessler says that executives simply felt the time was finally right to jump into the original-programming game. But there may be a more powerful business reason.

HBO stood at the forefront of what has become a revolution in original series when it created shows like "Sex and the City" and "The Sopranos" more than a decade ago. Soon after, other cable networks followed.

These days, nearly every piece of cable real estate is filled with original series. Direct Cinemax competitor Encore, the Starz sister network known for feature films, is airing several original miniseries this year.

A network that just a few years ago was known for broadcasting old movies, AMC, has some of the most acclaimed series on television, while FX and Showtime take their share of the cable audience.

But while some networks want original content so they can add viewers and thus attract advertising dollars, Cinemax needs content to maintain and increase its subscriber base. Right now, the channel's subscriber number is less than half of HBO's 28.1 million (and, as competitors are quick to point out, many of those Cinemax subscribers receive the network because they get a discount with their HBO subscriptions). If Cinemax hopes to persuade a critical mass of viewers to pay full price, it needs to add something fresh.

And fresh, in an era of easily available online porn and movies, means original series. (Not that the network is halting the movies or the soft-core porn.)

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:05 am

http://www.adambowie.com/weblog/archive/003179.html

Strike Back: Project Dawn
By Adam Bowie on August 28, 2011 11:37 PM | Permalinkage | Comments (0)

I know, I know. You've been missing Ultimate Force. It ended its run in 2006, with Ross Kemp moving onto bigger things as he took on gangs for Sky One. In the meantime, if you wanted a military action adventure series set around the world, then you were left short.

Well Sky One is here to help you out with Strilke Back: Project Dawn. It's a follow up to last year's Strike Back. But if you missed that series (and despite a healthy advertising campaign supporting it, Sky did strangely "burn off" the six part series over three weeks) then there's not a great deal to worry about. All you need to know is that all the cast are back with one major exception.Richard Armitage is otherwise engaged in bigger and better things these days - not least The Hobbit. So in the first episode he very quickly gets killed off by terrorists holding him as a hostage, while our heroes are heading out to fail to rescue him.

Strike Back is based on a sereis of novels by ex-SAS soldier Chris Ryan. The unit this team comes from isn't the SAS - so no sign of "Henno". Indeed, "Section 20" seems to be based in the MI6 building if the establishing shots are to be believed. But it does have a healthy contingent of women, which I suspect is not actually true of our special forces. And they mostly operate in regular clothes, which is again useful, since one man or woman in full combat gear is much like any other.

As this series has been co-prodcued with HBO's downmarket younger brother, Cinemax, then we get a "Dempsey"-style American co-star in Sullivan Stapleton. Nope - me neither. But he's perfectly good as the ex-Delta Squad guy who was kicked out for unexplained means. In some cirlces Cinemax is known as "Skin-emax" for the station's "erotic" fare. So in their first ever original series, they seem to have ensured that a decent quantity of "skin" - mostly female - is on show.

Ensuring there's a decent quantity of nudity in the pilot episode of any new premium cable series seems to be par for the course, and despite the series being largely an action series, it doesn't fail. There's one laughable scene where the main British character's wife literally undresses in front of her husband to "remind you what you're missing."

But what about the plot? Well it's "ripped from the headlines" time as we get an opening two-parter set against a terrorist attack on an Indian hotel. Remind you of anything? Otheriwise there are evil Muslim terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction MacGuffins (Don't worry - we get a speech from a captive who's a Muslim and gets to explain that not all Muslims are evil in case we were a bit slow. And we get subtitles in the Impact font which is an unusual choice.

The series does have good production values, being made largely in South Africa, where they seemingly have Indian-styled hotels available for filming in. I'd imagine that the South African locale will also

Plenty of series are locating to South Africa for their seemingly rather good production incentives and cheap extras which keep costs down. Entertainingly though, the South African Government seems to insist on a disclaimer denying any responsibility for the plot. I don't think there's any doubt that we thought otherwise. I don't believe the Isle of Man forces this on productions based there...

Elsewhere in the cast we have chisel-jawed Philip Winchester as Stonebridge, our main man. While back at base there's Amanda Mealong as hard-nosed-women-in-charge and Eva Birtwhistle who gets to go on a few missions. Jimi Mistry also shows up for at least a couple of episodes. He doesn't get to dance.

I know I sound a little disparaging, and this is by no means a great series. But it's harmless enough stuff. And Sky/Cinemx/Left Bank are probably onto a good thing as this series clearly has vast international appeal if Ultimate Force was anything to go by. With a decent sized budget, this series will undoubtedly work in many territories. Expect to see it dubbed when you're next in foreign climes.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:27 pm

http://www.themortonreport.com/entertainment/an-interview-with-dan-percival-executive-producer-and-director-of-the-cinemax-action-series-strike-back/

An Interview With Dan Percival, Executive Producer and Director of the CINEMAX Action Series Strike Back
Can a show about an anti-terrorist organization be entertaining while retaining its integrity? Dan Percival does his best to make it so.
By Mindy Peterman, Columnist
September 2, 2011 10:30 AM 1

Liam Daniel/CINEMAX

Sullivan Stapleton, Philip Winchester
It’s not easy reinventing a U.K. show for the U.S. market, but that is exactly what director and executive producer Dan Percival has done with his CINEMAX action drama Strike Back.

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.

Recently, I spoke with Percival by phone from London as he was putting the finishing touches on the series’ final two episodes of the season. We discussed what it took to bring Chris Ryan’s Strike Back novel to the small screen first as a U.K. series and now as a hit show in the U.S.

What did you work on prior to Strike Back?

I did a movie [for HBO] about five years ago called Dirty War, and before that I was a documentary film maker. And since that - well, between that and this - I wrote and directed an original series for BT America called, The State Within, which is a political thriller based in Washington.

So political thrillers [have] been my kind of [show] for a long time. It’s not all I do but there’s sort of a direct correlation between terrorism and Strike Back which is much more entertainment based, but nonetheless probably grounded in far more reality then the show makes apparent and certainly inspired by the real world.

Terrorism is a sensitive topic these days. Did this fact present additional challenges in telling the story?

The war on terror, which has essentially been going on since the two planes flew into the Twin Towers, continues in modified form every day. And it’s very rare that the world of Strike Back is portrayed - what I mean by that - it’s not the intelligence war so much as the military war in the war on terror which gets portrayed in the manner in which we’re able to do it.

