Coming soon to Sky1, the third series of action drama Strike Back sees Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) thrown into another do-or-die-trying adventure.
Stepping in to replace the late Captain Eleanor Grant (Amanda Mealing) is Rhona Mitra (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans) as Captain Rachel Dalton, while Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) will be causing all sorts of trouble as billionaire Conrad Knox.
Sunday 2nd September 2012, 9pm
When militants loyal to Somali warlord Huseyin Waabri attack a routine embassy escort and kidnap a British diplomat and junior attaché, Scott is sent into Mogadishu to retrieve them. Back in the UK, meanwhile, Stonebridge struggles to adapt to his new career outside of Section 20.
Sunday 9th September 2012, 9pm
Handy with a rocket launcher, it’s quite clear that Rachel isn’t the junior attaché she first claimed to be. There’s no time for questions because, more pressingly, Stonebridge, Scott and the rest of theirparty need to escape Waabri’s lair and get to safety, a task made all the taller when the warlord places a bounty on their heads: wanted, dead or alive. Sinclair breaks a direct order from above and instructs the group to make their way to an evacuation pointwhere a chopper will be waiting. Getting there, though, requires a trip through war-torn Mogadishu with deadly militia in hot pursuit.
Elsewhere, mercenaries Karl Matlock and Jessica Kohl broker a deal with Waabri, imploring him to give them the case in exchange for money. Rachel knows exactly what’s in the case – four nuclear triggers – because, in truth a British military intelligence agent, she’s been on a classified mission to retrieve them. In the wrong hands, the triggers could case untold devastation and it looks like these wrong hands belong to billionaire Conrad Knox (Charles Dance), who makes his first appearance in the series. A jaw-to-the-floor twist also lies in wait just before the credits roll…
Sunday 16th September 2012, 9pm
Stonebridge is putting on a brave face following last week’s shocking conclusion and, psych test pending, has requested reassignment to Section 20. The troubled soldier passes the grilling, but an encounter with a mirror makes it clear that, mentally, he’s far from tip-top and may have other motives for rejoining. Sinclair, meanwhile, is suspicious of Dalton’s reasoning for having Stonebridge back, while, out on the field, Scott has every right to be concerned about his friend.
The boys’ search for the nuclear trigger leads them to Niger and right into the middle of an American missile strike, retaliation, they later learn, for the recent bombing of a CIA flight. Scott is taken in by US forces, though salvation (if that’s the right word) arrives in the form of CIA agent and former boss Christy Bryant (Stephanie Vogt, Entourage). The pair get reacquainted – like, really reacquainted – and it’s clear Bryant has dirt on her former colleague.
Resuming the hunt for the triggers, Stonebridge and Scott are finding it tricky to nail down the courier, Othmani, carrying them. After an explosive encounter at a hotel, intel informs them that Othmani has since been kidnapped by Tuareg warriors, so, air-dropped into the camp, they must negotiate with fearless leader, Markunda. She’s more than happy to release Othmani and has even organised an auction the next day: he’s all theirs if they out-bid terror El Soldat.
Sunday 23rd September 2012, 9pm
Saddled with an injured Othmani, Stonebridge, Scott and the rest of the ragtag group seek refuge in a badly fortified farmhouse in the middle of the desert. Its sole occupant is reluctant to help until an especially growly Scott makes him work on his hospitality skills. The sooner they get out of there the better, though, as the situation rapidly develops from ‘quite the pickle’ to crisis mode.
El Soldat and his men have them surrounded and, unwilling to trade the triggers for Othmani, are waiting to strike. Then there’s the presence of Matlock and Jessica, happy to see how the scenario plays before making their move. Maybe it’s the adrenaline, but Scott still has room for romance and woos Markunda with the line, “Anyone ever tell you, you have a great profile?”
Back in the crib, tensions between Sinclair and Dalton grow. Suspicious about the amount of intel the Captain has on Othmani, Sinclair keeps prodding until news comes to light about her relationship with the target and what she’s prepared to do in the line of duty. Meanwhile, in Cape Town, Knox is recruiting, prompting the reappearance of a familiar figure.
Sunday 30th September 2012, 9pm
Matlock and Kohl head to a sleepy suburb of Cape Town to kidnap young mother Melissa and her son Harry in the latest fix of the gripping drama. The husband doesn’t get off so lightly. Although puzzled as to why, Section 20 determines that the mercenaries must be after Melissa’s father, Peter Evans, a seemingly harmless schoolteacher about to touch down. Dalton leads the charge to the airport and finds a host of interesting (or, in other words, heat-packing) characters waiting in the arrivals lounge.
