Sometimes theatrical dramas give us “morality tales”—couched as entertainment–to give us something more weighty to ponder, such as the ills of the world or examples of solutions. .
The talented British actor Richard Armitage’s British made 2010 Sky1 mini series
“Chris Ryan’s Strike Back”, Season 1 (later renamed “Strike Back Origins”, episodes 3 & 4 (poster at left) , represented just such a morality tale of betrayal, truth, honor and compassion.
“Strike Back series 1 Zimbabwe trailer (episodes 3 & 4)”, a video teaser trailer by RichardArmitageNet
SAS Agent John Porter (portrayed by Richard Armitage, right at right) was tasked in episode 3 with killing a man in Zimbabwe whom he was nebulously told was a danger to the British government. Yet John Porter had a little used, but still nagging moral compass that made him question his orders. What kind of danger was this man, why, and to whom?
And when it came to it—with the man Felix Masuku (portrayed by the talented British actor Shaun Parkes, right, at right) explaining what he had uncovered about the collusion of a coup planning local General–Porter realized that he had been lied to about the man, Masuku. So Porter did not kill him.
Rather, through that development of mutual understanding, Masuku and Porter (right) became allies in ferreting out the truth about the Zimbabwe general and his government overthrowing intentions–and in saving the orphanage children’s lives, for the greater good.
Masuku and Porter uncover a much larger plot involving the General’s soldier’s abducting the children. Then killing the soldiers to rescue the children. But remorselessly killing the bad guys in defense of the orphanage children is still killing—a moral bad–as the orphanage director nun Sister Bernadette (portrayed with poignant moral certainty by the talented South African actress Sibulele Gcilitshana) reminds Porter in the video clip below:
“Strike Back – Episode 4 – What Nuns think of Porter”, a video provided by PeterK1984
However later on, the nun begins to see the spark of humanity that had been rekindled in Porter through his associations with her and Masuku—and she forgave Porter (right) for his past actions as an SAS Agent. For Porter was staying behind to defend she and the orphans from being followed, as Masuku lead them away to safety.
So two men, of differing racial heritages—and a determined woman–work together to save children’s lives. This is a meaningful message in these episodes–which lifts them above the level of mere entertainment. And this higher quality of drama, honors its audience through sharing a morality tale about striving for a moral good—in this case, helping save vulnerable children.
For these days, we seem to need stories about moral goodness to lift us up and to give us hope. Because to paraphrase Nelson Mandela , a society is judged most by how it treats the least of its members—the vulnerable, the marginalized, the disenfranchised. Therefore, a better and more highly moral society protects and defends the vulnerable members within its society—a worthy goal.
And to close, below is one of my favorite fan made videos about Richard Armitage portraying John Porter in Strike Backe (2010) that encompasses the whole of the six episode, 3 stories Season 1 in 2010 (renamed, Origins) of Chris Ryan’s Strike Back—with several clips highlighting episodes 3 & 4 as mentioned above.
“”24″ — John Porter ( Richard Armitage ) Strike Back”, a video by campcurry123
Nota Bene: Thanks to RAnet for the four scene still images that I shared above at right (not previously hyperlinked)t, from Chris Ryan’s Strike Back, 2010, episode 4: