Fans of Cinemax’s Strike Back likely tune in for the series’ relentless pace and fiery action sequences, but despite its well-earned identity as an action-lover’s dream, the series still aims to show the human side of its main characters. Those characters are relatively new to most audiences, as the current lineup of Warren Brown, Daniel MacPherson, and Alin Sumarwata are entering into their second season as the newest members of Section 20. And the new season wants to show what’s going on with these individuals when they’re not saving the world.
In all its various incarnations, Strike Back has sought to find a balance between the machine-like precision of its elite soldiers and their more human side, the one with emotional attachments and relationships that are sometimes left in the background. In the case of season 6, however, those attachments become the story’s inciting incident. That much is true for Sumarwata’s LCpl. Gracie Novin, who finds a former romantic partner of hers ends up murdered after uncovering a plot to steal some Russian nukes. It’s a wild combination of circumstances, but it’s fitting for the kind of show Strike Back is, and the upside is that the new season will probe into its characters’ personal lives to bring them some additional depth.
Screen Rant spoke with the cast ahead of season 6 and discovered how the new storyline would address the various personal conflicts going on with Mac, Wyatt, and Novin this time around. For Brown, the new season will see his character pondering his desire for something more than the military in his life. Brown said:
“I think it's a very dangerous job that they do, and there's a part of them that they have to switch off and just become machines and weapons, but also these characters are human, and I think that's interesting, when we see that human side of it, and... you see certain characters thinking about what else is important, and questioning that. There may be friction between characters that you may see building up to throughout the season, again, everyone's journey's different.
For me this year, and for Mac this year, there's a hell of a job to achieve, and to overcome, but it's not as personal. He's not chasing after this retribution, so he's just doing his job, which I think, for me this year, meant that Mac was a little bit lighter, and the banter was able to flow a bit more within true Strike Back style, during a gunfight, or during a chase, that banter ensues, and that was a lot of fun, rather than being absolutely dead set on getting revenge, and less time for fun.”
Similarly, Wyatt, the show’s irascible American, reveals he has a semi-estranged wife, meaning he has a lot more going on in his personal life than he’s let on. It’s a small but important detail that MacPherson believes helps make the character more relatable as a human being, especially for people who’ve served in the military.
“I think it certainly gives the audience more of an understanding of who he is and why he is, you know? I think when you bring it back to the military aspect of the show people are always using words like service and sacrifice and big things like that and you get a sense of what that means when you see the effect it has on loved ones, and families, and relationships, and what these soldiers are sacrificing for their careers for the greater good to save lives, you know? And I think when you see the effects this job has on their personal lives, that it affects Wyatt's marriage, that it affects their future together, the fact that he is caught in this limbo where he loves his wife and he needs his wife and he wants desperately to make this idea of a relationship and a home life a reality. He's got this beacon of an idea of going home to his wife that somehow sustains him through the darkest periods of his duty, of his combat and his deployment. But in reality, when he gets back, it isn't really a good fit.
And so I think it's interesting for an audience to see that to succeed in these missions, to succeed as a team, it means that these people, these men and women, don't always fit back into society as they know it and it changes them forever. And I think that's a very poignant message be it in the US, be it in Australia, be it in the UK, for a lot of returning servicemen and women.”
Strike Back continues next Friday @10pm on Cinemax.