Sunday, May 26, 2013

Strike Back (2010)

Wow, here was a show that hide under the radar with me and that is fortunate. I needed something cool to watch as my download file is mighty thin these day and this story of am ex-British elite S.A.S. soldier is riveting high tension drama.

The first series consists of six episodes. It follows John Porter (Richard Armitage), who resigned from the SAS following the aftermath of a rescue mission in Iraq on the eve of the American led invasion in 2003 where two fellow soldiers were killed, apparently by a thirteen-year boy Porter failed to kill, leaving him responsible. Seven years later, Porter is "reactivated" following the kidnap of journalist Katie Dartmouth (Orla Brady) by the same terrorists he fought seven years ago, including the same boy, As'ad.

Yeh, that is Andrew Lincoln as the heavy. Of course he already plays Rick on 'The Walking Dead'  so it was interesting to see his range as an actor and to hear him speak in his 'British' voice which is unlike his 'American' voice and 'Real' Australian accent.

Richard Armitage is the real surprise here as a vet who is having trouble adapting to life outside of war. He is just the right kind of damaged to get the job done. He is the very definition of expendable.

There are only six episodes so it's easy to get into and stick with. It pushes all the buttons we would expect when we worry about a female journalist in Iraq. I hate those kind of scenes, always have. But that is the price of generating sympathy for characters I already have sympathy for.

The background characters are uniquely strong but that is standard for one of these short time television projects. They seem to attract the best actors, writers and production staff. Everything here is tense and rushed. It's lean with little filler. It's like '24' in many ways but that comparison in no way takes away from Strike Back. It's a hell of a ride in a quarter of the episodes.

You can also get the entire first and second seasons of this story now since they were produced in 2010. That makes them a great way to spend an afternoon when you need the time to pass quickly. I am only one episode in but I have high hopes for this one.

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