‘Strike Back: Project Dawn’ episode guide

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Conceived from the novels by ex-SAS soldier Chris Ryan, action drama Strike Back is back on Sky1 with a second series.

> Buy the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

Episode 1
Sunday 21st August 2011, 9pm

Richard Armitage (Spooks) returns as John Porter, and he’s in a whole world of trouble, having been kidnapped by an international terrorist group. Help is at hand, however, as Strike Back: Project Dawn introduces not one, but two new heroes; American actor Philip Winchester as Section 20 officer Michael Stonebridge and Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton as former US Special Forces operative Damien Scott.

Episode 2
Sunday 28th August 2011, 9pm

Stonebridge and Scott have been captured by the terrorists, who want to know where the British woman Scott was talking to at the bar is. The boys have a knack for getting out of sticky situations and escape, though Scott picks up a bullet in the leg for his efforts. Unfazed, they find the wanted woman, Zubedah, and a terrified little girl. Zubedah, it transpires, is a weapons expert who has been going by the code name Mahmood.

Back at the command centre, Grant, with the help of Major Jamal Ashkani (Jimi Mistry) manages to delay the Indian military from raiding the hotel, buying four hours for Stonebridge and Scott to diffuse the situation. Events intensify, however, when a bomb is suspended from the ceiling of the lobby holding the hostages…

Episode 3
Sunday 4th September 2011, 9pm

Section 20 is hot on the trail of Latif when another threat emerges. Former IRA terrorist Daniel Connolly (Liam Cunningham) and his team, Neve (Orla O’Rourke) and Teague (Brian Milligan), have entered the equation, hijacking and killing the driver of a cash-in-transit van to retrieve top secret information from a powerful defence contractor, leading them to weapons designer, Kenneth Bratton (Alastair Petrie).

Grant immediately recognises Connolly from CCTV footage and, when news arrives that Connolly is flying-in a computer techie to replace one killed in the heist, she sends Scott and Stonebridge to intercept.

While Stonebridge keeps watch outside, Scott goes undercover at the established meeting point and, unbeknownst to him, encounters the attractive Neve. Falling for her womanly wiles, Scott later finds his hands tied in a decidedly explosive honey trap.

Episode 4
Sunday 11th September 2011, 9pm

The dust and debris has settled and, fans of Scott need not grieve, because the American is alive, and pretty pissed. Connolly, it transpires, was just having “a bit of fun”, albeit the kind of fun that only a sadistic terrorist can have. The bomb was a loyalty test to see if Scott would call for help, and the charge was directed away from him. Test successfully passed, Connolly sets Scott to work on bypassing a security system, refusing to reveal any other details.

After enjoying some quality time with Neve – of which Stonebridge has too much of a “visual”– Scott returns to theSection 20 command centre undetected. There, he shares a hidden talent, a photographic memory. Scott recalls plans and a complex code from Connolly’s paperwork but it’s not enough, and Grant sends him back in, armed with a flash drive with a ‘worm’ that will feed back to a Section 20 techie

Meanwhile, Marshall receives a call from an understandably panicked Bratton, who wants to meet and confess all. A concerned Stonebridge, struggling to keep his feelings for his colleague in check, slips a tracking device into Marshall’s shirt before keeping watch during the rendezvous. All goes to plan when the weapons designer shows up at the right time and place, but then an uninvited attendee arrives…

Episode 5
Sunday 18th September 2011, 9pm

This week’s episode opens in a Sudanese clinic, where Dr Clare Somersby (Laura Haddock) is doing a final round check. FiancÉ and fellow doc Bakri Hassan (Obi Abili, Martina Cole’s The Take) urges her to hurry because the escort back to the security compound is about to leave.

When youngster Nayim rushes in with his mother, who has been raped and stabbed, Clare refuses to leave, a decision that pleases Tahir (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra), a Janjaweed chieftain who arrives at the clinic to the

Section 20, meanwhile, follows up on intelligence that an arms shipment from Gerald Crawford (Iain Glen), a former Royal Marine-turned-global arms dealer, is on its way to Sudan. Crawford’s a potential lead to Latif, so Stonebridge and Scott head to Kenya to bring him in. Sounds simple enough, a bread- and-butter mission for our men, aside from one small detail: Crawford also happens to be the man who supplied the explosives that killed Kate.

While Scott keeps an eye on a vengeful Stonebridge, Crawford reveals that the weapons were a ransom payment for the rescue of his daughter: Clare. Crawford promises to take them to Latif in return for Clare’s rescue, but can he be trusted?

Episode 6
Sunday 25th September 2011, 9pm

Hitting the ground running, this week’s instalment opens in Sudan as Stonebridge, Crawford and Jacoub step up their search for Tahir and a captive Clare. Grant is far from impressed with this suicide rescue mission, and things only go from bad to worse when Sinclair and the wounded Scott are arrested at the hospital. A fan of the saying, ‘if you want something done, do it yourself’, Grant heads to Khartoum.

