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Cinemax’s First Original Drama Strikes on Disc

16 Jul, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

Philip Winchester (left) and Sullivan Stapleton of “Strike Back” at Comic-Con.

SAN DIEGO — The stars of Cinemax’s original drama “Strike Back” seem to have as much fun making the show as its fans do watching it. And they’re equally excited about the first season’s arrival on Blu-ray Disc.

HBO Home Entertainment releases Strike Back: Season One Aug. 7 as a four-disc Blu-ray Disc set with two DVDs and digital copy for $59.98 or as a four-DVD set for $49.98.

Set in locations around the world, the show stars Philip Winchester as Sgt. Stonebridge and Sullivan Stapleton as Sgt. Damien Scott, both part of a top-secret British intelligence agency known as Section 20. The group travels around the world in pursuit of an international terrorist, with all the explosions, shootouts and sex you could imagine for two ass-kicking, intelligent, attractive soldiers.

“It’s a shitload of fun,” Winchester said.

The greatest part of the show for the actors is the extensive military training they receive, which they said has earned the show high praise for its realistic portrayals.

“We train with real soldiers,” Winchester said. “It’s the best part.”

They had in-depth training for a month on a range with a kill house and live ammunition.

“It gives you an instinct around weapons you wouldn’t normally have,” Winchester said.

He said there have been times during shooting when they showed the crew how soldiers would really clear a room, and the scene was rewritten and redirected to keep that accuracy.

“I can’t imagine any better school,” Stapleton said. “That’s where the discipline comes in. It builds that trust with Phil and I.”

Like most HBO and Cinemax shows, “Strike Back” includes a lot of sexy scenes featuring the actors, especially Stapleton, without clothes. But the guys feel it’s another aspect of the shows realism.

“We try to keep it as real as possible,” Stapleton joked. “And you have to have sex without clothes on. I didn’t mind.”

With the popularity of the first season, the actors felt they had to maintain the show’s reputation.

“[For the second season], we went in with more responsibility,” Winchester said. “It was a lot more fun and challenging. And we didn’t want to mess it up.”

“Strike Back” is Cinemax’s first scripted primetime drama, produced by in part with British Sky Broadcasting, with season two to begin airing Aug. 17. The show has sort of a prequel season produced solely by Sky that aired as a six-part series in 2010 in the United Kingdom. Season one of the American version of the show picks up where the British season left off, but with new characters. One will not need to have seen the British series to get into the show, which is based on a series of books by a former British Special Forces operative Chris Ryan.

The disc sets comes with five audio commentaries with Stapleton, Winchester, other cast members and the director and executive producer Daniel Percival.

While the actors had fun doing the commentary, they have a different plan for the upcoming season’s commentaries when they arrive on disc.

“I want to do it with some beers,” Stapleton said.

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