It’s just fantastic. I mean, it’s like the Cold War that generated a whole series of movies and novels and TV shows that weren’t necessarily specifically about spies and spying but were inspired by that era of paranoia.

We’ve now made [this] into a different era of paranoia and fear which is the global network of terrorism. I spent a lot of time making documentaries before I started making dramas, working with intelligence communities on both sides of the Atlantic.



It’s interesting how you’ve used that knowledge to create your own story using the Chris Ryan novel as your jumping off point.

Yes, the Chris Ryan novel. There’s only one book, Strike Back, and from that we extrapolated the TV series. We’ve taken the notional idea of Section 20, which is what he created. Section 20 is actually based on a [British] military intelligence organization called The Increment, which is functional in the world today in a very similar way [that] Section 20 is.

But we’re not supposed to know about that. I mean, every once in a while it becomes massively public like the attack on Bin Laden’s compound. We all see it. We all see what goes on but the real story and a very interesting story is not just the capturing of Bin Laden but the computer data and the files that they took from that place will be informing a thousand other operations that are happening right now around the world. And that’s the world in which Strike Back inhabits.

What were some of the challenges in adapting the novel for television?

In terms of this season, we didn’t do any adaptation work at all. It was a completely original series but based on the notional ideas that Chris Ryan created in his original Strike Back book.

The first season in the UK was very much an adaptation of the book and we kind of modernized it into the War in Iraq. But the story was of a man who committed an appalling sin in battle where he didn’t kill a child and it led to the death of his unit.

[He] took on the burden of that crime himself, as it were, as he saw it, as he perceived it, and only discovered later in life that actually he wasn’t the person responsible and [it] becomes a mission of vengeance to find out the truth about what really happened to him and what ruined his life.

That was the story of the book. That was essentially the backbone of the original series and the characters in the book we adapted to television. But in a sense, the first series was a springboard by which we kind of created a template for [one] that could evolve into a bigger series - and that’s what HBO saw when they saw our mini series. They went, “Wow, we could really work with this. We could really do something interesting.”

You have a very attractive cast, Not only are they physically appealing, they are charismatic in other ways, as well. For instance, I think Scott (played by Sullivan Stapleton) is a man every woman wants and every guy wants to be.

One of the lovely things working with HBO and Sky is they don’t need to cast stars. They can find stars. So, you know, there was a huge international trawl for actors. And, of course, Sullivan Stapleton is Australian playing an American and Philip Winchester [who plays Michael Stonebridge] is an American playing a Brit. He’s a Montana boy.

percival.jpgReally? You can't tell at all. But I’m wondering, how can you prevent a charming rogue like Scott from becoming a parody of himself?

I think deep in the human psyche is the need for the white knight. I mean, I’m probably over intellectualizing this but why does the character work?

Why do we actually adore [Scott] for his roguishness and all his non-PC-ness. When you first meet him in the first episode you think he’s a whoring, careless, money grabbing, carefree man.

As you get to know him, you understand his nobility, and when you see him in the second episode carry the child through the hotel, it’s a very genuine thing and, of course, that’s what breaks people’s hearts.

So you have to keep a character like that in check in the sense that Scott can’t be totally unreconstructed. He’s got to have values that make him good at what he does, that make him want to be a fighter for the right reasons and not for no reason.

The characters of Scott and Michael Stonebridge work really well together. But they’re also very different.

Yes, in life as on the screen too. To be honest we’ve cast guys who are not a million miles away from [their characters]. We spend months and months and months screen testing and putting combinations of actors together and seeing who spoke to us. Who came to life.

I think it’s always a huge challenge to create a double act, which was the ambition of Strike Back. I think there are constant checks and balances there as well. And as the series evolves, the character evolve and also get their own episodes. They have a fantastic chemistry.

When they work as soldiers together, as a two man team, or as part of a bigger team, it’s just electric to watch them. It’s a joy.

How did you and (X-Files alum) Frank Spotnitz get together for this project?

I’d done the initial outline when HBO came on board, it’s essentially a British show but we wanted to introduce an American character. We wanted to bring an American lead writer into the show to work with me. And the team rather liked it.

Frank happened to be in London. I wanted to meet him anyway. I loved that he came aboard and helped us transform [the story]. I think Frank and I share a great deal of the same sentiments and both of us are sort of obsessed with the world of conspiracy and global politics so we really clicked.

You filmed in many different places, exotic locales, which added a lot of texture and atmosphere to the show. As a director, what was the most difficult aspect of pulling up stakes to do these location shoots?

Well, you know, doing any kind of show this size is logistically enormous. You’re working in foreign countries [with] foreign crews. You have to sort of carry everything with you. South Africa, which is where we shot the first half of the series, is a very film friendly part of the world.

I mean, they have amazing resources and crews there.We use South Africa for Kuala Lumpur [and] India for Sudan. It’s just a massive logistical challenge to find ethnically the right look for everything you’re doing.

I’m very familiar with all these countries. I filmed and I’ve made documentaries all over the world and especially in India and the Middle East and Africa. So I have a deep knowledge of those parts of the world and what they look like.

The location filming is a joy when you’re trying to achieve shows at this scale on a budget because it’s much, much smaller. The South African Film Commission is amazingly accommodating. There are not many places in the world that you could take over four city blocks and have them let you do that.

One last question: Strike Back is the first scripted series for Cinemax. Is there a certain responsibility in being the first?

Yes. But if I lay awake - if I thought about it all the time I’d never sleep. I think you’ve just got to go out and make your film the best you can, and hopefully it’ll find it’s audience. I’m just passionate all the way through about telling these stories as well as we possibly can.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:24 am

http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/technology/strike-back-post-wraps-up/5031402.article

Strike Back post wraps up

1 September, 2011

Technicolor UK has completed the post on its biggest TV project to date, finishing the picture post for the second series of Sky 1’s Strike Back.

The 10-part series had an average of 50 VFX shots in each 60-minute episode.

