Strike Back (known as Strike Back: Project Dawn in the UK) is a British-American action television series created as a spin-off of the original UK series Strike Back which follows the actions of Section 20, a secret branch of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), particularly two of its officers, Michael Stonebridge and former American Delta Force operative Damian Scott.
The series premiered in the USA on Cinemax on 12 August, 2011.
Strike Back premiered in South Africa on M-Net (simulcast in HD) on Friday 15 June 2012, at 21h30. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 3 premiered on M-Net on Friday 30 August 2013, at 21h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 10 episodes in the third season.
Strike Back returns for its ten-episode third season (the fourth season for UK viewers, known there as Strike Back: Shadow Warfare). Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton reprise their onscreen partnership as counterterrorism operatives Sgt. Michael Stonebridge and Sgt. Damien Scott.
The returning cast also includes Rhona Mitra as Maj. Rachel Dalton, Michelle Lukes as Sgt. Julia Richmond and Liam Garrigan as Sgt. Liam Baxter.
New cast members include Robson Green (Wire in the Blood) as Col. Philip Locke, Dougray Scott (Desperate Housewives) as rogue operative James Leatherby, Milauna Jackson (Blood Done Sign My Name) as Kim Martinez, a key player who crosses paths with the counterterrorism team; and Zubin Varla as mysterious person of interest Leo Kamali.
Returning directors are Michael J. Bassett (who also serves as a writer and co-executive producer), Julian Holmes and Paul Wilmshurst; returning writers are Simon Burke, James Dormer, John Simpson and Richard Zajdlic. New director Stephen Woolfenden and new writers Tim Vaughan and Ben Newman join the production.
In Strike Back's third season, stealth counterterrorism unit Section 20 pursues a deadly terrorist network from Colombia to Lebanon to Eastern Europe, uncovering deadly plots that threaten the West.
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.
The Section 20 team is often forced to resort to extraordinary measures to protect the greater good, making some members question their future with the unit.
In the first episode of the new season: enjoying a long-deserved vacation, Scott and Stonebridge are recalled after a fellow Section 20 member dies while pursuing the elusive terrorist al-Zuhari in Beirut.
A new lead sends them into the remote jungles of Colombia in pursuit of a known associate of al-Zuhari's and deep in territory controlled by a powerful drug cartel.
The season begins with a first, as Scott and Stonebridge - two hard-working operatives who never seem to get a day off - are on vacation. They have to leave suddenly for a mission and get airdropped into the Colombian jungle. There, we find Martinez, a DEA agent played by Milauna Jackson.
The fact that they go on holiday together is a big thing for the two. They've been through a lot together. They are riding motorcycles down the west coast of the U.S., and getting into all sorts of trouble.
Stonebridge wants to head out to a spiritual pilgrimage known as Camino del Santiago, but to Scott, it's just a walk, and they do a road trip instead.
Stonebridge really needs the break, too. He's suffered tremendous loss over the past two seasons and it's scarred him, first with his Section 20 colleague Kate, and then with his wife in last season.
Stonebridge knows that there's loss and it's going to continue to happen. He's used his nine lives several times over. He's not sure about the cause anymore.
He likes the purity of soldiering and there's definitely a gray area that's a lot bigger than the black-and-white. He doesn't like the politics and the gray area that interferes with the job, and he prefers the black-and-white.
In the third season, Strike Back continues to utilize consultants who work in the field of counterterrorism to add to the authenticity of the series, providing essential background on stories, characters, training and settings, while the lead actors do most of their own stunts.
The six-month production began on location in South Africa in January 2013 and moved to Budapest in March, where it wrapped at the end of June. South Africa was the location for scenes in Colombia and Lebanon in the first four episodes, while Hungary filled in for several Eastern European nations in the second half of the season.
Continuing the military training of previous seasons, the actors started production with a grueling boot camp. The training focused on a fitness regimen, weapons training and military maneuvers with real specialists in the field.
This enabled the lead actors to do the show's demanding stunts, which have increased in frequency and intensity this season.
Military advisor Paul Hornsby explains: "We trained the cast to hone their abilities, but also we train them for safety; it's only realistic to do stunts that the actors can do themselves.
"We focus on their physical training, tactical training, armed combat training with live weapons. I also work with the directors and stunt coordinators helping to make the action sequences more realistic.
"We would train them as if we were training a close protection team or a special forces unit," he continues. "I think that teaches actors to have respect for the weapons, and we mostly use real weapons on the show.
"All the cast spent a lot of time hanging out with ex-special forces, ex-policemen who passed on their experiences, so they were soaking up that varying knowledge from different people."
Strike Back is a CINEMAX Presentation in association with British Sky Broadcasting Limited; a Left Bank Pictures Production; executive producer, Andy Harries; series producer, Michael Casey; co-executive producers, Michael J. Bassett, James Dormer and Tim Vaughan; producers, Selwyn Roberts and Chris Thompson; co-producer, Bill Shepard.
Series exclusive to M-Net and simulcast in HD
Season 1 (10 episodes)
Premiere: 15 June 2012 | Finale: 17 August 2012 | Fridays, 21h30
Season 2 (10 episodes)
Premiere: 26 October 2012 | Finale: 28 December 2012 | Fridays, 21h30
Season 3 (10 episodes)
Premiere: 30 August 2013 | Finale: 1 November 2013 | Fridays, 21h30