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Strike Back

Strike Back

Photo Credit:  Cinemax
  • Premiered: 
    May 5, 2010
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Sky1
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the 2007 book (Strike Back) by Chris Ryan 
  • Subject Matter: Adventure
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Plot Synopsis

Britain's Section 20, an elite military black ops unit in the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), fights terrorism around the globe by deploying the best operatives from the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the six-episode first season (called STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS in the U.S., which Cinemax aired late Fall 2013), John Porter, a former Special Air Service Sergeant in the British Army, has three separate missions: to rescue British journalist Katie Dartmouth, who was kidnapped outside Basra, Iraq; to travel to Zimbabwe and break out a prisoner who was accused as the shooter in an assassination plot of Robert Mugabe; and locate a computer hacker who is responsible for killing American troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

At the start of the second season (called the first season in the US), Porter is kidnapped by Pakistani terrorist Latif, who can only be identified by two people in the world -- Porter and Damien Scott, a former operative in Delta Force, the United States Army's elite counterterrorist unit. The Section 20 team, with Scott and by-the-book Sgt. Michael Stonebridge, sets up a covert surveillance operation in New Delhi, where they uncover hidden messages in one of Porter's hostage transmissions, warning of Project Dawn, a planned terror attack at a hotel in India.

The third season (known as Season 2 in the US) begins with Scott sent to retrieve a British diplomat and junior attache when they are kidnapped by militants loyal to notorious Somali warlord Huseyin Waabri. Now out of the unit, Stonebridge is training recruits at a military base, staying close to home and being a dutiful husband. When Scott's mission takes an unexpected dangerous turn, Section 20 must find an immediate creative solution. In the fourth season (called Season 3 in the US), the team tracks the elusive terrorist al-Zuhari and his well-financed drug cartel partners as they target European and American interests, both at home and abroad, including Section 20 itself. Even though Cinemax didn't initially show the first season of STRIKE BACK, the network aired the world premiere of the second season on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 10pm ET, just nine days before Sky1 first showed the return of the series to UK television on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10pm.

The 10-episode Season 4 (called Season 3 in the US) premiered on Cinemax on Friday, August 9, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT with new cast members: Robson Green as Col. Philip Locke; Dougray Scott as rogue operative James Leatherby; Milauna Jackson as Kim Martinez, a key player who crosses paths with the counterterrorism team; and Zubin Varla as mysterious person of interest Leo Kamali.

One week after it showed the season finale of U.S. Season 3, Cinemax debuted STRIKE BACK: ORIGINS, the six-episode first season of the series, which previously aired in the UK in 2010.

STRIKE BACK returned for its fifth season (called Season 4 in the US) on Cinemax on Friday, July 31, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT, with Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton continuing to star. When Michael Stonebridge and Damien Scott of the elite British intelligence undercover unit Section 20 set out to crack a missing-persons case in Bangkok, they quickly realize that what seems to be a simple kidnapping is actually the first step in a massive terrorist plot with global implications. Stonebridge, Scott and the rest of their team soon find themselves crisscrossing Asia and Europe as they battle Japanese Yakuza, Russian Mafia, cyberterrorists, elite mercenaries and other deadly forces. Also returning are Robson Green, Michelle Lukes and Milauna Jackson, who are joined by new cast members: Michelle Yeoh, Dustin Clare, Will Yun Lee, James Wilby, Adrian Paul, Joseph Gatt, Christian Antidormi, British mixed martial arts champion and UFC fighter Michael Bisping, Michael McElhatton, Max Beesley, Tim McInnerny, Leo Gregory, Mark Griffin, Wolf Kahler, Andrew Pleavin, Eliza Hope Bennett and Masa Yamaguchi.

Cinemax aired the premiere of the sixth season of STRIKE BACK (called Season 5 in the US) -- now called STRIKE BACK: RETRIBUTION -- beginning Friday, February 2, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT with an all-new cast portraying members of the revived Section 20, facing new threats and new enemies. In the season opener, members of Section 20 are called back into action when a new threat puts the world in danger. Stars in the new season include Warren Brown, Daniel MacPherson, Roxanne McKee and Alin Sumarwata.