To speed up the post process, the VFX work and grade was completed at the same time.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:40 am

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/brothers-in-arms-checking-in-on-cinemaxs-strike-back

Brothers in arms: Checking in on Cinemax's 'Strike Back'

The Friday night action series has turned out to be much better than it needs to be

By Alan Sepinwall Saturday, Sep 24, 2011 7:08 AM

Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester in "Strike Back."
Credit: Cinemax

Cinemax's "Strike Back" fell into an unfortunate scheduling nether-region in terms of reviewing, with the first episode debuting while I was recuperating from press tour (though Dan and I discussed it on the podcast), and the series really kicking into gear while I've been trying to stay afloat amidst the broadcast network premieres.

And that's a shame, because over the course of six episodes so far, I feel like the show has turned out to be far better than it needs to be. Though it's technically the sequel to a British series of the same name, this series (a co-production between Cinemax and Sky1) is being largely treated as a new thing, and as one of the first Cinemax "original" series, all it really had to do was fit the channel's brand, with lots of action (largely involving leading man Philip Winchester) and lots of sex (largely involving co-lead Sullivan Stapleton).

But "Strike Back" has turned out to be like one of those effective little B-movies that knows it's an exploitation pictures and has no pretensions at being anything else, but is determined to be as good as possible within the limits of the form. Winchester's giving a very strong performance, the action has been effectively brutal, the thriller scenes really tense, and the guest characters both well-cast (the most recent two-parter featured Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Iain Glen, essentially pitting Mr. Eko against Jorah Mormont) and often more morally complex than you'd expect.

Myles McNutt has some more detailed thoughts on the series to this point over at his Cultural Learnings blog, and I'm curious if any of you have kept up with it. It's been a really pleasant surprise.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:41 am

http://cultural-learnings.com/2011/09/24/cultural-checkup-cinemaxs-strike-back/

September 24, 2011 · 1:09 am
Cultural Checkup: Cinemax’s Strike Back

There are a number of logical parallels between Cinemax’s Strike Back and Starz’s Torchwood: Miracle Day. Not only did they share the same timeslot for a number of weeks this summer, and not only are they both ten-episode “series” which somewhat strangely spin off of a pre-existing franchise, but they’re also both international co-productions in which an American premium cable outlet joined forces with a British broadcaster (Sky1 for Strike Back and the BBC for Torchwood).

However, they’re parallels that most people aren’t making since no one, it seems, has been talking about Strike Back, an action drama being shepherded by a collection of British writers and Frank Spotnitz (best known for his work on The X-Files). Admittedly, this is logical so long as we are speaking comparatively: Torchwood is an established franchise with an extensive fanbase that spawns extensive discussion, whereas Strike Back has fewer generic qualities which would traditionally lend themselves to weekly critical consideration (or even online discussion, in general).

That being said, though, it’s quite likely that there are a large number of critics who have been silently keeping up with Strike Back; indeed, every time I tweet about the show I get a couple of replies from people who started to realize they really liked the show at about the same time as the run-up to the fall premiere season kicked in and their time disappeared. It’s the time of year when catching up on a show is a daunting task, a time of year where it’s easier to erase something from your memory (or your DVR’s memory, at least) than wading in for a closer look.

However, since I’ve been able to lie low (relatively speaking) during premiere week, I’m in a position where I can talk a bit about how a show that goes out of its way to create opportunities for softcore pornography managed to stealthily become one of the most enjoyable drama series of the summer by developing an intelligent mix of episodic and serialized storytelling that Russell T. Davies might want to study a bit more closely for next time around.

In the fantastic two-parter that ended last night on Cinemax, Section 20 (a secret unit within British intelligence) took part in a black ops mission in Darfur which had them cooperating with an arms dealer in an effort to rescue his daughter – an aide worker – from a tribe of armed mercenaries in exchange for information regarding the operations of global terrorist Latif, who I guess we could call the “big bad” in the Strike Back universe.

It was actually the third two-parter that the show has done, as its first six episodes have been divided up into three separate arcs all tied to Section 20′s search for Latif, and all taking place in different locations around the world (including India and South Africa, where the show is shot). The show obviously owes a debt to shows like 24, as you could easily see Jack Bauer being dropped into one of these situations and there’s some occasional talk about “moles” (even if they never quite use the word), but the focus on (two-part) episodic stories is a departure from the singular thread that the FOX series tries to cultivate in each season.

It’s also what has allowed the show to be successful. Strike Back is not a particularly subtle show, which is why the two-part structures work to its advantage: it allows the show to set up a situation, deliver a game-changing cliffhanger, and then build towards an exciting climax. While 24 always struggled to stretch out the seasonal arc into twenty-four episodes (or at least eight to ten episodes, at which point the story could be rebooted), Strike Back has made no attempts at creating a full ten-episode arc. It’s not exactly a new narrative form, as it’s not far removed from what the modern Doctor Who does within its series, but it feels particularly useful within this genre. If you’re making a show that promises action, and in which you want the stakes to remain high at all points, the easiest way to avoid killing momentum is (oddly enough) resetting the clock every two episodes.

Let’s run with the clock metaphor for a moment: while the minute and second hands might be reset every two episodes, the hour hand keeps moving at its regular (albeit slow) pace. The show has kept Latif in the foreground throughout the first six episodes, even though he only appeared in the two-parter that started the season, and more importantly the long-term impact of the search for Latif has been played out within Section 20 itself. While the setting and the story may reset every two episodes, the characters have shown something much closer to what we’d expect from a serialized drama, and something that 24 was never able to really show given its temporal limitations. It’s the perfect blend of serialized and episodic narratives, as the characters become more complex with each passing week and yet the show is still able to focus on isolated stories that can have a clear beginning, middle and end. The show has never felt like a work-in-progress, even as it slowly introduced the characters and their points of view; instead of watching the hour hand waiting for it to bloody well move already, we’re too busy with the second and minute hands to worry about it.

What Strike Back has done particularly well is finding ways to give into excess (made possible by the wonders of premium cable) that don’t move the show too far away from its narrative stakes. The show has found plenty of excuses to include sex, most of it involving Sullivan Stapleton’s Damien Scott, but it has been treated as an isolated component of the show that is pitched as a brief respite – either dramatic or comic – from the chaos of armed conflict rather than its central purpose. Similarly, the show is unafraid to break out the giant explosions and the gruesome deaths, but the show also isn’t afraid to get more cerebral and psychological with its action sequences. While there are moments where the sex and violence are designed purely to excite, they have never felt wholly disconnected from the show around them; Scott has a lot of sex, and the show has an extremely high body count, but neither feels as though it becomes the point of the whole exercise.

