Whenever I mention my guilty pleasure viewing of The Last Ship due to its pulse pounding and authentic military action, it never takes long for somebody to point out that Strike Back did it just as well, if not better. I never actually got around to watching Cinemax’s action series before it was cancelled last year after its fifth season, but I may just be getting another chance at rectifying that mistake.
Deadline is reporting that the show is in fact returning to Cinemax but in a rebooted capacity. The original series, based the novel of the same name by real life SAS operative Chris Ryan, followed the action-packed exploits of “Section 20, a secretive branch of the British Defence Intelligence Service, who operate several high risk, priority missions throughout the globe”. The show’s first season, which originally aired on Sky, starred The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage and The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln. When the show moved house to Cinemax from its second season onwards, their characters were written out due to their other commitments, leaving the way for Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester to take the leads as disgraced Delta Force operative Damian Scott and Sergeant Michael Stonebridge respectively.
According to Deadline, this new series will be moving away from the “buddy cop” formula to focus more on an ensemble cast approach. As the original series was known for killing off its extended cast with regularity, this will probably be good news for the supporting cast. Deadline goes on to indicate that while Stapleton and Winchester are not expected to return to their roles, the option is on the table for them.
Whereas previously Section 20’s mission was the war against Al Quaeda, the new series will have the recently reformed Section focus on the more topically relevant ISIS.
In the new Strike Back, written by Jack Lothian, disavowed and disbanded, the Section program is restored in order to track down a notorious terrorist following a brutal prison break. Tasked with covert military intelligence and high-risk operations, the resurrected unit embarks on a lethal manhunt that will uncover a vast web of interconnected criminal activity. As the team journeys across the Middle East and Europe, they uncover a deadly conspiracy which threatens to overwhelm them all and change the face of modern warfare forever.
Alin Sumarwata plays Gracie Novin, a gear-head who is looking to make the step up. Genuine, honest to the point of bluntness, she’s the heart and soul of the team. Daniel MacPherson plays Samuel Wyatt, a bar-room philosopher who works best alone and has no intention of being dragged into a team situation. Roxanne McKee plays Natalie Roberts, who comes from a military family, excels at psychological profiles and seeking weaknesses in others, although she might be blinded to her own fault-lines. Darren Brown is Daniel “Mac” Macallister, a man of his word, affable, physically capable, and driven by a desire to avenge the team he’s lost.
Lothian will serve as showrunner, while original producer Andy Harris, who actually pitched this reboot to Cinemax, will exec produce. Cinemax has already greenlit the series which will start shooting in 2017.
Last Updated: December 13, 2016