wed 29/05/2024

Strike Back, Series 6, Sky 1 review - more stories for boys | reviews, news & interviews

Strike Back, Series 6, Sky 1 review - more stories for boys

Strike Back, Series 6, Sky 1 review - more stories for boys

Gung-ho special forces yarn charges back into action

Warren Brown as Mac, Daniel MacPherson as Sam Wyatt

Laughable though it frequently – oh go on then, always – is, Strike Back is obviously a target-rich environment for those of a thespian persuasion.

The likes of Richard Armitage, Andrew Lincoln, Robson Green and Michelle Yeoh have passed through the show’s bullet-spattered portals over its previous five series, and for series six Warren Brown gets the gig as the special forces maverick out for retribution.

The source of these vengeful sentiments was revealed in the opening set-piece, stylishly shot in panoramic high-def. A Black Hawk helicopter thudded purposefully across the hot, sandy wastes of the Syria-Jordan borderlands, carrying Brown (aka Sgt “Mac” McAllister) and his squad to a rendezvous point where they would pick up a prisoner, the notorious terrorist Omair Idrisi (Don Hany). All hush-hush and below the radar, of course. The handover was going terribly well until a bunch of “insurgents” appeared over the horizon and started firing rockets at our brave lads. Amid a barrage of gunfire, McAllister’s comrades were massacred and Idrisi was whisked away in a jeep. Only the fact that Idrisi’s gun ran out of ammo had saved Mac's life.Strike BackBack at base, Mac was about to be court-martialled for punching the officer he blamed for his mission going belly-up. Happily however, his career was resuscitated by the arrival at his door of Colonel Adina Donovan (a stern Nina Sosanya), who was looking for bellicose soldiers with an attitude problem. “Dangerous soldiers for dangerous missions” was what she craved, and she’d come to the right place. She was offering Mac the chance to hunt down the murderous Idrisi, a one-man basket of deplorables, and Mac signed up without a second’s hesitation.

Strike Back thrives on back-slapping buddy-hood, so they had to find a chum for Mac. Step up Samuel Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson), an American Special Ops guy who Mac first encountered being waterboarded by the Libyan National Army. Mac was shocked to find that Sam was a bit of a liberal, who told him not to kill his captors since they were, in theory at least, on the same side. “Why don’t we just all join hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’?” snarled the exasperated Mac.

Anyway, soon the boys found themselves on the same team, because Wyatt had been peremptorily assigned to Colonel Donovan’s command, presumably because co-producer Cinemax wanted an American in the cast. The mixture was further enriched by the addition of petite but hard-boiled trooper Gracie Novin (Alin Sumarwata, from Australia) and Canada-born (but Australian-accented) Roxanne McKee as Captain Natalie Reynolds. In her skin-tight minidress, lip gloss and white stilettos, there's somehow something un-military about Captain Reynolds, and her fake-seduction of terrorist financier Prince Khalid in a swanky Tripoli nightclub looked like a Pussycat Dolls video.

But this sort of thing happens in Strike Back. Having survived a terrorist massacre at the nightclub, our exotic squad were soon back on the trail of Idrisi, as well as his British wife Jane (Katherine Kelly, pictured right with Don Hany), strangely transformed since her days as Lady Mae in Mr Selfridge.

And in the final frames we suddenly came face to face with Trevor Eve, who’s playing unscrupulous arms dealer Morgan Ives. “I really do love the money,” smirked Ives, much as Vincent Price might have said it. It’s odd how murder, terrorism, murky geopolitics and the arms trade are considered the ideal ingredients for glossy international entertainment co-productions, but that’s where we’re at.

Enjoying The Arts Desk? To access all our coverage of TV, film, theatre, art, new music, opera, classical, dance, comedy, books and gaming, updated daily, buy an annual subscription for only £30

In her skin-tight minidress, lip gloss and white stilettos, there’s somehow something un-military about Captain Reynolds


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Share this article


It was rubbish, not a patch on the previous series'. It felt forced and dolled up for the millennial crowd. Non of it seemed even slightly real, won't be tuning in for episode 2. Such a shame, I was really looking forward to it.

I 100% agree the new on is a crap as it comes there no foundation to it the cqb is a joke the weapon use is so bad a first week refute would do better rate a 0 it a insult to strike back

You took the words right out of my mouth. It felt like Strike Back for millennials.

Agree. Not a patch on previous series. Bring back Scott and Stonebridge

I was looking forward to this series but won't continue to watch it not the same as when Damien Scott and Michael stonebridge was in it bring them back.

Have tried to emulate the main characters from the previous series. Failed miserably. Gives me more time to watch something less contrived. Sadly, a total waste of an hour’s viewing.

PC gone mad. Totally unbelievable characters. At least in previous series the firefights were a bit far fetched but the characters weren’t.