It also helps that the show has been tremendously well cast and, perhaps more importantly, is incredible to look at. While the regular cast has been solid, with Stapleton (playing the undisciplined American) and Philip Winchester (playing the [relatively] disciplined Brit) providing a solid odd couple anchor, it’s the guest casting that has been particularly strong. Liam Cunningham, soon to be seen as Davos Seaworth on HBO’s Game of Thrones, was a disarming presence as the villain the episodes three and four, while his co-star Iain Glen (Game of Thrones‘ Ser Jorah Mormont) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost‘s Mr. Eko) played pivotal roles in episodes five and six. The show has also taken advantage of shooting in South Africa, delivering some tremendous location shooting that contributes a sense of scale alongside a boost in authenticity (especially when they were shooting the city as itself).

To be clear, Strike Back is well aware that it isn’t a “prestige” drama series, and I say all of this knowing full well that this isn’t going to enter into that pantheon. However, as Alan Sepinwall put it on Twitter last week, the show is better than it needs to be: there are a number of scenes where the writers and the production crew have gone out of their way to turn what could be a purely functional scene into something that’s honestly quite spectacular. The fifth episode could have started with a small-scale kidnapping, but instead it starts with an armed tribesman riding a horse through a fiery building in order to run down the aide workers trying to escape both the invaders and the flames. There’s something playful about moments like that one, but it never felt like a farce, and ended up being a harrowing start to a two-parter that despite being a “stand-alone” had incredibly high stakes. Characters were well-developed, early narrative events were paid off as part of the conclusion, and characters who could have been purely incidental were given a sense of purpose and a sense of story that allows you to picture their life before and after the episode comes to an end. It may not be able to compete with the narrative pleasures of multi-season arcs on a show like Breaking Bad, but it’s a different sort of narrative pleasure that I wish we saw more often within more traditional procedurals.

Many of these pleasures are small, brief moments of appreciation that have no connection to long-term storytelling, but that’s what elevates a show like Strike Back. One of the things that drove me away from Miracle Day is that there were no small pleasures: everything was so wrapped up in the larger conspiracy that there was nothing else for me to latch onto, no takeaways that could satisfy on a weekly basis given that everything hinged on the big reveals. As brash as Strike Back might seem on the surface, and as much as I would argue they have made some bold storytelling decisions on both micro- and macro-levels, the narrative structure they’ve developed is far more safe than the ten-episode arc that Davies tried to manage with Torchwood. And while the lack of a high-concept premise meant that Strike Back arrived under the radar earlier this summer, I’ve come to like the show more with each passing week, which is perhaps the most important criteria for a new series.

I can’t predict what kind of Top 10 lists I’ll have by the end of the year, but I will say that Strike Back has a fairly good chance of being on it. Even if it pales in comparison to the best in serialized dramas (see: Breaking Bad), and even if its generic qualities are far more familiar than the year’s most interesting shows (see: Louie), there is something enormously satisfying about a fun, action-packed show made by people who aren’t content to phone it in. While the show may be most basically separated from fare like 24 through the swearing, the gruesome deaths, and the exotic locales, the real separation runs much deeper within the show’s narrative structure, and at this point I’m keeping my HBO/Cinemax subscription more for Strike Back than anything airing on HBO this fall.

And that surprises me as much as it might surprise you.
Cultural Observations

While the first two-parter was solid, and the second had some great moments, the third really was a step above: the action was more dynamic, the sex was less random, and the casting really was superb. I still think people should start from the beginning if they’re interested, especially based on some serial elements that play a key role in the episodes, but I think Episodes Five and Six tell a fantastic standalone story as well.
To be clear, don’t go in expecting incredibly complex characters: while Winchester’s Stonebridge has had a pretty interesting arc that really paid off in the most recent episodes, the rest of the characters are caught somewhere between one and three dimensions. However, the show hasn’t asked them to be more than that, and the more we see them in different situations the more their personalities start to form.
I’m fascinated by the production history of the show, which I had no idea about before watching the premiere: this is technically the second series of Strike Back, and the star of the first series is actually featured in the first episode of this series in a guest capacity. The show is definitely not bothering to pretend that a previous season existed, using Scott’s introduction as a pivot point, which is definitely a unique situation as far as development goes (as it allows Cinemax to sell it as a new series, and Sky1 to sell it as a continuation of a franchise).
In comparison to Torchwood, you can see how Strike Back is aiming towards American audiences with Scott coming in as the American working within a British unit. The show has also worked to bring other Americans into the story, but never so much as to make it seem particularly obnoxious. The show has also avoided obsessing over the transatlanticism of it all, which is to its advantage when we make the comparison.
Was really taken with Laura Haddock in parts five and six, only to discover that she’s also Will’s love interest in The Inbetweeners Movie, which is shattering box office records in the U.K. right now. I spent my summer reviewing the third series of The Inbetweeners for The A.V. Club, so that was a fun little connection for me.
I had never seen Liam Cunningham in anything before this, but he was a pretty fantastic villain in episodes three and hour – not sure if it’s a performance that really foreshadows what he might be able to bring to the role of Davos on Game of Thrones, but I could see flickers here and there, and am definitely excited to see what he does with the character.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:49 am

http://www.aoltv.com/2011/10/21/5-reasons-to-watch-strike-back/

5 Reasons to Watch 'Strike Back'
by Crystal Bell, posted Oct 21st 2011 4:15PM

Cinemax has never really been known as a place for quality television, but it may have found a solid starting ground with its original drama series 'Strike Back.' The action-packed show combines what Cinemax knows best -- sex -- with heavy violence and some witty dialogue.

Think of it as a British take on '24,' and although it won't make you forget Jack Bauer, it is a thoroughly enjoyable action hero romp from a global perspective. The series has also been a moderate hit for Cinemax, and it was recently renewed for a second 10-part season.

The series follows Section 20, an elite military black ops unit within the British government that focuses on high-risk, top-priority targets -- including an international group of terrorists. When one of their own is captured and held hostage by the terrorist group, Section 20 enlists the help of Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton, 'Animal Kingdom'), a cheeky former Delta Force operative who is familiar with this group of terrorists. However, his cocky style is often at odds with his more by-the-book partner, Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester, 'Camelot'). Meanwhile, team leader Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing, 'Holby City') is one of the most badass females on television ... but she also has a few secrets of her own.