An unexpected reunion awaits Scott when he crosses paths with Curtis, a former comradehe served with in Delta Force. Curtis has changed over the years and, swapping sides, now works for Matlock, but that doesn’t mean he won’t come in handy. In the crib, Richmond makes a disconcerting discovery after finding footage of Hanson causing trouble in a bar. Scott advises her not to pass the news onto Stonebridge, although it’s only a matter of time, leading to the episode’s itchingly intense climax.
Sunday 7th October 2012, 9pm
Hitting the ground running, Stonebridge continues to pound bullets into Hanson’s getaway car,but to no avail as his wife’s killer manages to escape. Not before leaving a booby trap, mind. Stonebridge and Scott were both distracted, the latter by Mossad agent Rebecca, and, consequently, Evans is now in the clutches of their adversary.
Taken to the hi-tech Coldfall Ridge Research Facility, Conrad offers Evans an opportunity to rewrite history as his grand plan is unveiled: “We can liberate this continent and raise Africa to a point where its voice is not just heard but listened to all over the world.” Stonebridge gets Section 20’s mission back on track and makes a key contact in Knox’s daughter, Ava by dishing the dirt on her father: far from decommissioning weapons, the foundation is merely a front for stockpiling them.
Out to make an impact, Dalton storms the facility, leading to another run-in between Stonebridge and Hanson who, after a successful ‘audition’, is now a fullfledged mercenary – will the soldier go off-mission again? When the South African authorities step in and the reach of Conrad’s influence is realised, Dalton rethinks her tactics.
Sunday 14th October 2012, 9pm
Heading to a maximum security jail outside Harare, Matlock and his men go behind bars to break out Walter Lutulu, a political prisoner and an old friend of Conrad’s. The billionaire’s ambitions crystallise and he plans to take over the Zimbabwean regime and instil Walter in its place. His pal, however, is proving less malleable than previously hoped for.
In the meantime, Section 20 intercepts a call from Walter to his daughter Lillian, also an activist fighting for democratic reform. It’s just the break that could lead them to Knox, so Dalton sends in Stonebridge and Scott to find her. Nothing is ever simple and, when intelligence officers stick their oar in, Kohl seizes the opportunity and grabs Lillian first.That’s the least of Section 20’s worries this week.
Along with Scott rebuilding relations with Bryant, seemingly wanting to leave, the corrupt Joseph Dreyer storms the crib, arresting Dalton, Richmond, Sinclair and Baxter.
Sunday 21st October 2012, 9pm
Stonebridge takes refuge with Walter’s would-be assassin in a local prison and tries to squeeze as much information out of him as possible. With a baying crowd waiting outside, however, the soldier needs reinforcements fast. Back-up arrives in the form of Kohl in disguise and, later, a vengeful Matlock, who takes him hostage. The mercenary would prefer to put a bullet in Stonebridge’s brain, but Knox has other ideas.
Elsewhere, Scott and Lillian are by Walter’s side as trauma specialists treat his wounds. Two of the ‘doctors’ aren’t so keen to nurse the freedom fighter back to health and, instead, shoot him in the head. Scott escapes with Lillian, an important pawn in Knox’s grand plan, but Hanson is in hot pursuit, flinging lie after lie in an attempt to convince her that the billionaire is one of the good guys, and Scott the bad – who will she believe?
Sunday 28th October 2012, 9pm
The potential devastation of the nuclear capability is brought home when one of Knox’s devices leaks in a small South African town. Through his connection to a dodgy lawyer, Section 20 learns that the billionaire has joined forces with a deadly group of Nigerian freedom fighters willing to advance their cause whatever the cost.
Following an impromptu appearance from Christy Bryant at the crib, Stonebridge presses Scott to shed light on his shady past and explain why Bryant has such a hold over him. Building to next week’s unmissable finale, an opportunity arises for Stonebridge to avenge his wife’s death and mete out justice to Hanson – but will he seize it?
Sunday 4th November 2012, 9pm
An increasingly desperate Knox strikes a deal with Nigerian terror group MEND to detonate the nuclear weapons and annihilate Johannesburg. Section 20 race to discover the location of the bombs and disarm them before Knox changes the face of Africa forever.
Making Stonebridge, Scott and the gang’s mission all the more tricky is the can-we-or-can’t-wetrust-her Christy Bryant and Hanson, who has developed an annoying habit of popping up at the most inopportune times. Can the boys save the day (again)?
Are you looking forward to Series 3? Let us know below…