Absolutely dire. The first five seasons were very good. This new season 6 episode 1 is a total waste of viewing time. Poor characters - trying to copy the two we love from before - and just idiotic unreal scenes throughout. Wont be tuning in for any more episodes unless we get Scott and Stonebridge back. Without them it's like Top Gear with Chris Evans. A total failure

"Without them it's like Top Gear with Chris Evans" - Spot on!

I wanted to like it as I was a fan of the earlier seasons but this should not be called Strike Back. The first 5 seasons weren't flawless but it was a good show. Great characters and often a good mix of action intrigue and story. This new season 6 is the "Glam action barbie show" with little grit and less action and more of a pose shoot explosion vibe. Bad bad TV. Sorry Strike Back no season 7 for you.

Have to agree with the previous posts. I wanted to like this having enjoyed the previous series & expected big things from this new series. Unfortunately this was a very forced & contrived effort. No believability in the character interactions nor the action scenes. Total shame.

Loved all the previous series. This is dreadful, what the hell has happened? Feels like it is trying too hard. Will not be watching any more, too painful!

What the hell.. trying to get the series better? 1: Please do make the firefights atleast better rather than one "rebel" just walking with the ak towards the brits. 2: When the heli lands with the "bodies" you can see someone is moving inside the bags for a few seconds. Are they zombies in those bodybags? can you atleast try to get the old guys back too even save the series?! Cause if this is gonna stick with the new ones.. i can allways do something else rather wasting my time on this season and if so more seaaons too come.

Second all of the previous comments. What a massive disappointment. Cheap dime-store stereotypes and a total rip off of the former characters. Shallow script, weak choreography. Bring back Stonebridge and Scott! Can’t beat their original dynamic.

was looking forward to a new season of a decent show, sadly i have to agree with every other post here, this effirt is total garbage, cheap action scenes poor choreography and unbelievably poor acting and military speak. come on guys put this in a can and bring back the old guard, they at least acted like soldiers and were mildly believable.

I also agree with all the post here, the new season with the the new cast is an embarrassing failure, chap and badly crafted. Bring our boys back!!!

Sorry ,cant have the program without Sully & was there banter that made the show what it looks cheap somehow even though its made by Sky as well...nah....epic fail....BRING BACK SCOTT & STONEBRIDGE

I'm disappointed in this. First the fight scenes were amateurish, not worthy of special forces. Second, the male actors were not half as good as Scott and Stonebridge, devoid of their charisma and chemistry. Plus their dialogues and storylines were cringe-worthy. The female actors were even worse. How can you expect the younger of them to pretend to be local, speaking local language when she can't even speak with an English accent? In reality, when she got to the checkpoint, the guards would just pin her down and assault her immediately. The whole thing was to do what? appeal to the female millennials? They won't watch it in the first place, why bother? Poor Trevor Eve. What would he be thinking when he uttered the awful line: 'I just love money.' Who wrote that?

Absolutely dog s***! What has happend. MI6 is british intelligence. Why is there a aussie in ther? And they’ve gone for a american again. Not bad but right him in better. Filming locations or not as good and also the tactics used and weapon set ups are poor! I have a amazing picture of a weapon with the ACOG site mounted so far fowards she wouldt be able to see anything through it. The cast acting is also poor. Could of gone for bigger names like last time. And also please please gat a Special Forces advisor to help with everything! Or if you have. More than one because obviously its to much for him. And send the cast somwere to gain experience!

The previous series were much much better than the current, but steal this series is also action packed and thrilling and I keep watching this series cause I have good hope for it.

Have to agree. 1st episode wasn't great, 2nd even worse. But I'm gonna stick with it and see where it goes

C'mon guys give it a chance This ain't like the previous franchise, but it could be a good franchise too...

Thats an hour of my life I wont get back.

Utter rubbish .. 'Tis a sad day for Strike back fans ..

What a complete load of rubbish. You should have left it be. Looks like a sad ditched attempt to bolster viewing figures of the back of a great program. OMG I still can't believe how bad this is.

I have found series 6 absolutely hysterical and cant stop watching it because it is so far fetched, - the women are so funny trying to be so macho, and the fighting is so unreal, - the acting is quite the worst on tv.

So bad it's not funny. The fight scenes are so badly choreographed you can see the bad acting in them. With the original duo they looked and acted the part to perfection. The weapons looked like they belonged in their hands and they both looked like they would twist a man's head off for the fun of it. This new crew just look clumsy and awkward with a gun in their hands. Definitely don't look soldiery never mind special forces!! I loved the original series from the beginning but this just looks forced and (bad) acted.

I loved all of the previous series and this one is great too. Visually speaking the series looks better and although Scott and Stonebridge were amazing characters, the new cast feels fresh and I like them so far. The training really shows on the actors as they manoeuvre and properly handle their weapons, and the new female cast is better looking than the previous too which is a plus I guess. I like the visual style of the new action scenes and this one looks like it has a better budget with practical effects and less CGI.