Season 1 wraps up tonight (Fri., Oct. 21, 10PM ET on Cinemax), but there's still time to catch up with Scott and Stonebridge before Season 2 premieres in 2012. Here are five reasons we think you should watch:

1. Explosives
Seriously, if you love to watch stuff blow up, this might just be your new favorite show. They must spend a fortune on explosives, and there's always a fist fight or someone wielding a gun. Basically, if you're a teenage boy, you'll be hooked. Not convinced? In the premiere episode, Stonebridge catches a bomb, mid-air.

2. It's Sexy
Get your mind out of the gutter! It's not just smut for smut's sake. In fact, Cinemax's foray into primetime television only averages about one sex scene per episode. (We counted.) Meanwhile, sister network HBO's 'True Blood' averages at least two per episode. (Counted again.) But 'Strike Back' isn't just a sexy show because of the sex -- Stapleton and Winchester are two of the most attractive leading males on television. They had to endure an intense one-month military bootcamp before filming began in South Africa, and female fans everywhere are grateful for it.

3. Scott & Stonebridge
Sure, the main focus of the series is Section 20, their counter-terrorism ops and taking down bad guy Latif, but at the heart of the show is the relationship between Scott and Stonebridge. At first, it's kind of stereotypical: Scott is the d-bag American who ruffles the uptight Stonebridge's feathers. Scott is a typical womanizer, while Stonebridge is the dedicated family man, and their interactions produce most of the witty banter in the show. However, as the first season progresses, you realize that Scott and his buddy "Stonehenge" (as Scott affectionately calls him), are kind of like two peas in a badass pod. They're not perfect, but they just might be the closest thing television has to a modern day Steve McQueen and John Wayne.

4. Expect the Unexpected
You have to appreciate a show that's not afraid to kill off a few main characters, especially when it's totally unexpected. It wouldn't be realistic if everyone in Section 20 to make it out alive, right? Just don't get too attached to any of these characters because you never know what kind of secrets they're hiding -- or when their time might be up. Case in point: The explosive season finale. No spoilers, but it might have you feeling a little upset by the show's end, like you've been duped. But in a good way that leaves you wanting more.

5. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Mr. Eko?! Enough said. Adewale guest stars as a brutal militia leader named Tahir, who holds an innocent aid worker hostage in the Sudan. Seriously, is there any actor who's more badass than Adewale? We don't think so.

Tell us: Have you been watching 'Strike Back'? Will you now?

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:38 pm

http://www.malaya.com.ph/03272012/ent5.html

‘Strike Back’ coming on Max
1

CINEMAX’s first high-octane, globe-spanning action-thriller original series "Strike Back" will be making its Asian premiere on Friday, April 20 on MAX, a refresh of Cinemax.

"Strike Back" is Cinemax’s first scripted prime-time original drama series and marks the first time HBO/Cinemax has worked with UK broadcaster Sky to produce an original series.

"‘Strike Back’ fits in perfectly on Max, a channel that is fully loaded with action, suspense and science-fiction programs targeted at men and packs entertainment with a bold, honest and unapologetic attitude," said Karen Lai, Communications Director, HBO Asia.

When a resourceful international terrorist group plots an attack, a charismatic former US Special Forces operative joins forces with stealth British military unit to stop them in the ten-episode action series.

Starring Sullivan Stapleton, Philip Winchester and Amanda Mealing, the timely, fast-paced series mixes suspense, action and drama, spanning the globe from India to South Africa, from England to Chechnya. Shot on location in South Africa and Hungary, the series also stars Eva Birthistle, Jimi Mistry, Rhashan Stone and Richard Armitage.

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 (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 (Winchester). Team leader Col. Eleanor Grant (Mealing) is a smart, tough military leader who is skilled with a gun and diplomacy, but knows when to break a rule or two.

Renewed for a second season, the first season was described by the Los Angeles Times as a show that "shoots high with plenty of action and thrills and a simmering bromance that’s fun to watch," while the New York Daily News hailed "Strike Back" as an "unapologetic, first-pumping non-stop action thriller." The Washington Post described the show as a "stylish and addictive new counterterrorism series."

"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 Elaine Pkye for Sky; co-executive producers, Dan Percival and Frank Spotnitz; series producer, Michael Casey; producers, Trevor Hopkins and Sue De Beauvoir; co-producer Bill Shepard.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:59 pm

http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Showbiz/Story/A1Story20120423-341488.html

Manly men strike back

Share
0
inShare
By Jason Johnson
The New Paper
Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012

Whoever came up with the name for Strike Back just doesn't understand the rules.

"Strike Back" is always supposed to come at the end of a longer title.

The Empire Strikes Back.

Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back.

Killer Tomatoes Strike Back.

Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back.

As you can see, it's an illustrious list.

Anyway, this is a crazy show.

It's like drinking a tankard of testosterone while bathing in testosterone, while outside, it's raining testosterone.

It's manly is what I'm saying, basically.

The story is about these two Special Forces guys - American Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) and Brit Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) - who are trying to bring down the notorious terrorist Latif (Jimi Mistry).

It's weird that they'd cast Mistry as the baddie - he looks like a perfectly nice gent.

Jason Segel looks fiercer, but then again Jason Segel isn't tanned.

Being tanned goes an awfully long way bad guy-wise in this kind of 24-wannabe series.

When we first meet Damien, he's enjoying a moment of intimacy, I suppose you could call it, with a hooker.

Then he goes and gets in a bare-knuckle prize fight.

He's supposed to throw the fight, but he knocks the guy out.

Within a span of five minutes, we already know pretty much everything we need to know about Damien.

Fortunately, Michael comes along and whisks Damien away to the headquarters of the black-ops agency Section 20, which is in London, because, of course all the great secret headquarters are based there.

Damien decodes a super secret message, and then the pair are off to a Delhi hotel to find Latif.

There are no hookers to be found, so Damien picks up a bar wench - in roughly five seconds. He's THAT good.

While he's sharing a moment of intimacy with the wench, Latif and his henchmen invade the hotel.

Don't worry, in episode two, Damien and Michael manage to save the day.

Sad to say, they can't do the same for the poor bar wench. Shame, she was really pretty.

They run all around the hotel shooting the terrorists - easily spotted by their handily matching track suits - one by one.

