Chris Ryan's Strike Back [DVD]
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Based on ex-SAS man Chris Ryan's bestseller Strike Back is a story of deception, redemption and revenge, all played out in the interlinked lives of two former soldiers; Major Hugh Collinson and discharged veteran John Porter. Their paths last crossed seven years ago. Now, amidst a new hostage crisis in the Middle East, their lives are about to collide again.
It’s 1993, Basra City and Porter leads a team to rescue a kidnapped British businessman. The decisions taken on that night inexorably unite the fate of both Porter and Collinson. Porter bares the burden of guilt and the repercussions haunt him for years, until an opportunity presents itself for him to return to Iraq and redeem himself.
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Three feature-length episodes, all of them gripping - high body counts guaranteed, as are gruelling chases, explosions, last minute rescues. This, though, is not simply gung-ho fare with Porter a one-dimensional action man. At times, emotions briefly overwhelm, he affected by the loss of those held in high regard. Nor is this simple conflict between Good and Bad. Both sides contain a mixture of both - genuine idealists and ruthless opportunists, with quite a range in between. The unexpected humour is welcome, Porter occasionally with intriguing companions on his exploits (not least Ewen Bremner, who manages to be both manic and moving).
Throughout the aim is realism. Bonuses tell of the efforts to get everything right, experts always at hand to advise. For example, Armitage's body building must not be the type secured in a gym, but the result of the rigid training army personnel have to undergo. Undergo he did - as did the others.
Here is an excellent example of a series that does exactly what it sets out to do, all concerned rising to the challenge. I had not intended to watch everything in one go, but from the start was totally hooked.
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