If you’re like me, an avid fan of Cinemax’s Strike Back, you are excited at the news of a prequel that explains who came before Section 20’s Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) and Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), and addresses the role of John Porter (Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Robin Hood), the U.K. Special Forces soldier who was kidnapped in the very first episode of Strike Back. The six-episode prequel, Strike Back: Origins, originally seen in the U.K. on Sky, premieres on Cinemax on Friday, October 25 at 10 pm ET/PT. Joining Armitage is Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) as Hugh Collinson, Jodhi May (Emma) as Section 20 member Layla Thompson, Colin Salmon (Arrow) as Section 20 overseer James Middleton, and Shelley Conn (Terra Nova) as Section 20 member Danni Pre(ndiville.
For more details, check out Cinemax’s official press release below.
STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS begins its six-episode run FRIDAY, OCT. 25 (10:00-10:50 p.m. ET/PT) on CINEMAX, marking the first time the series will be seen in the United States. Taking over the Friday-night time slot of “Strike Back” after it completes its third season on Oct. 18, STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS stars Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit” film series, “Robin Hood”) and Andrew Lincoln (“The Walking Dead”).
The inspiration for CINEMAX’s hit action series “Strike Back,” STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS was presented on Sky in the UK in 2010. It was acquired by HBO/CINEMAX from BBC Worldwide Sales and Distribution and produced by Left Bank Pictures and Ingenious Broadcasting. Left Bank Pictures currently produces “Strike Back” with partners CINEMAX and Sky.
Originally titled “Chris Ryan’s Strike Back,” the UK season one of the show was based on the book series of the same name by former British Special Forces soldier Ryan.
Daniel Percival directed the first four episodes of STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS. He co-executive produced the first season of CINEMAX’s “Strike Back,” for which he also directed four episodes. He also directed two episodes of CINEMAX’s thriller series “Hunted” and HBO Films’ “Dirty War,” as well as episodes of “The State Within,” “Death Comes to Pemberley” and “Crossing Lines.”
STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS tells the story of John Porter (Armitage), an SAS (UK Special Forces) soldier who discovers a connection between a current hostage situation and a mission he ran in Iraq in 2003. He appeals to Hugh Collinson (Lincoln), a fellow team member from that mission who now runs the stealth counterterrorism unit Section 20 for the UK government, to allow him to join the rescue. Porter and Collinson have gone in sharply different directions in the years since their original mission went awry, with one enjoying a successful military career and the other’s life falling apart.
Porter makes an appearance in the first season of CINEMAX’s “Strike Back,” during which he is captured on a mission. Section 20 head Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing) brings in U.S. Special Forces soldier Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) to work with Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and the team. Scott previously ran a mission with Porter in Iraq and had knowledge of their target, terrorist Latif.
STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS also stars Jodhi May (“Emma”) as Section 20 member Layla Thompson, Colin Salmon (“Arrow”) as Section 20 overseer James Middleton and Shelley Conn (“Terra Nova”) as Section 20 member Danni Prendiville.
Guest stars include Orla Brady (“Fringe”) at journalist Katie Dartmouth, Dhafer L’Abidine (CINEMAX’s “Hunted”) as Hakim Al Nazeri and Fenar Mohamnned-Ali (“Occupation”) as As’ad.
Debut date: FRIDAY, OCT. 25 (10:00-10:50 p.m. ET/PT)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Oct. 25 (11:00 p.m.), 26 (9:10 p.m., 12:15 a.m.), 27 (noon, 11:00 p.m.), 28 (noon, 11:45 p.m.), 29 (12:10 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 30 (8:00 p.m.) and 31 (9:00 p.m.)
British Special Forces attempt a risky rescue mission in Iraq on the eve of the 2003 invasion by allied forces. Led by SAS’s John Porter (Richard Armitage) and joined by intelligence specialist Hugh Collinson (Andrew Lincoln), the team looks to rescue an executive of a British arms manufacturer who is being held by fundamentalists. While the mission is a success, several team members are killed. Porter is held responsible for their deaths due to a snap judgment call he made during the rescue.
Porter’s career does not recover from the controversial mission. Now, in 2010, his personal life is also in shambles, and he has a strained relationship with his ex-wife and daughter.
After seeing the news that journalist Katie Dartmouth (Orla Brady) was kidnapped in Iraq, Porter realizes there is a connection to his 2003 operation. He seeks to join the rescue mission being run by the British government counterterrorism unit Section 20, which is headed up by Collinson. Although Collinson and his team members Thompson (Jodhi May) and Prendiville (Shelley Conn) have doubts, he assigns Porter to the mission.
In Iraq, things quickly go awry and Porter goes rogue to find the journalist, linking pieces of his previous mission to the new one.
Written by Jed Mercurio; directed by Daniel Percival.
Debut date: FRIDAY, NOV. 1 (10:00-10:50 p.m.)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Nov. 1 (11:00 p.m.), 2 (9:10 p.m., midnight), 3 (12:25 p.m.), 4 (12:50 p.m., 12:05 a.m.), 5 (11:30 a.m., 12:35 a.m.), 6 (8:00 p.m.) and 7 (9:00 p.m.)
In an attempt to infiltrate the fundamentalist group that kidnapped journalist Katie Dartmouth, Porter returns to the sites of his old mission, encountering familiar faces that lead him closer to finding her and into the hands of terrorists. Out of options, Collinson is forced to let Porter continue his risky pursuit, while Thompson tracks Porter as closely as possible.
Written by Jed Mercurio; directed by Daniel Percival.
Photo credit: Sky
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