Aha, I thought. A second series of Chris Ryan's 'Strike Back' is a second series of opportunities to see Richard Armitage stripped to the waist and tortured in a variety of foreign countries, before being inevitably saved from some messy end in the very nick of time. Again.
Death has followed closely in Mr Armitage's steps. Not only do his (mis)adventures always rack up incredible body counts, he also seems to lose friends as often as he loses shirts (though if I had a body like his, I’d probably want to show it off too). I was waiting to see which of his new best buddies would bite the dust this time.
But it seems it’s all change with this new series, as a fresh cast have been brought in to represent an entirely different team of so-secret-they-don’t-exist agents-cum-special forces operatives. As ever, their ongoing mission is still to must spend as much of their time giving one another meaningful stares as they do zooming in on their satellite imagery, while Armitage’s central role has now been split between an Anglo-American pairing of square-jawed sergeants.
These beefy badasses continue the series tradition of high budget, high octane action, but somewhere along the line an enormous amount of breasts have been introduced and I think the first episode of this new batch almost featured as many topless women as it did terrorists.
Still, the general theme of gung ho and gunfights prevails, and while some may be rolling their eyes at the cheesiness and the uncomplicated morality of this show, the fact is that 'Strike Back' remains pretty good at what it does - providing Sky viewers with their weekly 'Die Hard' fix.
Series two won’t win any new converts, but it looks very much like it will continue to serve up the same pacey, unpretentious and unambiguous action as its predecessor. Expect explosions.
'Strike Back 2: Project Dawn' airs Sundays on Sky 1, and is repeated throughout the week.