Categorised | UK TV

The strange nature of international casting: Strike Back: Project Dawn

Posted on April 16, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Strike Back Project Dawn

So the wife and I were talking about Sky 1's Strike Back the other day, since my violence-loving mother-in-law was coming over and we were wondering what to show her. Being like her daughter, a Richard Armitage fan, my mother-in-law did really rather like it and wanted to watch more*.

The question was, should we show her Strike Back: Project Dawn. The dilemma: the two main leads, who were serviceable enough but afflicted with characters who were so under-written, we couldn't even remember

  1. the characters' names
  2. the actors' names

Unlike, of course, Richard Armitage's John Porter.

Here they are in action, anyway:

So I go online to have a look and what should I discover? Apart from their names, obviously.

Well, being an international co-production with the US's Cinemax, it wasn't exactly surprising that Project Dawn should have a US character and a UK character as leads.

But let's look at the UK character, Michael Stonebridge, played by Philip C Winchester. Now, Winchester sounds English and indeed he played Robin Crusoe in NBC's defunct Crusoe. But waddaya know, it turns out he's British-American and grew up in the US, only coming over to the UK after graduating high school.

Huh. So essentially two American leads in an originally UK-only show. Why I ought to…

Oh, hang on. Who's this playing the American character? Why it's Sullivan Stapleton from The Secret Life of Us, Underbelly and Neighbours. Those are all suspiciously Australian shows.

And yes, Sullivan Stapleton is Australian. So an Australian playing an American and an American playing a Brit. That's international co-productions for you.

Here they are with their normal accents

* They both have limits: 20 minutes of Robin Hood proved too much for my wife last week, despite the presence of Richard "smoldering looks" Armitage.

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