Chris Ryan's Strike Back

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Six-part fairly loose adaptation of the novel of the same name (only the first two episodes are based on it and move the setting from Lebanon to Iraq) by "Chris Ryan" (a pseudonym) MM[1], former SAS member involved in the Bravo Two Zero mission, starring Richard Armitage and Andrew Lincoln.

2003. Sergeant John Porter (Armitage) of the SAS leads a mission into Basra, Iraq, that goes very wrong indeed for him and Captain Hugh Collinson (Lincoln), an intelligence officer. As a result, Porter leaves the military in disgrace. Seven years later, now-Major Collinson is head of an MI 6 department and Porter is working as a security guard. He's given the chance to go back to Iraq and redeem himself when a journalist (and daughter of a former British minister) is abducted by Islamic fundamentalists and evidence turns up that links the kidnapping to the botched Basra mission...

Tropes used in Chris Ryan's Strike Back include:

  • America Saves the Day: Inverted. The last story arc has the American government as the badguys: They used and abused a PTSD-addled computer expert and sent him off to Afgahnistan, where he defected and joined a local warlord/politician who plans on taking over the whole of the Middle East. When he starts redirecting missiles at American troops, he's captured and planned to be executed in order to shift the blame onto the Brits, along with denying the existance of a second captive, who they know is a British SAS undercover, despite the fact his photo is already been seen by the Brits. It turns out they're also backing the warlord, and willing to supply him with weapons and information, as they believe he can control the Taliban for them, and they're willing to betray and demonize their own allies in order to do it, and do so while admitting it to their faces. Even Non-American viewers may find the depiction unneedingly demonizing towards America. Makes the second series' playing it straight with the focus on the American soldier a little ironic really.
  • Ass Shove: In the first two episodes, John Porter takes a moment (before walking into a terrorist trap) to wrap a swiss army knife in cling-wrap and insert it into his ass. After being captured and verifying that the terrorists are holding the woman he's trying to rescue, he removes the knife and uses it to escape his cell.
  • Body Double: Robert Mugabe had a body double as plot for episode 3, season 1.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Richard Armitage. Of course, he gets his shirt off.
  • Get Into Jail Free
  • Every Helicopter Is a Huey: Even British ones, apparently, though the British army have never used them.
  • Ho Yay: Gerald Baxter and John Porter. Invoked by Baxter saying they've got a fine "bromance" going. Just before he gets shot in the head by a sniper.
  • Intimate Psychotherapy
  • Location Doubling: Filmed in South Africa
  • The War on Terror
  • Zerg Rush: Near the end of episode 4, season 1, Zimbabwean special forces try to kill off Felix and Porter somewhere near the Zimbabwe/South Africa border.
  1. Military Medal