Strike Back is largely regarded as one of the most popular British television shows that’s currently on. In fact, most people now consider it to be a joint effort between British and American television, as it involves a few writers that are traditionally found working on American shows and it airs on Cinemax. It’s a television show based on a secretive section of the British military that begin filming in 2009. The first episode of the series aired about a year later and the series will soon be airing episodes of its seventh season.
If you have seen the show, chances are you enjoy it but you might not know everything there is to know about it. Below are 10 things that you probably don’t know about the show, and all of them promise to make it even more interesting than it already is.
1. Most filming is done on location
For the most part, filming isn’t done on a soundstage. Instead, it’s done on location within the country of South Africa. Every once in awhile, the location will change to Hungary for certain shots, but the show is rarely filmed outside of these two locations.
2. Actors have to participate in boot camp
Since this is a show about the military, actors are expected to look the part. They’re also expected to know how military service members would respond during certain situations. As such, the majority of the cast was required to attend boot camp in order to become more fit and better understand military tactics.
3. Richard Armitage was the original lead actor
Throughout the first season of the show, he played the lead role. However, he was busy working on another project when it came time to film the second season so his absence had to be written into the script. Eventually, he was replaced with two lead actors, Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester.
4. The show is based on a novel
The show might not exist if it weren’t for a novel written by Chris Ryan, a former Special Air Services soldier who was involved with a unit that was captured during the Iraq War. Out of his entire unit, he is the only individual that managed to evade capture, later writing a novel that is based in part on those personal experiences. The series is loosely based on the events of the novel itself.
5. It’s physically demanding
Obviously, any show that requires actors to portray members of the military is going to be more physically demanding than a routine series. As such, actors underwent 10 additional weeks of training after they completed boot camp, largely to keep in shape so they could maintain their roles without constantly being out of breath. In addition, the altitude causes the air to be very thin in South Africa, meaning that they have to be even more fit in order to handle the physical demands that are placed on their bodies while filming there.
6. Filming locations sometimes change
During the second season, the original plan was to change the filming location from South Africa to Mozambique. Right about that time, a great deal of fighting broke out in the area and showrunners decided to remain filming on location in South Africa. They have continued to film there from that point forward.
7. The premier had exceptionally high ratings
This was a show that got people’s attention right from the start. In fact, the premier enjoyed a whopping 400,000 viewers, something that very few shows ever achieve. Better yet, the show has largely maintained the overwhelming majority of that number throughout the six seasons that have already aired.
8. It’s available on DVD
While the entire series isn’t yet available, seasons one through five can be currently found or are scheduled to be released in the near future. It only makes sense that the remainder of the series will eventually follow suit.
9. The show was designed to compete with American dramas
At the time the show premiered, British television producers wanted something that could compete with American dramas like 24. That was one of the main reasons the show was given the green light in the first place.
10. It has a connection to The X-Files
The majority of scripts for the first season and several early scripts for the second season were written by Frank Spotnitz, who was also heavily involved with the X-Files.