Strike Back Saturday # 1: Sgt. John Porter


Porter comforts Katie and gives her encouragement. "Trust me."

John Porter. Katie's hero, and mine, too.

Richard Armitage and Andrew Lincoln with fellow cast members and crew rehearsing a scene from the first ep of Strike Back. Richard trained heavily to be able to undertake the physicality of the role, pushing himself to be as authentic as possible.

When you look up the definition of “hero” in the dictionary, there should be a photo of Sgt. John Porter right there front and center.

John Porter as we came to know him in those six hours of the original SB, earned my respect, my admiration and my compassion. Here is a man who is a good soldier, competent, reliable, resourceful, intelligent and brave. When a mission he is leading in Iraq goes awry and one of his men ends up dead and another critically injured, Porter goes into a sort of tailspin. He leaves behind his military career, separates from his family, struggles to find work and to come to terms with what happened during the disastrous extraction.

Working in a dead-end job as a security guard, Porter never completely gives up on regaining his reputation and his honor. He still keeps fit; he wants to be as ready as he can be just in case that opportunity comes . . .

Richard, a self-described pacifist, said he initially was not interested in playing this type of role. But he decided to go back and take a second look; to see if he could craft a dimensional character and not just a killing machine. Richard sought to find the soft center in the tough-as-nails soldier. And that is just what he did. If I ever ended up in the same sort of desperate situation as Katie, the kidnapped journalist, I would want a man like John Porter–relentless and sometimes ruthless, a real bad-ass when needed, but also capable of tenderness and kindness–to come to my rescue. And yes, he is glorious to behold. Strong, handsome, commanding.

At some point in our lives, we all need a hero we can believe in. And Richard Armitage gave us just that.
I have made several SB videos; this was the first, based on the first two eps of the series and set to a song by Enya.
“Katie’s Hero” is our hero, too.

(screencaps and promos courtesy of RANet)

14 responses »

  1. Angie, I didn’t know you made this video. We didn’t know each other yet 10 months ago! I just started to read your DTK fic, I think.

    This story you are telling us in screencaps is really moving and needs no further words of explanation. Enya’s enchanting voice is enough to underline danger, sufferings, relief of rescue, and recovery of personal dignity.

    Great video about Porter, our hero! ♥

    • You know I had to swap the audio to post the video at YT. The alternate song waas OK but I really prefer this Enya song (well, that is why I used it in the first place!) Thank goodness for Vimeo. Yes, sometimes the images alone complemented by the music can tell the story very well.

  2. An action hero to end all action hero’s! This is not your average, cookie cutter bad ass. He had so much going on behind those beautiful baby blues. He could rescue me from danger any day:)

    • Oh yes, Richard gave Porter a heart and soul and brain. We saw the humanity in the “killing machine,” the man who refused to shoot a child, who would curl his tall frame up on a small bed to have a heart to heart with his little girl, the man who held a terrified woman in his arms and tenderly comforted her. A man strong enough to be gentle.

      • Yes, the nun was being unfair when she accused him of being “like a robot” and slapping him for “finding killing so easy”. Of course she can’t have known about the Iraqi kid…I think Porter has just become my favourite RA character. Sorry, Harry, Thornton, Lucas, Guy, John S… 🙂 I’m madly in love with Porter.

        • She was hasty in her judgement, but thankfully she came to realize he was “a good man sent by God.” John Porter is a wonderful character. Hey, I wrote a book about him, obviously I like him a lot! 😉

  3. One thing that bothered me a bit is that we didn’t see him spending any time with his daughter after his wife’s death.. There was a scene with him and Danni in bed preparing for his next mission, Now I normally quite like to see him in bed with women, but in this case I would have preferred to see him comforting his daughter, supporting her in her grief. I would have thought he’d have been staying with his daughter too after he returned from Zimbabwe but that bedroom scene with Danni seemed to take place in some kind of hotel room or safe house or whatever. Strange, really, seeing how much he loved his daughter!

  4. Pingback: More Behind-the-Scenes Saturday– Strike Back and John Portah! « the armitage effect

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