Damien ends up having to carry around a terrified little girl, because, of course every heroic death machine needs to show his sensitive side.

The spectacular ending of episode two actually managed to win me over with its audaciousness.

The terrorists had attached an oddly huge bomb to the hotel lobby ceiling with a wire, and when Latif's evilest henchman releases it, Michael comes flying out of nowhere to catch the bomb before it hits the floor.

He just catches the bomb! Way to go, Michael.

Unfortunately, Latif manages to escape, which is a bummer.

Maybe they'll catch him in episode three? After all, how dangerous could somebody played by Jimi Mistry be?

Then they'll have the remaining seven episodes to just kick back and relax - albeit in a really manly way.

Catch new episodes of Strike Back each Friday at 10pm on MAX (StarHub TV ch611)

This article was first published in The New Paper.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:33 pm

http://www.redeyechicago.com/entertainment/tv/redeye-strike-back-exclusive-video-crashing-van-into-man-20120807,0,4579736.story

'Strike Back' production exclusive: Crashing a van into a man

Go behind-the-scenes of filming a stunt for Season 2 of "Strike Back" with this video exclusive. (Cinemax / August 7, 2012)

By Curt Wagner RedEye

10:41 a.m. CDT, August 7, 2012
With the new season of "Strike Back" less than two weeks away, our friends at Cinemax continue to take us behind the scenes of the production as it was filmed in South Africa earlier this year.

The latest "Production Recon" video from the action series, which follows the soldiers of a special ops unit called Section 20, shows what star Sullivan Stapleton said as one of the crazier stunts he took part in this season. The scene involves his character, Damien Scott, driving a van into a baddie.

In reality, Stapleton drove the van into the stunt man, or "stuntie" as he says, who is protected by a metal cage. During a post-screening Q&A session I moderated at San Diego Comic Con, Stapleton said he couldn't believe he was being asked to drive a vehicle into a person.

"It's kind of a funny thing to drive at another human being and hope to God that that welded little cage holds," he says in the video.

It's amazing that the stunt man wasn't hurt, and how authentic the scene looks. As you can see by everyone's reactions in the video, shown here exclusively, even the actors and crew are surprised--and rather giddy.

It's no surprise that Stapleton and Philip Winchester, who plays Sgt. Michael Stonebridge, have tons of admiration and appreciation for the stunt crew. I'll have more from the actors, a new co-star Rhona Mitra, throughout the season.

"Strike Back" begins its new season at 9 p.m. Central Aug. 17 on Cinemax. The Season 1 DVD set is available beginning Aug. 7. It features all 10 episodes as well as some entertaining and illuminating commentary tracks from the stars, directors and last season's showrunner, Dan Percival. Oddly, none of the wonderful "Production Recon" videos like the one above are included. But you can watch those at the Cinemax website and Youtube.

Despite the absence of those extras, I can't recommend this show highly enough. Look over in the "realted" field to find a photo gallery for the first episode os Season 1. And if you haven't seen the first season, get the DVD set and enjoy. Then you'll be ready for another round come Aug. 17.

Copyright © 2012, RedEye

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:49 pm

http://www.reelgoddess.com/2012/09/20/cinemax-movie-channel/

Cinemax – More Than Just a Movie Channel
Only on Cinemax

When I was growing up in the 80′s, I remember when my family first got cable. To start, it was just one HBO channel and one Showtime channel. In the town I grew up in, our cable provider didn’t offer The Movie Channel, but we did eventually get HBO’s version, called Cinemax. It was another channel that showed nothing but movies with some random goodies sprinkled in between. As time passed, Cinemax garnered a bit of a reputation with their propensity to air shows and movies that showed a whole lot of skin, and earned the nickname Skinemax.

Cinemax has evolved over the 30+ years it’s been on the air and now they are finally jumping on the original scripted series bandwagon. The format has worked incredibly well for both HBO and Showtime, so naturally, being an HBO affiliate, it was natural course of action. While Cinemax has about a dozen original series, 10 of them are part of their “after dark” programming and the other three are nothing but action, action and more action. Which is right up my alley.

Back in 2011, Cinemax launched a new scripted series called Strike Back. I saw the ads for this show and thought “explosions, hot guys, and lots of action…..I’m in.” It’s the simple things that make me happy. So when the show aired, I figured I’d watch the pilot and do a quick review of it…which ended up turning into weekly recaps of each episode that still continue well into the second season. If you haven’t heard of it, the show focuses on the exploits of a British covert special forces team and their efforts to stop all sorts of bad guys/gals from unleashing their evil upon the world. I can’t say it enough. I. Love. This. Show. It’s got everything. Explosions, hot guys blowing stuff up, and an abundance of action. All of which look great because the show has a very high production value. It also has an American playing a British guy (Phillip Winchester as Michael Stonebridge) and an Australian playing an American (Sullivan Stapleton as Damien Scott). The accents are spot on and I was shocked when I found out they weren’t real. The action was the big draw, but as the show found its footing, I have to say the biggest draw now is the chemistry between the two leads. Winchester and Stapleton have their characters, as well as each other, dialed in and give solid performances in every single episode.

The interesting thing about this show is that it’s actually an extension of a British series that aired on BBC. Cinemax’s first season, is technically the show’s second, however that original series never aired in the US to my knowledge. I’ve tried to get my mitts on it, but I can’t find it anywhere. One doesn’t need to view the BBC series in order to follow along, which was nice. I have been told however, that it does shed more light on the events of the “second” season. My one complaint about this show is the fact that it feels like an eternity between seasons. The seasons are short with 10-12 episodes per season. This is becoming the norm these days, but it’s makes for a long wait until the next season starts. Word on a third season hasn’t been made public yet, but my fingers and toes are crossed that Cinemax will give the green light.

Hopefully the wait between the second and third (hopefully) seasons of Strike Back won’t seem so long, because right after the season ends, Cinemax is premiering another new scripted series called Hunted. Hunted is another show that was created for both the BBC and Cinemax by Frank Spotnitz. Spotnitz has a solid resume with titles like Strike Back, Millennium and The X-files which means he’s no stranger to writing compelling characters and intrigue. Hunted stars Melissa George (Alias) as an agent who works for an extremely covert private intelligence agency called Byzantium. After surviving an attempt on her life, Samantha sets out to uncover the truth behind the hit on her life.

