Chris Ryan’s Strike Back is a British television series based on the novel by ex-Special Air Service member, Chris Ryan. It was produced by Left Bank Pictures for Sky1 and was originally screened as a 6 part series. The DVD release combines the episodes into their more logical 3 parts.
The story follows the life of John Porter, a British Special Forces soldier who is relieved of duty after he lost 3 men in a rescue mission in Basra, which is the main story-line for the first of three episodes on the DVD.
John’s life falls apart until seven years later (in the second episode) he gets back into the action after recognising the a photo on TV of one of the men who have kidnapped a prominent TV reporter. Through this episode John discovers a nasty little secret that may be his way to atonement.
Atonement has to wait to the final episode however as wee see all the strands come together, tying all three episodes into one cohesive story.
Strike Back starts off well, a fairly grounded British military drama, the first episode hooks you in and reminds you how much better the British are at producing great dramas – even though Strike Back is heavily infused with action.
In episodes two and three however, some cheese is allowed to flow through, but the series stays on track and manages of carry itself well through all three episodes.
Richard Armitage plays the key role of John Porter and portrays the character well, giving the viewer someone to believe in. The supporting cast, with some familiar faces, do an excellent job and their characters seem to suit them well. All in all Strike Back manages to deliver a believable tale of fiction, set in the realties of recent history.
The acting is good, the sets and action are spectacular for a TV series, though this is probably due to the budgets afforded by Sky1, all up, it’ll be a couple of nights of viewing that you won’t regret.
On a side note, another unique thing about Strike Back being British, is that the American’s are portrayed as arrogant, back stabbing allies who are only really interested in looking after themselves. Nice.
Reviewed by: Jonathan