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Strike Back: Project Dawn Episode 1

Sunday, 28 August 2011

I vaguely remember watching this show when it aired back in 2010, starring Spook’s Richard Armitage as MI6's section 20 agent John Porter.  It was only a six part show first time around and I don’t remember if I watched it all, needless to say it never really left a lasting impression.  I saw the previews for the second series aptly named Project Dawn, again starring Richard Armitage.  Unfortunately for this series though his commitment towards playing the Hobbit has got in the way meaning that within the first 15 minutes of this episode Porter’s character was killed off.  Good start.

Que Amanda Mealing (Holby City) as Colonel Elanor Grant head of fictional MI6 secret section 20, in the role she gets to boss around two new characters.  The clean cut Philip Winchester (Camelot) who plays Michael Stonebridge a British intelligence agent who plays by the book, he is joined by Aussie actor Sullivan Stapelton (December Boys) as Damien Scott a former Delta Force Operative who to be honest just likes shooting guns and shagging women, what more do you want on a Sunday night?

The second series is back with some added weight thanks to a joint production and investment from American network HBO, the show will arie in the US on the Cinemax channel.  What does this mean?  Well you would like to think an even better show than the one that was so critically raved about last year, unfortunately for me though that simply wasn't the case with Project Dawn.

Don't get me wrong it was enjoyable enough and was certainly a lot better than Jerry Bruckheimer's Chase (review coming soon) but for the added investment from HBO me and many others from what I have read were expecting more than a shoot up shagging fest.  It was of course only the first episode we are learning about the new characters Stonebridge and Scott in particular, straight laced not so straight laced I think we definitely got the picture that the new Section 20 partners could not be more opposite, but hey sometimes they attract, right?

The story is good and does look as if the 10 episode order of this series should pick up some serious steam in it's efforts to be like 24, a show which I don't think it will measure up to.  In the first episode we saw terrorist leader Latif and his team take over a hotel in New Delhi, India, holding the guests hostage and offing them one by one until they found the man they where looking for named Mahmood.  One thing Latif didn't bank on was that two section 20 operatives were already in the hotel and made an attempt at a fight back, unfortunately for them though two v eleven are not such good odds causing them to be taken hostage also.

All of this is happening whilst Colonel Grant has shipped her entire section 20 unit to New Delhi without informing the Indian government or military, only a mystery Indian intelligence agent in the form of Jimmy Mistri turns up to see what was going on.  This is TV remember but that amount of activity would surely cause some questions to be asked. 

It was a really good set up episode, cheesy in parts with one liners that will probably grow on you once you are more familiar with the characters.  It certainly didn't put me off and I even watched the first episode again midweek to re cap anything I may have missed.  I will be watching tonight and the show promises to provide us with a good couple of months entertainment.
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