STRIKE BACK kicks off its seventh season (called Season 6 in the US) on Friday, January 25, 2019 from 10-11pm ET/PT on Cinemax. Shot entirely in Malaysia, the new season features returning stars Warren Brown, Daniel MacPherson and Alin Sumarwata, along with new cast members Jamie Bamber and Yasemin Allen. When a Russian bomber crashes in the South China Sea, the covert special-ops soldiers of Section 20 -- Thomas "Mac" McAllister (Warren Brown), Samuel Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson) and Gracie Novin (Alin Sumarwata) -- are sent to investigate. There, they cross paths with Katrina Zarkova (Yasemin Allen), a rogue Russian operative with questionable loyalties. Under orders of the new commanding officer, Col. Alexander Coltrane (Jamie Bamber), Section 20 pursues stolen contents of the Russian jet across Southeast Asia. They will work alongside the Malaysian police to shut down a Triad gang in Kuala Lumpur, uncover a corrupt plot by a wealthy Indian businesswoman running for Parliament and plunge into the jungles of the Golden Triangle in Myanmar, facing off against mercenary drug agents and terrifying warlords as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens to push the world to the brink of global conflict.
The eighth season of STRIKE BACK (called Season 7 in the US) debuted on Cinemax on Friday, February 14, 2020 at 10pm ET/PT. When an Albanian crime family kidnaps a scientist responsible for the development of a top-secret British bioweapon, the covert special-ops soldiers of Section 20 -- Gracie Novin, Thomas 'Mac' McAllister, Samuel Wyatt, Manisha Chetri and commanding officer Alexander Coltrane -- are sent on a mission to secure the virus and take down its potential black-market buyers. But what starts as a relatively straightforward mission quickly escalates into a race against the clock to neutralize an even deadlier weapon of mass destruction pursued by a pair of jihadist brothers, whose terrifying ambitions threaten global conflict. Along the way, S20 reunites with rogue Russian operative Katrina Zarkova to form a tenuous alliance that raises questions of friendship, loyalty and duty. Episodes include:

Episode 1 (Friday, February 14, 2020 at 10pm): The members of covert antiterrorism unit Section 20 -- Novin, Wyatt, Mac and Chetri -- are reunited by commanding officer Coltrane under the pretense of rescuing Dr. Helen McCluskey, a biochemist who's been taken as a hostage in Kosovo by the Albanian mafia. But as the apparent search-and-rescue escalates, a sinister conspiracy to cover up the development of the weaponized virus unfolds, and S20 must track down the stolen bioweapon before the Albanians use it for profit. The trail leads them to Venice, where mob boss Edon has arranged a meeting with a potential buyer. Meanwhile, Coltrane attempts to extract intelligence from Edon's driver Jovan -- whom he's convinced he's met before. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Paul Wilmshurst.

Episode 2 (Friday, February 21, 2020 at 10pm): After catching wind of a feud brewing between Edon and his son Loric, S20 launches a raid on their family business in hopes of extracting the location of the bioweapon from Loric, whose self-serving cooperation leads them to an exchange between Edon and jihadist brothers Zayef and Mahir. Meanwhile, wedding arrangements between the Demachi and Vironi families sour, Mac considers a career-changing offer from Coltrane, and Wyatt is tempted to compromise his professional integrity. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Paul Wilmshurst.

Episode 3 (Friday, February 28, 2020 at 10pm): Section 20 finds itself in Tel Aviv, where Kogan -- the former security chief of a secure Russian research facility -- has escaped with a deadly piece of military tech that he plans to sell to Zayef and Mahir. But with the squad on Kogan's tail, the device winds up in the hands of a notorious Israeli gangster who promises to make matters even more complicated. Luckily, S20 picks up a highly-trained -- and well-briefed -- friend along the way. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Bill Eagles.

Episode 4 (Friday, March 6, 2020 at 10pm): Novin is forced to cooperate with Topal and Danny, as Spencer gives the squad an ultimatum. After an explosive stand-off with Zayef and Mahir, Spiegel threatens to blow the lid off S20's operations in Tel Aviv, and later, the squad's arrangement with the local police reaches its tipping point. Meanwhile, a serious threat is posed to S20's alliance with Zarkova. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Bill Eagles.

Episode 5 (Friday, March 13, 2020 at 10pm): When the location of Zayef's hideout is compromised, S20 raids the premises, leading to a confrontation that finds Mac defying orders to keep his team members safe. Suspecting that Zayef plans to deploy the stolen military tech during a United Nations conference in Munich, S20 heads west, where a showdown of epic proportions awaits. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Jonathan Jones.

Episode 6 (Friday, March 20, 2020 at 10pm): Long after the incident in Munich, Wyatt and Novin reunite with Mac, who has since left the military. But while he lives out a seemingly idyllic existence with his wife and daughter, his violent past -- and fears that his service was inadequate -- haunt him. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Jonathan Jones.


Other Titles

  • Season 1 title in UK Chris Ryan's Strike Back
  • Season 1 title in US: Strike Back: Origins
  • Season 2 title in UK: Strike Back: Project Dawn
  • Season 3 title in UK: Strike Back: Vengeance
  • Season 4 title in UK: Strike Back: Shadow Warfare
  • Season 5 title in UK: Strike Back: Legacy
  • Season 6 title in UK: Strike Back: Retribution
  • Season 7 title in UK: Strike Back: Revolution

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Left Bank Pictures