After watching the ads for Hunted, I’ll definitely check it out and just may end up adding it to my weekly recap list. Spy dramas are pretty common, but from what I can tell, this one will definitely have something to offer. It’s set in London, which is a nice change from American locations like New York or Los Angeles. While both cities have many offerings, there are so many shows based in those cities, it’s nice to mix it up for a change. There is also a viral marketing campaign going on right now to raise awareness about the show. The campaign is a test that a user can take to see if they have the makings of a good operative. I took it and have to say that it may seem random, but the results nailed my personality to the letter. It was almost creepy. Check out the trailer below, but also be sure to check out the viral campaign too. Report back to me how it turned out in the comments. The only other name in the cast that I recognized was Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, which is a huge bonus because I really like him. You may not know him by name, but you’ll definitely recognize him when you see him. As a hint, he played Mr. Echo on Lost. Hunted premiers on Friday October 19th at 10pm PST.







The third show that Cinemax is offering that’s on my radar is a show called Banshee. There isn’t a lot of information about this one yet, aside from a brief synopsis and an incredibly short teaser trailer. This one stars Anthony Starr as an ex-convict who assumes the identity of a small town Sheriff, while still living his convict life and trying not to get caught by those he betrayed. Now you know just as much as I do. Cinemax is promoting the crap out of this on Twitter and after seeing the super short teaser, I’ll admit….I’m interested. Banshee doesn’t premier until 2013, but the site doesn’t say when exactly. Check out the teaser below, or head over to the show’s page on the Cinemax website.







One of the things I love most about both HBO and Cinemax is the fact that they both stream their content online. Sure a ton of other networks do that as well, but with HBOGO and MaxGo, the content is available on streaming and mobile devices. The streaming device I use at home is the Roku and while there is an HBOGo Roku channel, MaxGo doesn’t yet have one. I’ve tried contacting Cinemax via Twitter, but haven’t received a response as to when the Roku might see a MaxGo channel. However, both apps are only available to current channel subscribers, which is a bummer for those who don’t subscribe to either through their cable provider.

What I love most about Cinemax’s series is the fact that they don’t sacrifice the material of the shows in order to get viewers. Strike Back is not a family friendly show. There is a lot of blood, beatings, and sex and they make no apologies for it. Some may say that those elements aren’t necessary to tell a good story, but I say that it doesn’t hurt. You know, sometimes I want my R rated material damn it, and that’s what Cinemax gives me. Believe me, I wouldn’t spend time writing recaps every week for a show I didn’t believe in. Strike Back is definitely something to check out and I have a feeling that Hunted and Banshee will be as well. Cinemax has come a long long way from what I remember of the channel from the 80′s, and for that, I’m very happy.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:48 pm

http://spacegypsies.com/archives/7582

Strike Back is Cinemax’s Secret Hit
Published by GreenEggsNSamm on 1st October 2012

Let’s face it, Cinemax isn’t known for its riveting series. It’s not like Showtime or HBO that constantly sweep the Emmys with their hit shows. Cinemax, also known as “Skinamax,” is known for one thing and one thing only…the fact that late at night it shows softcore porn. With that in mind, imagine my doubt when I first watched Cinemax’s original series, Strike Back.

Normally I would stay far away from a show like Strike Back, but since Rhona Mitra joined the show, now in its second season, I gave it a shot. So I bought the first season from iTunes, buckled down and watched. Boy was I surprised!

Strike Back is a British/American military action show, inspired by the Chris Ryan novel of the same name. Cinemax describes the show as:

A high-octane, globe-spanning thriller with storylines ripped from today’s headlines, Strike Back, the network’s first original primetime series in more than 15 years, focuses on two members of a top-secret intelligence agency known as Section 20: Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), a British sergeant on the elite counter-terrorism team, and Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), 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.

The storylines are enthralling and the characters are complex and likeable. Cinemax proves that a show doesn’t need nudity or sex scenes (even though we get both) to be a watchable show. What’s more, is that Strike Back’s creators have taken the time to do their research. Every mission, tactic, movement, gun, and technology has been screened for accuracy by actual military intelligence officers. Even the actors have been trained in proper position and protocol to ensure accuracy. The time and effort devoted to realism pays off, creating a realistic, immersive, and dangerous world.

Lord Monkeypants made a good observation. He too was dubious as to the show’s quality. Can you blame him? After watching the first episode of the second season he turned to me and said, “so it’s pretty much just gun porn.” He’s kind of right. For gun enthusiasts the show could be considered gun porn. It’s clear efforts were made to keep the guns accurate based on the regions where the missions take place and the show is pretty violent. I encouraged Lord Monkeypants, who is a gun enthusiast himself, not to give up on the show and to watch the first season instead. Low and behold, he’s hooked.

Rhona Mitra plays Major Rachel Dalton, Stonebridge and Scott’s new commanding officer. I’m sorry to disappoint you boys and girls, but Dalton isn’t a love interest for either of the main characters. She’s a hard-nosed soldier capable of making tough decisions and kicking some serious booty. She and Scott don’t really get along, which makes for some good ol’ tension between them. With Dalton and Scott respect and trust is something that is earned, and it’s been interesting to gradually see it forming.

Strike Back airs Friday nights on Cinemax. Check your local listings. Season 1 is available for purchase on iTunes and DVD/Blu-Ray. Make sure to check out Strike Back‘s official site for some pretty sweet behind-the-scenes extras.


_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
Alize
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1182
Join date : 2011-03-24

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:49 pm

http://www.gq.com/entertainment/tv/blogs/the-stream/2012/10/four-reasons-you-should-be-watching-strike-back.html#comments

Four Reasons You Should Be Watching Strike Back
BY Marc Bernardin

You probably haven't been watching Strike Back, on Friday nights at 10 p.m. on Cinemax. I know I wasn't. When I do think about watching Cinemax, it's usually for one re.ason—which has nothing to do with action-adventure. And that almost never happens because, well, Internet.

I was making a disastrous error in prejudgment: It turns out that Strike Back—which is barreling to the close of its second season—is a singular achievement on modern television. Why? I'm glad you asked.

1. It's the first real videogame-inspired show. Strike Back follows two agents—the Brit Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and the American Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton)—who, in working for British Intelligence's Section 20, travel to exotic locales and blow them up. Every episode, and I mean every episode, finds Stonebridge and Scott assaulting a hardened location, head-shotting dozens of bad guys in the process, clearing rooms, cracking wise, and sweating like studs. Hours of Strike Back feel like levels in Call of Duty and seasons feel like campaigns, in the best possible way. Shot on location in Africa—a welcome change from U.S. television's insistence on filming the shit out of Canada's every nook and cranny—Strike Back feels like a huge enterprise, filled with disposable non-player characters ripe for the killing.

2. Boobs. It's on Cinemax, man, and the producers take full advantage of that. Our introduction to Damien Scott, disgraced U.S. special forces veteran, finds him rather athletically bedding an Asian prostitute...who loves him, of course, because he is a big-ass hero with a natural +2 against panties. Scott will find a way to drop trou and get into it with some random exotic beauty wherever he is—in the middle of an undercover sting, as gunshots are ringing out during a terrorist attack on a hotel, whatever. It's exploitation, to be sure, and the producers have no problem steering into that particular skid. Sometimes, it seems like Scott is on some noble quest to catalog every possible color that nipples come in. Gotta collect 'em all!

3. Explosions. There are a lot of them.

4. Because it is about something. For all of it's surface pleasures—and there are a lot of surface pleasures—Strike Back is really the story of two catastrophically damaged men, grievously injured by the things they do for Queen and country and money. Stonebridge tries to build himself a family life (which doesn't end well) to spackle over the fractures in his psyche while Scott hides from himself in a booze-tinged cocoon of empty sex and adrenaline. Much in the same way that Battlestar Galactica delivered a heady sociological examination of wrecked people in a wrecked world by hiding it in a show about pretty people in sleek spaceships killing robots, Strike Back is about the costs of asymmetrical warfare on the people who wage it. The melted cheese of nudity and profanity and violence—of pure pulp storytelling—just helps it go down easier.

_________________
Twitter
Tumbler
Philip Winchester Blog
Back to top Go down
http://pwmultiply.forumotion.com
kajwalia

avatar

Posts : 18
Join date : 2012-01-26
Age : 31

PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:26 pm

http://www.redeyechicago.com/entertainment/tv/redeye-strike-back-renewed-for-3rd-season-tv-20121003,0,346888.story

'Strike Back' renewed for 3rd season

"Strike Back" will return for a third season next year, Cinemax announced Wednesday. The network will produce 10 episodes of the action drama starring Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton as two highly trained special ops soldiers working for a British counterterrorism unit called Section 20.

The hit series, currently in its second season airing news episodes at 9 p.m. CT Fridays, will once again film in South Africa and Hungary. Michael Bassett will return to direct a block of episodes. Writers Simon Burke, James Dormer and Richard Zajdlic also have signed on.

Any regular reader of this blog knows I'm a huge fan of the series, which mixes pulse-pounding action with a look at real-world events and a study of the emotional toll workingas a counterterrorism agent has on the soldiers. I'm looking forward to more seasons.

Read the full release from Cinemax below.

The Emmy-nominated series STRIKE BACK will return to CINEMAX in 2013 for a third season of ten new episodes, which will shoot in South Africa and Hungary. CINEMAX/HBO will again produce the series with partners Left Bank and Sky, who will air the series in the U.K. Returning for season three will be Left Bank's Andy Harries as executive producer, series producer Michael Casey and head of production Marigo Kehoe. Sky's Huw Kennair-Jones will executive produce.

Others returning for season three include director Michael Bassett ("Silent Hill: Revelation 3D") and writers Simon Burke ("Persuasion"), James Dormer ("MI-5") and Richard Zajdlic ("EastEnders"). Additional directors and writers will be announced as they are confirmed. Due to plot spoilers in upcoming episodes of season two, the cast of season three will be announced at a later date as well.

Also returning to the drama series for next season are the show's confidential consultants, who work in the field of counterterrorism. Their expertise is a resource for story, lingo, procedure, accuracy, character development and regional issues, providing a look inside the highly secretive black ops world. They also train the cast in battle tactics, weapons and fighting, as the lead actors do most of their own stunts.

Debuting in 2011, STRIKE BACK was the first collaboration between CINEMAX/HBO and Sky. The first season introduced an unlikely pair of operatives in the stealth counterterrorism unit Section 20: Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), an exceptional British Special Forces (SBS) soldier, and the less-conventional Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a former U.S. Delta Force member. In the second season, currently debuting new episodes Fridays at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) and concluding its run Oct. 12, the team tracks nuclear triggers stolen by a powerful businessman with dangerous geopolitical ambitions, while the two lead characters face personal challenges and contend with the pressures of their high-stress work.

In addition to Philip Winchester ("Crusoe," "Camelot") and Sullivan Stapleton ("Animal Kingdom," the upcoming "Gangster Squad," "300: The Battle for Artemesia"), season two stars of STRIKE BACK include Rhashan Stone ("Episodes") and Michelle Lukes ("Alexander"). Season two guest stars include Rhona Mitra ("Underworld: Rise of the Lycans"), Charles Dance (HBO's "Game of Thrones"), Vincent Regan ("Snow White and the Huntsman"), Liam Garrigan ("Pillars of the Earth") and Shane Taylor ("Band of Brothers").

The Los Angeles Times said the show "shoots high with plenty of action and thrills and a simmering bromance that's fun to watch," while New York's Daily News hailed STRIKE BACK as "appointment television for the next 10 weeks" and the Washington Post described it as a "stylish and addictive new counterterrorism series."

Recently nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Main Title Design, STRIKE BACK was the first original primetime series on CINEMAX in more than 15 years. The next series to debut will be "Hunted," launching Oct. 19, starring Golden Globe nominee Melissa George ("In Treatment," "30 Days of Night") and created and executive produced by Frank Spotnitz ("The X-Files"), followed in Jan. 2013 by "Banshee," executive produced by Alan Ball (HBO's "True Blood") and Greg Yaitanes ("House").

Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Strike Back articles   

Back to top Go down
 
Strike Back articles
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Gerard Butler came back to Belgrade, but was not reported to any girl
» Old interview with Tuomas Pirinen on Strike to Stun
» Crikey! Back issues
» "Look Back To Yesterday"
» The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Philip Winchester Fans :: Philip's Work :: Strike Back-
Jump to: