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Sky1 issues Strike Back order

Sky1 HD has commissioned Left Bank Pictures (Wallander) to produce Strike Back (6×60′), an “all-action” high-definition adaptation of ex-SAS soldier Chris Ryan’s novel of the same name.

Billed as an “adrenaline-fuelled contemporary action drama,” the series stars Richard Armitage (Spooks, Robin Hood), Andrew Lincoln (This Life) and Jodhi May (The Amazing Mrs Pritchard).

It was commissioned by Elaine Pyke, Sky1 HD’s head of drama, and will be produced by Andrew Benson (Prime Suspect, Hornblower) for Left Bank Pictures. Daniel Percival (The State Within) is directing.

The drama is set amid a hostage crisis in the Middle East, with a back story concerning a 1989 hostage raid that went wrong in Lebanon.

Ryan is best know for penning The One That Got Away, in which he detailed his part in a failed covert operation during the first Gulf War.

The opening episodes of Strike Back, which are set in Iraq, were written by Jed Mercurio (Bodies, Cardiac Arrest). Ryan is acting as series consultant.

The series will air on Sky1 HD in spring 2010. BBC Worldwide has secured the international distribution rights.

Pyke said: “Shot in South Africa with stunning locations and high-octane HD action sequences on a grand scale, Chris Ryan’s best-selling novel will be a truly uncompromising, compelling, action drama.”

Andy Harries, Left Bank Pictures CEO, added: “It’s brilliant to have a major player in the UK commissioning original quality drama. Elaine Pyke and Sky shared our enthusiasm for Chris Ryan’s novel, and it is an exciting challenge to turn the action and adventure of his book into a thrilling, must-watch TV series.”

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