Friday, 7 October 2011


HBO's sister pay-cable channel Cinemax has picked up a 10-episode new season of the action series Strike Back to air next year.

Based originally on the best-selling book by former SAS man Chris Ryan, Strike Back first starred Richard Armitage (Spooks) as ex-British Special Forces soldier John Porter. In May 2010, Brit satcaster Sky aired the 6 X 60-minute drama, produced by Left Bank Pictures for Sky1 HD and Sky1, and distributed by BBC Worldwide. In January 2011, German channel RTL II aired it in a 3 X 90-minute version, and Canal Plus will air this version in France.

Following the success of this initial series, a second season was commissioned by Sky jointly with the Americans of HBO/Cinemax. Retooled for Cinemax's original programming, this new 10-part series (known as Strike Back: Project Dawn in the United Kingdom) has American scriptwriter Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) among its writers. It stars Sullivan Stappleton as Damien Scott, a former U.S. Special Forces operative who joins Section 20 - a secret branch of MI6. He works with Section 20 agent Michael Stonebridge, played by Philip Winchester (Camelot, Crusoe).

Cinemax announced yesterday that it has renewed Strike Back for another 10-part series. Past the fact that the first series seems disregarded in America as shown only in an alternate universe (Project Dawn is introduced as "Season One"), the result of this U.S. co-production is actually very good. The revamped Strike Back is a cross between a Tom Clancy under acid and a comic book, an ultra cool action/adventure old school show. Cinemax, Sky and Left Bank have clearly succeeded where Starz and the BBC have failed with Torchwood: Miracle Day, done on the same programming model.

The excellent title song of the current series, Short Change Hero, is performed by The Heavy. And the absolutely superb title sequence is designed by the very talented folks of Momoco (Luther, Zen, Silk, Injustice, etc.)

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