Strike Back Tonight – With Cast Discussion (probably) to Follow

Am I running out of John Porter images for these Strike Back posts? Not likely.

Source: John Porter gets ready to infiltrate terrorist safe house to rescue Katie Dartmouth. Source: RANet.com

Source: John Porter gets ready to infiltrate terrorist safe house. Source: RANet.com

Tonight, Episode 2, one of the best of the six episodes on Cinemax Strike Back:Origins. Look for some more discussion on video, following the film, and, over the weekend, whatever reviews Armitageworld can locate.

For even more post-viewing insight, check out Servetus’s continued analysis of the status games between the characters, as played by Richard Armitage and Andrew Lincoln ( if you haven’t already), here.

17 thoughts on “Strike Back Tonight – With Cast Discussion (probably) to Follow

          • Servetus clued me in on some of what was apparently talk on the Boards prior to the show’s premiere, which I was not privy to. Sad that people went through that, but I could certainly see where fans of N & S might be disappointed at the thought of Richard in a wartime setting at the time. It really is great that the show turned out to be much intrigue and stealth than just war.

            But now when I see the penknife scene, I can but only crack a smile. 🙂

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            • I think there were “war” themed things they probably would have enjoyed — but the SB novel is (as I’ve discussed before) really junky, sensationalist trash. Most of the SB fanfic is better quality than the original novel. I also remember when the first legacy fans went to the BAFTA premiere in London, I think two weeks before the series aired on Sky, and they were seriously mollified. A lot of them were still troubled by the high level of violence, but the explicit fear that it was a substandard dramatic product had disappeared.

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              • That I don’t remember, to be perfectly honest, but I think there’s been a general tendency among fans to excuse things that were career-furthering, especially those that occurred at the beginning and before they were watching. UF was a good choice for him — it was a very popular show, Ross Kemp (Benno) was a hot property at the time, and Armitage’s earliest body of fans were from the UK and aware of that and could easily explain that as a “career” as opposed to an “artistic” decision. Also, they didn’t have to contemplate how awful it could be for a whole year — by the time Armitage got most of his early fans, UF was already several years in the past. As I’ve observed now myself via the whole rampup to TH, “the waiting is the hardest part.” Expectations get built up (indeed, on purpose, fanned by the marketers).

                It’s been interesting to me to watch the reaction of fans to the TH business on that basis, just because at this point in his career, it’s been a bit harder for some fans to rationalize their frustration with the “not high art” quality of most of his projects as “career furthering.”

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              • Ultimate Force was popular, huh? What a shame. Horrid, horrid show. I have never been so angry about horrible writing in a show before. Certainly not Richard’s fault. If he had had more pull in his career at that point, it might have been different, maybe. Or he may not have done it at all. Again, not his fault. Work is work, when you can get it. I live hand to mouth myslef, and I just had a friend laid off from a job she adores because of budget cuts…again…so I certainly get it.

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              • Was, and is. Chris Ryan was involved; Kemp was a big deal and got millions for it; the first two series (Armitage was in the 2nd) were immensely popular. The last two less so, but acc to wikipedia the series was sold / broadcast in 120 countries and the DVDs hit the top ten of British DVD sales. Kemp in particular is remembered fondly in that role and I recall that there was a viewer comment, affirmed by other commentators, on one of the favorable reviews of SB, to the effect that Armitage might be ok as Porter but that he was no Ross Kemp.

                That was the point at which Armitage had apparently turned away from the stage (left the RSC, we don’t know whether voluntarily or not) and decided to concentrate on TV roles. Within two years he appeared as a regular, if minor, character in two of the most widely watched shows on UK TV (UF and Cold Feet). It’s a sign either of his talent, or the skill of his management of putting him forward for the right roles, or both. Whatever he thought about the shows artistically, I’d hypothesize that a part of him was really excited that things were finally taking off, his CV was building, and he was gaining experience. He’s been very pragmatic through his career, I think.