Clare’s situation couldn’t be graver. Standing on the edge of an isolated wadi that hides a mass grave, Tahir comforts his terrified hostage with the news that Bakri is amongst the stockpile of corpses, before offering an ultimatum: Clare can be killed and buried alongside her fiancÉ, or she can start a new life as his partner. She tearfully chooses the latter.

Meanwhile, Stonebridge continues to blame himself for Kate’s death and is in self-destruct mode. Scott’s not around to bring him to his senses, so it falls to Crawford, who reveals that Latif has a spy embedded at the top of western intelligence. Knowledge is power, and Crawford won’t let slip the name until Clare is back, alive and well. Back on track, the men locate the Janjaweed camp, where Tahir is about to rape Clare…

Episode 7
Sunday 2nd October 2011, 9pm

No one can accuse Section 20 of resting on their laurels. Picking up yet another passport stamp, the team head to Vienna, Austria, where they learn that their latest lead, John Allen (Adrian Rawlins, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), a rogue MI6 agent rumoured to be leaking information to Latif, has just been kidnapped in Kosovo by a notorious terrorist, Hasani.

Alongside five other EU officials, Allen is being held captive until Hasani’s cousin, Rama, is released from prison in Vienna. Grant controversially sanctions the operation, instructing Stonebridge and Scott to collect Rama and complete the exchange in Kosovo. The pair aren’t comfortable with the moral implications of their mission.

Aided by a KFOR US soldier, Major Brian Donoghue (Peter O’Meara, Band of Brothers), the boys head to the designated meeting point, where their moral quandary is quickly resolved – Rama is shot dead. Hasani’s men open fire and all hell breaksloose.

Retrieving Allen and the rest of the hostages, Stonebridge and Scott search for cover, losing Donoghue amid all the drama. Backed into a corner with a vengeful Hasani on the warpath, they need to get out of there, and fast. Help arrives in the nick of time, or so Stonebridge and Scott think…

Episode 8
Sunday 9th
October 2011, 9pm

The boys really are put through the wringer as their stay in Kosovo continues. No one likes waking up in unfamiliar surroundings, so imagine Stonebridge and Scott’s alarm when they find themselves imprisoned in a military barrack alongside the hostages. Taking the edge off is enlightening information about Allen: he claims to be a double agent who deals with Latif but only to keep track of the terrorist’s plans.

Donoghue, last seen sticking the proverbial knife in Stonebridge and Scott’s back, reappears to take Allen away, and informs Scott that Hasani wishes to speak to him. It’s a far from friendly chinwag – Hasani confirms that they’re all going to die, except for Dana (Annabelle Wallis, Pan Am), who he has other plans for, plans that involve a cattle truck filled with kidnapped teenage girls. In the meantime, Stonebridge has no choice but to watch as elderly civil servant Joanna (Gillian Hanna, Brookside) is led away for execution.

And things only go from bad to worse. Stonebridge, Scott and the remaining captives are removed from their cell under heavy guard, as a refrigerated lorry awaits. The grim reality of their situation is revealed… while the women are trafficked as sex slaves, the men will have their organs harvested. Our heroes have found themselves in tight spots before, but how are they going to get out of this one?

Episode 9
Sunday
16th October 2011, 9pm

The boys have had their fair share of peril recently and, back in Vienna, they’re looking forward to a little breather, to catch up on sleep, or maybe enjoy a spot of Sudoku. But their much- deserved break is interrupted by Grant, because Section 20 has another lead – a sighting of Latif.

Intel suggests the terrorist is in a facility in Grozny, Chechnya with a surgeon in tow. The time has come to strike and, accompanied by Georgian Commandoes, Stonebridge and Scott fly to Grozny to investigate. Dispatching a few guards, they storm said building, only to discover that it’s empty.

Scott is more than a little dismayed, venting his anger at his team – how could they have missed Latif leaving? – but is burdened with bigger worries when one of the Georgians sets off a booby trap that is about to turn the building into a fireball. However, a handy secret exit saves our heroes from being reduced to ashes.

Trapped underground with no communication links, they stumble upon a labyrinth of tunnels leading to a chemical weapons’ testing area, with containers missing. Stonebridge and Scott are closer than ever to finding Latif, but first they need to find a way out, hotwire a car and overcome a fearsome ally of Latif’s, Usmanov…

Back at Section 20, Grant reprimands Marianna – her secret asset to spy on Scott – for getting too close to the American. Marianna is a loose cannon who’s difficult to tame, and it’s only a matter of time before Scott finds out about his shady assessment. And as events build for next week’s must-see finale, Stonebridge starts to have his own doubts about Section 20.

Episode 10
Sunday 23rd
October 2011, 9pm

Section 20 may have Latif but by no means is the case closed. The team still needs to prevent the execution of his planned attack, involving multiple explosives and the loss of many innocent lives, and for that, they need the terrorist to talk.

Stonebridge and Scott’s first lead takes them to Budapest on the trail of a terrorist who has just jumped on board a tram. And their wanted man has found a unique hiding place for his deadly bomb.

Without venturing into spoiler territory, the boys’ operation hits a huge snag when Usmanov and his henchmen resurface. But Stonebridge and Scott know how to take a few knocks and, undeterred, get back on track to save the day.