As part of my new job, I get (essentially) free tv. I say ‘essentially’ because I am paying $30 a month now to have all the channels, including all the premiums like HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz, so – yeah. I have some thoughts on this that I intend to put into a blog post soonish, but for today, I wanted to talk about a show I was completely unaware of; Strike Back.
I’ve seen the image on the right every day for the past 2 months. It’s a poster on the wall just outside the training room at work, and in the corridor leading to ‘the floor’ where we answer phones. I’ve wondered what the heck it was all about ever since I first saw it, so I did a little research and found out it was a show Cinemax took on a couple years ago. I did a search on my new DVR receiver and saw that Cinemax was running a marathon of the first season, so I set it to record and watched the episodes here and there since. Finished the last two last Friday.
In the premiere episode, a British agent (John Porter) from Section 20 is killed by terrorists, on camera. His rescue team arrives too late, one of their members is killed and they are no closer to finding the terrorist the agent was looking for in the first place. They are forced to enlist the help of an ex-Delta Force member (Damian Scott) who was dishonorably discharged, but who worked with the dead agent and may be the only person alive who knows that the terrorist looks like. Scott realizes that Porter left a code for him in the words he used in the videos he was forced to record by the terrorists leading up to his execution, and points out that the terrorists knew Porters name, suggesting that he wasn’t just captured, his cover was blown. Sergeant Michael Stonebridge teams up with Scott to find the terrorist, and figure out who blew Porter’s cover.
An interesting premise and a decent series. I want to say it has more boobs than Game of Thrones, though. But you get almost as much half naked men, too, so there’s something for everybody. The action is good, the intrigue too. More than enough to hook me for the entire season, and even look up the book the whole thing was based on, Strike Back by Chris Ryan, which is how I found out this wasn’t even the first season – it was the second, sort of.
The first series, Chris Ryan’s Strike Back, was a Sky1 production starring Richard Armitage (Guy of Gisborne!) as John Porter, a British agent with Section 20. The show was just 6 episodes and from what I understand, didn’t do too well, but well enough for a second season. Only Armitage was busy with BEING THORIN FREAKING OAKENSHIELD for The Hobbit, and so they went with the Scott/Stonebridge combo for series 2.
Series 3 continues the adventures of Scott and Stonebridge, along with Section 20 and the CIA – but I haven’t seen it yet. And I guess there’s a series 4 in production right now.
I see it as another reason why the cable networks are eroding the viewership for the ‘major’ 4 networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX). It’s well done, action packed, and they can do things (like the sex and violence) you just can’t get on network tv. I also want to point out – they have season long arcs and it works really well. That has a lot to do with the shorter format for the seasons – just 10 episodes.
I never would have found or watched this show if I didn’t get Cinemax with the job, though