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            • LOL! 😀
              I understand too, but I think we should trust the man and his judgment. Or his need in acting a role instead of another. I remember him saying that he was upset by strong comments on the board about his mustaches in Malice aforethought. He explained that these thinks got him away from the board. He’s an actor and must wear things for the roles, and doing roles we cannot appreciate for what they are. That Kruger chap wasn’t really nice… As I said 1 million times, I thought not to be able to watch SB because this kind of movies really make me sick, I can’t bear the war, casualties, dead, and the usual inner propaganda. But I changed my mind after Porter failed to kill As’ad. I understood there WAS a story, and that RA was acting in an excellent way. I fell for Portah and it was a real surprise. Kudos to RA that saw the chances to portray a man like this. Since SB I told to myself that I will always trust his choices. And I’ll follow him in any of his characters. I can be more or less keen about a subject but I know RA can make it great, at least regarding his own character. The rest is out of his hands. (Spooks S09 anyone? 😛 )

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              • Yeah, that’s why I really don’t like to get into any “should or shouldn’t haves” in regards to clothing, accessories, props, etc. I’ll say if I really like something, but when it comes to costuming, those are professional decisions – whether mutual with the actor wearing them or not – so I try to avoid getting critical in those areas myself. Besides, what is done is done.

                When I did did costumes and properties briefly in smaller theater, certain things would make me crazy – actors who did not tend to their costumes properly and went on stage with them obviously uncared for (wrinkled, torn hems, lose threads, dirty). If the actors only knew how much it upstaged them, they would certainly have been more attentive. (And trying to convey it without injuring their egos was tricky) But, an actor can only be so involved when it comes to allowing others to do their job. If something is upstaging them so strongly, it is their job to either say something or take steps to make appropriate adjustments (IE – much discussion Richard had in the The Hobbit re makeup and the regalness of his costuming)

                In the case of The Hobbit, it may not have been in regards to upstaging so much as “inhibiting” his ability to emote fully.

                Richard’s vanity does not appear to be concerned with the trivial. So my guess is if it didn’t impinge on his ability to fully realize his character, or prevent him from fully working his craft, then he kept his opinions for when it mattered. The Hobbit, in that respect, was possibly a constant challenge just in that. I can only imagine how difficult it is to act when you think you might pass out from heat exhaustion.

                And forgive me for the late mention, but you indicated he said was “on” The Boards early on? (IMDb?) If so, that must have been a real eyeopener. Depending on what was said, that could be tragic. When people are cruel on Tumblr and Facebook, I just shut it out and shut it off.

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              • Very well said and totally agree.
                I don’t know which board or forum was (C19 perhaps?). He referred to Malice aforethought so it should have been 2005. If he used to read fora he surely had his dose of nastiness. I hope he stay well away from fora, tumblr or FB. He also said he quit reading it and having contacts after there was a fight between 2 different fora (each one thinking to be the official and best one, if I understood right). RA is not a stupid man and I think he knows perfectly well where risks lie. No direct contacts, no illusions hence no delusions. I hope he will go on with this strategy.

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  1. I think it’s just as valid to comment on costume, props,wardrobe, as writing, lighting, acting. All part of the production.

    But yup – he and other personalities would do well not to go near those message boards.

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    • To be clear, I am certainly not saying that those things shouldn’t be discussed, if folks want to do so. I just make a choice to avoid discussing things that sometimes bother others, but do not interfere with me enjoying Richard’s work enough to discuss. And when people get really nasty about things that I feel are too trivial to get upset about, then I just walk away from it. My feeling is that often too many folk dwell on the little things too much, and that is being said about many things in life in general.

      And when I say dwell, I mean harp on and discuss ad nauseam, until they upset themselves and others far beyond that of healthy.

      I think the “what ifs” and “it would have been nice to see” are all just fine, when constructive. That is actually open opinion and discussion. I like that.

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