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From the Past

Films on the to-do list

  • Armageddon Time
  • Black Widow
  • Chimes at Midnight
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • Last Christmas
  • Remember Sunday
  • Shazam! 2
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Spy Guys

Strike Back (2010) 1.1-2

TV series episode review: Strike Back (2010), season 1, episodes 1-2 (directed by Daniel Percival)

Sooooooooo, Strike Back … first couple of hours out of six! I was planning on going to bed, but this computer hasn’t been on for ages so has a load of updates to install, so here I am!

Brooding RA. Blood-soaked RA. Angry RA. Post-traumatic stress disorder RA. Shirtless RA. RA the father (oh snap!). RA the soldier. Running RA. Gun-toting RA. Sweaty RA. Yeah, if it’s Richard Armitage you want, this is just the tonic!

Story-wise, I wasn’t really too interested or drawn-in until the last half-hour or so. Then things started to get interesting. Before that, I was just confused about if it’s supposed to be about the action, about the people behind the headlines (so to speak) or something else. What’s Strike Back supposed to be about? In the end, like some sort of higher-octane version of Spooks? (Have they borrowed the film set from the Beeb? It looks awfully familiar …)

It starts with a hostage rescue mission in Iraq in 2003. Porter disarms a would-be suicide bomber child, but doesn’t kill him – which comes back to bite him in the bum later. Some of his comrades are killed, Porter gets home and quits the army. PTSD, family problems … his wife moves out with their daughter and the only thing left is for Porter try and get on with life. Cut to 2010, a British journalist (Orla Brady) is kidnapped. She leaves behind a clue – Porter picks up on it, and gets himself reinstated and then it’s Big Damn Hero Time!

Anyone in a hostage situation should share a cell with John Porter. So calm in a raging storm of terror, a strong shoulder to cry on, reassuring voice … aww.

Funniest parts of the story so far: John Porter being faced with Rorschach ink blot test, and wryly commenting on all the pictures looking like “vaginas”.

The other being Porter working out at home. Someone needs to take a screenshot of those underarm shrubberies and post them for public view. They make me want to cry out “Ni!” quite badly. Ladies, if you ever partook of the discussion(s?) about RA’s chest hair … let’s just say a much hairier cat has been let out of the box! 😂

Tell ya someone who wasn’t in either of these episodes. Toby Stephens! At least there’s a 50% chance he’ll be in next week’s episode. (No there isn’t, word is he’ll be in episodes 5 and 6. Sigh.) Either way, it should be interesting, and I’m wondering if there’s a market for “What Would Porter Do?” bumper stickers. What he would do? Show off his luscious biceps, probably, and none of us are going to mind.


An easily distracted and over-excited introvert who never learns to go to bed at a reasonable time. Enjoys traveling (when there's not a plague on), and taking photos of European architecture. Cares for cats, good coffee and Boardwalk Empire. A child of her time, she did media studies in school and still can't decide what she wants to be when she grows up.

7 thoughts on “Strike Back (2010) 1.1-2

  1. So incredibly jealous you’ve gotten to see this show! Loved your review…I need more Richard A. in my life, haha!!

  2. Thank you! 🙂

    Ruth: Don’t we all! *swoon*

    Nat: Oh yes, several times! It’s his deadpan answer to all the inkblots. *giggle*

  3. Hmmm! I don’t remember inkblots in the book! So they didn’t make him a street person? I guess that’s good, because I was having trouble picturing RA quite THAT down and out. I am interested as to why you picked that picture. I remember a scene involving Porter’s teeth in the book that was quite harrowing but I hope they kept it in!
    P.S. Thanks for losing sleep for us!!

  4. After a bit of time & troubleshooting (& begging & pleading with my computer) I was able to watch SB 1&2 via stagevu.com (hint hint to anyone outside UK that wants to watch now instead of waiting!)

    I thought it was fantastic! RA should be very proud of this role and his performance.
    I’m totally hooked and can’t wait for the next episodes – not just because of RA – I want to see more of all the characters and their stories!

    The humour is there as well…not over the top but there. My favourite funny moment is when Layla tells John about the true reason Danni -ahem- “liked him” – John’s face is priceless!

    and finally a comment about the “underarm shrubberies” as you so eloquently described Traxy. Think Monet’s scraggly beard being underarm….

    Welcome to the RA club John Porter!

  5. tracy, I hadn’t noticed the shrubberies until you mentioned them what I did notice right away that his chest wasn’t as tan as Guy in the famous epi of S2. For me it jumped over his downfall a little too fast. I had a hard time believing a guy w/ his looks couldn’t get a job?? Come on and an female officer would have sex at work and then still work in high places?? Still I mean this as no criticism of RA’s performance. “Trust me!!” :)) I’ll keep watching even I the high-octane was at times a tad too high I had to pauze it. It’s def not a show to watch behind a computerscreen.

  6. @phylly3: It was part of the “seeing if he’s fit for duty again” tests. He wasn’t living on the streets but not far from it, and he looked rather scruffy. The picture is from when they put in a tracking device (in a tooth?), and I do believe it got taken out again at a later point.

    @tyme_4_t: Oh yes, that bit made me giggle, while at the same time thinking “aww, that’s really harsh! Poor John!” RA was putting on a stellar performance as usual. Maybe I should watch the thing again and see if I can put aside the whole “look it’s RA playing Action Man!” and just enjoy the show. – Monet’s beard! Haha, bingo! 😀 I don’t mind underarm hair and most guys would probably leave it as it is. It would’ve been really weird if he’d been shaven/waxed actually, but I just wasn’t expecting… quite THAT amount of hair. Come to think of it, the hair was quite light as well. …Is this the sort of conversation that would fit better over at the AA forum? *giggle*

    @iz4spunk: Did we get to see his chesticles properly in SB? I don’t remember… (Definitely need to watch it again!) I agree, the downfall was a bit quick. He came home and all of a sudden, his wife leaves? Shouldn’t she be happy he’s back, and not just go “you’re a mess, see ya”? And yes, the job thing! I was thinking “well if he needs a job, why doesn’t he just apply for the nearest supermarket?” (oh the mental image: “Do you need any help packing?”) or join the dole queue? The sympathy shag also seemed a bit far-fetched, yes. Since when were female soldiers instructed to (basically) prostitute themselves to liven up their fellow male soldiers? Sounds so wrong! So a few plot holes there, but they weren’t RA’s fault, of course. We’ll have to wait and see how much action there will be in the next couple of episodes…

    You couldn’t move for trailers for the first double-episode. I haven’t seen a single one for the next set! Boo!

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