By Paul Hunter
HBO Canada's hit new series Strike Back in many ways fills a void that's been missing in mainstream TV for quite some time now. While there have been plenty of special forces military TV series in the past, ranging from The Unit with its ultra-realism, to 24 with its comic book style pace and presentation, Strike Back stands on its own with its charismatic cast and fresh take on counter-terrorism operations.
Headlined by rising stars Philip Winchester (Camelot) as the by-the-books Sergeant Micheal Stonebridge, and Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) who plays former U.S. Delta Force operative Damien Scott, the two must band together in an effort to stop the Pakistani terrorist Latif, who is plotting a deadly operation known as "Project Dawn".
I recently had the rare opportunity to sit down with Philip Winchester for a one-on-one interview to discuss the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release of Strike Back: Cinemax Season 1.
Asked why the series become so popular so quickly, Winchester says fans were immediately drawn to how the show "peels back the curtain on an elite counter-terrorism group, Section 20, which is comprised of real characters who are flawed in some way. So we don't see perfect people doing perfect stuff, we see broken people trying to do the best they can." That's a pretty good description for the TV series, which certainly shows many sides to these tough-as-nails operatives.
Fans of the series seem to love the interplay between Stonebridge and Scott, who maintain a sense of competitiveness throughout the first season, yet at the same time make a surprisingly good team. Winchester says the two had a "month of intense military training" from real former SAS and SBS operatives prior to filming, and it was during this time that two actors "developed this deep sense competition, and a natural banter grew out of that competition." He adds that this on-stage competition came into play several times while filming as the two would go "off-roading" and add their own improvisations during some scenes.
The Blu-ray and DVD sets include all ten episodes of Strike Back: Cinemax Season 1, with episodes running for approximately 47 minutes each. The box set also includes audio commentaries from stars Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton, Liam Cunningham, Amanda Mealing and executive producer Daniel Percival.
When asked about the second season of Strike Back, which premieres on HBO Canada on August 17, Winchester remarks "we've just finished filming in Johannesburg, and look it's the second season, so we blow more stuff up and we ramp up the drama very early on, I think fans will really enjoy it."
Strike Back: Cinemax Season 1 is releasing on August 7, 2012, and will be available on Blu-ray with HBO Select and DVD. The TV series is being distributed by HBO Canada.
[This article originally appeared on the Future Shop Tech Blog]