Strike Back Season 1
Strike Back is a pretty simple TV series that works really well, possibly because it fills a vacant hole left by the departure of 24 and The Unit. But this made for Pay-TV show has something those other free-to-air shows could never attain, the ability to push the boundaries as much as they wanted to. And push they do.
The show is about a top-secret British Spec-Ops team, comprised pretty much of just two main characters, the steady-as-she-goes Michael Stonebridge and his wrongly disgraced wing-man, ex-American Special Forces Damien Scott, who in true British tradition is cast as a horny American who will pretty much bang any woman who so much as looks at him.
These two central characters are polar opposites and don’t get on that well together, but thrown into situations where it becomes glaringly obvious that the only people they can trust is each other, we slowly see a bond forming. This is the glue that bonds the series together and keeps us hooked in.
The story-line is pretty simple, Section 20 got right royally screwed by a terrorist by the name of Latif in the first two episodes, and so spend the next eight hunting him down. The season is split over ten episodes, but in reality is split onto five parts with each sub story taking two episodes. Whilst the basic plot is laughably simple, essentially seeing our dynamic duo being giving a mission, getting boots on the ground and then ending the fist of the two parts with a cliff hanger that sees the duo in a situation that seems impossible for them to escape/survive, and the second part seeing them kick all kinds of ass.
But it’s the sheer brutality of the guys approach that makes for a refreshing change from all the clinical TV drams that we get bombarded with. The writing is fast paced and enjoyable, if a little fluffy. Suspension of belief is essential, as these guys mess up just about every mission, which in reality would see them pulled off the team.
The funniest part of the show however is how Damien Scott seems to pretty much bed a different woman every episode, with a scene or two so gratuitous as to be laughable. The action and sex in Strike Back make Homeland S1 seem like kids TV.
So if you’re looking for a show that has enough action to put Rambo on edge, and plenty of chemistry between the characters, and you’re not offending by in-you-face sex, Strike Back is the perfect way to spend a few nights. And I do mean a few nights, because as soon as you put the first disc in, you’ll realise that you want to watch more than one episode at a time.
R16 Violence, offensive language and sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read