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PR Strike Back Debuts on Cinemax Aug 12


When a resourceful international terrorist group plots an attack, a charismatic former U.S. Special Forces operative joins forces with a stealth British military unit to stop them in the ten-episode action series STRIKE BACK, debuting FRIDAY, AUG. 12 (10:00- 10:45 p.m. ET/PT) on CINEMAX. The show marks the first time HBO/CINEMAX has worked with UK broadcaster Sky to produce an original series

For Immediate Release July 19, 2011


Andy Harries and Elaine Pyke Executive Produce; Dan Percival and Frank Spotnitz Co-Executive Produce
When a resourceful international terrorist group plots an attack, a charismatic former U.S. Special Forces operative joins forces with a stealth British military unit to stop them in the ten-episode action series STRIKE BACK, debuting FRIDAY, AUG. 12 (10:00- 10:45 p.m. ET/PT) on CINEMAX. The show marks the first time HBO/CINEMAX has worked with UK broadcaster Sky to produce an original series.

Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) and Philip Winchester (Crusoe) star, with Amanda Mealing (Holby City), Eva Birthistle (Silent Witness), Jimi Mistry (Blood Diamond), Rhashan Stone (Episodes) and Richard Armitage (The Hobbit).

Executive producers are Andy Harries (HBO's Longford) for Left Bank; Elaine Pyke (The Runaway) for Sky; co-executive producers are Dan Percival (HBO's Dirty War) and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files). Directors for the series are Dan Percival (HBO's Dirty War), Alex Holmes (HBO's House of Saddam), Bill Eagles (Fringe) and Paul Wilmshurst ("Law & Order: UK). Writers are Frank Spotnitz, Richard Zadjlic (EastEnders), Tony Saint (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley) and Simon Burke (Persuasion").

The timely, fast-paced series mixes suspense, action and drama, spanning the globe from India to South Africa, from England to Chechnya. Shot on location in South Africa and Hungary, STRIKE BACK began production in February and will wrap in late summer.

The team that tracks the terrorists is Section 20, an elite military black ops unit within the British government that focuses on high-risk, top-priority targets. When one of their own is captured and held hostage, the group enlists the help of Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a former Delta Force operative who is familiar with the terrorists. Although he has good instincts and skills, his cocky style is often at odds with the more formal team, especially the more by-the-book Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester). Team leader Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing) is a smart, tough military leader who is skilled with a gun and diplomacy, but knows when to break a rule or two.

STRIKE BACK is a CINEMAX Presentation in association with British Sky Broadcasting Limited; a Left Bank Pictures Production; executive producers, Andy Harries for Left Bank and Elaine Pyke for Sky; co-executive producers, Dan Percival and Frank Spotnitz; series producer, Michael Casey; producers, Trevor Hopkins and Sue De Beauvoir; co-producer Bill Shepard.
Episodes include:

Episode #1

Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 12 (10:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT)

After agent John Porter (Richard Armitage) is kidnapped by Pakistani terrorist Latif,

the rest of his team from Section 20, an elite secretive British Military Intelligence unit, race against the clock to find him. They quickly learn that only Porter and one other man, former U.S. Delta Force operative Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), can identify Latif. Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), tasked with finding Scott, tracks him to an underground fight ring in Kuala Lumpur. Scott agrees to help Section 20 and decodes a hidden message from one of Porter's hostage transmissions that warns of a terror attack at a hotel in India and a plot known as Project Dawn, which the unit has been tracking for some time.

Led by Col. Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing), senior team members Capt. Kate Marshall (Eva Birthistle) and Maj. Oliver Sinclair (Rhashan Stone), Section 20 sets up a covert surveillance operation in New Delhi and are aided by Pakistani Intelligence Officer Major Ashkani (Jimi Mistry).

Their intelligence proves correct when terrorists seize the hotel with hostages, including Scott and Stonebridge, trapped inside.

Written by Frank Spotnitz; directed by Dan Percival.

Episode #2

Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 19 (10:00-10:45 p.m.)

The team learns that the terrorists are also searching the hotel for Mahmood, a

weapons scientist who has info about missing WMDs, which signals that Latif's plot could be much bigger than originally anticipated. Scott and Stonebridge furiously search for Mahmood and for a way to thwart the assault on the hotel. Meanwhile, outside the hotel, the Indian army plans a risky rescue attempt of its own, against the advice of Col. Grant and Maj. Ashkani.

After the attack is resolved, the team learns the true identity of Latif as he eludes them. Scott officially joins the team and he and Stonebridge realize that Section 20 may be compromised.

Written by Frank Spotnitz; directed by Dan Percival.

Episode #3

Debut: FRIDAY, AUG. 26 (10:00-10:45 p.m.)

Section 20 tracks Latif's known associates to Cape Town, South Africa. They

capture and interrogate an accomplice who leads them to an armored car company that recently had a brutal and suspicious robbery in which no money was stolen. Col. Grant recognizes one of the attackers as vicious mercenary and former IRA member Daniel Connolly (Liam Cunningham). After researching the company's client list, they surmise that the target may be defense contractor A T A T . The unit warns CEO Kenneth Bratton (Alistair Petrie) that the attack may not have been a random robbery, but he does not reveal that he is already being blackmailed by Connolly.

Meanwhile, Scott and Stonebridge pursue Connolly's new hacker. After an accident, Scott must impersonate the hacker, only to find that Connolly's apprehensive team may be suspicious of him.

Written by Frank Spotnitz; directed by Bill Eagles.

Episode #4

Debut: FRIDAY, SEPT. 9 (10:00-10:45 p.m.)

After Scott passes Connolly's test, they brief him on the plan to break into a

secure facility, but will only tell Scott that he is to override the security system. They give him the hard drive they stole from the armored car heist that houses the security information.

Maj. Sinclair installs a worm in the hard drive that will allow him to remotely hack the system. Section 20 plan to enable Connolly in the hope that he will lead them to Latif and reveal his plot. Capt. Marshall briefs Stonebridge about her research into the connection between ATAT and Mahmood.

ATAT CEO Bratton starts to panic and asks Capt. Marshall to meet him, and Section 20 hopes to bring him under their protection. But Connolly is one step ahead of them and kidnaps both of them, with Stonebridge in pursuit.

Connolly's team proceeds to a fertilizer facility, which is a front for Bratton's secretive business. Sinclair's computer worm enables them to break into the security system remotely. Connolly makes Bratton open the vault and he seizes its contents, which point to Latif's global plot. A tense firefight ensues as Connolly tries to make his escape.

Written by Frank Spotnitz; directed by Bill Eagles.


Sullivan Stapleton (Damien Scott) received an Australian Film Institute nomination

for his performance in the Oscar®-nominated feature Animal Kingdom. His additional credits include December Boys, The Condemned, Darkness Falls, Underbelly Files: Infiltration, Sea Patrol, Carla Cametti PD, Neighbours and Satisfaction. He can be seen next in The Hunter," with Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill and Frances O'Connor.

Philip Winchester (Sgt. Michael Stonebridge) starred in the title role of the 2009 miniseries Crusoe, and recently played Frank Stanton in Fringe and Leontes in Camelot. His additional credits include Flyboys, with James Franco and Jean Reno, Thunderbirds, Maneater, "Warehouse 13, and the miniseries Alice. His first role was in The Patriot" at age 14 and he later trained at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. On the stage, he received rave reviews as Edmund opposite of Ian McKellen in Trevor Nunn's landmark production King Lear, which premiered at Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Company, followed by runs at Brooklyn Academy of Music and on PBS.

Amanda Mealing (Col. Eleanor Grant) is well known for her role as Connie Beauchamp on the award-winning BBC series Holby City, in which she appeared for ten years. She started her acting career at age nine and has appeared in numerous UK series, including The Bill, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, The Lakes, The Darling Buds of May and The Grange. Her film credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral and Zemanovaload.

Eva Birthistle's (Capt. Kate Marshall) credits include the popular UK shows Silent Witness, Waking the Dead and Holby City. Her performance in Ken Loach's Ae Fond Kiss... earned her the British Actress of the Year Award at the London Film Critics' Awards and the Best Actress Award at the Irish Film and TV Awards.

Rhashan Stone (Maj. Oliver Sinclair) is an accomplished stage actor, appearing in many of the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions and at the Royal National Theatre in The Red Balloon and Sweeney Todd. His TV credits include Episodes, Land Girls, Bike Squad, Casualty, Holby City and Perfect Day.

Jimi Mistry's (Major Ashkani) credits include roles in Blood Diamond, "2012 RocknRolla, East Is East, EastEnders and The Guru. He also produced, wrote and starred in And The Beat Goes On," a music documentary about Ibiza.

Richard Armitage's (John Porter) credits include "Captain America: The First Avenger, MI-5, Robin Hood, North & South, Cold Feet and Ultimate Force. Armitage can next be seen in The Hobbit" as Thorin Oakenshield.


Dan Percival (executive producer; director of episodes 1, 2, 9, 10) was nominated

for a Golden Globe and TCA Award and won the BAFTA for his Washington political thriller The State Within, starring Jason Isaacs and Sharon Gless. He wrote and directed the acclaimed HBO film Dirty War, which told the dramatic story of a chemical device going off in London. His other credits include Sincerely Hughie, Place of Execution and Day of Days. He is currently prepping the film adaptation of James Patterson's novel Witch and Wizard.

Bill Eagles (director of episodes 3, 4) is well known for his work on the BBC documentary investigative series Rough Justice. He co-wrote and directed the HBO/BBC miniseries House of Saddam. His other credits include One Night in Turin, Touching Evil, Beautiful Creatures, CSI and Battlestar Galactica.

Alex Holmes (director of episodes 5, 6) recently finished writing the feature The Interpretation of Murder, which he will also direct, and the script for The Infiltrator. He directed, wrote and executive produced the HBO miniseries House of Saddam, which was nominated for four Emmy® Awards and two BAFTA Awards. He also wrote and directed the BAFTA-winning TV film Dunkirk. His additional credits include Every Time You Look at Me, The Race for Everest and The Other Boleyn Girl. Holmes began his career in UK television investigations, including MacIntyre Undercover, The Experiment and Modern Times. He will direct Welcome to Hell this fall.

Paul Wilmshurst (director of episodes 7, 8) won an International Emmy® Award for Best Documentary and a BAFTA for Hiroshima. His other credits include Forgiven Combat Kids, Law and Order, Trial and Retribution, Runaway and Silent Witness.

Frank Spotnitz (writer of episodes 1, 2, 3, 4) was nominated for three Emmy Awards for the hit series The X-Files, for which served as one of the writers and executive producers (1996-2002). His additional credits include The Lone Gunmen, Millennium, Nightstalker, A.M.P.E.D., Robbery Homicide Division and Harsh Realm.

Richard Zadjlic (writer of episodes 5, 6) was a writer for the hit British show EastEnders from 1994 to 2010. The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nominated him for Best Playwright for "Cock & Bull Story. His additional credits include This Life, Attachments and Clocking Off."

Simon Burke (writer of episodes 7, 8) co-wrote and co-produced several episodes for BBC's detective drama Zen, which premiered in January. His additional credits include Persuasion, NY-LON and The Guilty.

Tony Saint (writer of episodes 9, 10) earned a BAFTA nomination and three Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for the television movie "Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley. Saint's additional television credits include On Expenses, Micro Men, The Whistleblowers, and Coming Up."

Andy Harries (executive producer) received an Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA Film Award for producing The Queen with Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward. He also produced The Deal and The Special Relationship, the other films in the trilogy written by Peter Morgan, which both aired on HBO. The latter was nominated for five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes. He also produced HBO Films' Longford, which won the Golden Globe for Best Movie or Miniseries. His additional credits include Wallander, "Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness, Prime Suspect: The Final Act, Cold Feet, Married Single Other, Vincent, The Royle Family, The Street, Murder City, Eleventh Hour, The Damned United and The Last Hangman." Harries is chief executive of his company Left Bank Pictures.

Elaine Pyke's (executive producer) credits include the UK television series The Runaway, Mad Dogs "10 Minute Tales and Hex. She also executive produced the television films The Hogfather, Skellig: The Owl Man and The Color of Magic." Pyke is a creative executive for Sky.


August 9, 2011, 7:36 am - PR
Keywords: television, action

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