I actually thought the boys are back... Sn6 is a no for me unless Scott and Stone bridge are back those two had chemistry

WTF?!!!!Season 6 is a freaking joke. Is there a new producer or director? I don't know what happened, but the show is horrible.

Such a travesty, series 6 is not a patch on the previous 5 series. The female characters, particularly Roxanne McKee, are wooden and totally unbelievable. If is ever to be a series 7 then a rethink on current characters is vital.

the "American" character was terrible. Almost unwatchable. The rest were passable, once again the women being the most interesting. I wish it could just center around them, but they'll turn the season into a buddy cop type flick that as others said, very forced. Kind of a shame, I like the guy from Luther.

Yes I agree with all the comments, it is a very poor show. And boring! Yes I know there is action but somehow it just does not work. Watch The Brave instead, now that is good!

I was ok with the series ending at season 5....then I got word that season six is happening/happened...I was so excited. Every ad that I saw for the show pictured Stonebridge and I was extra excited thinking it was a continuation of the very last episode of season five. To my surprise when I finally got a chance to watch season 6 episode 1, I thought I was watching the wrong show. Had to ask myself did they make another show call strike back that I didn’t know of? Unfortunately, that was not the case. Horrible horrible decision. If they were going to do such a bad job they should have just let it end with season 5.

I literally just re watched season 5 episode 10 to cleanse my eyes of the rubbish that is season 6 episodes 1 and 2. A warning to SKY... your show is on life support. Take urgent action. Bring back SCOTT AND STONEBRIDGE!! They made it real!!!!

Season 6 is horrendous. Putrid acting - lame characters trying too hard to be 'tough guys' - amateur dramatics with people coming across as completely incongruent - I have seen better acting at 6 year olds' school plays - appalling.

Truly dreadful. Such a let down. Loved earlier series.

one wotd says it all.... CRAP

You can't have strike back without Scott n Stonebridge But I thought, well what have I got to lose! 10 minutes of my life I won't get back , that's what ,cos that's all I could stand. There just trying to copy S n S NOT Happening. So I thought I'll read reviews after a couple of weeks to see if it's worth giving it another chance. Thanks guys! I now know not to waste my time Bad acting. bad scenes , take it off n bring Scott n Stonebridge back !

why is the second part of strike back missing from sky one listings.

What a load of bulls**t. PC gone mad again. Why would you have these 2 idiotic female agents when you have the cream of the male SAS team to pick from. They look akward running with their heavy guns, but have no problem taking down great hulking brutes that even Scott & Stonebridge would have struggled with. A pity as it used to be a great show. You're better off watching Come Dancing for substance, than this total tosh.

Four episodes down and .... HOW MANY MORE TO CRINGE THRU? *ARG* At this point I'm just watching to see when (if?) any of the (glam) operators figure out that zero is withholding info about Lowry's true background ... any one? - ex-spook? (MI6? "Military Intelligence"?) - ex-Sec 20 operative? maybe even leader? - zero's mentor? - zero's one-time BFF? - bad ass Quill'ian?

terrible I think they must have got the production team from people who were fired by the asylum ,you all know it. The American film company who produce rip off copies of main stream movies ( they are appalling) and are reputed never to spend more than a million dollars per movie

A very lame attempt at prolonging the franchise. This is doomed. Having said that, what happened to episode 6?

Season 6 Episode 6 has not yet been scheduled for air.

So only 10 episodes but they decide to have season break?? And no indication of when episode 6 will air? Ive already forgotten what haopened in the first 5 episodes. Terrible planning. 10 episodes does not warrant a mid season break, assuming that is what is happening and they havent cancelled it altogether.

I have to agree why a mid season break no notification to viewers very annoying also you have sadly got s6 completely wrong replacing the entire cast with a new cast , nope it don't work it's almost as bad as the tip gear mishap

S06 ain't as good as the previous renditions, but I like it. "PC" gone mad, I read somewhere above? How odd. I don't think the PC people would see your point, considering how obvious it is the women are there for the eye candy in SB. They're doin a good job being more than eye candy, by the way. And the fights, "badly choreographed"? Didn't feel a difference, especially as it's still the same team responsible for that. Where PC went mad is this review! So we're somehow wrong to enjoy the series, to treat the subject as a fun adventure? Oh well. Sean Connery's Bond would like to have a word with you. Serious issues are often turned into entertainment, you know.

Atrocious. Totally disappointing; won’t be watching past the first episode. Bring back Scott and Stonebridge and ditch this cast.

Started watching with great excitement and expectation as my wife and i like to binge watch. Gotta lasted 3 minutes before i was bored and agitated by the shit acting. And when the yank came in...well!!!! Its a terrible turn for what has been an entertaining series to date. It really is dire. We have now continued to watch blindspot instead. Really gutted. Had high hopes


Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters