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The Casualties of The Hobbit Part 2. Richard Armitage in Strike Back

I’m continuing on the theme of the characters that have fallen victim to The Hobbit.

In part 1 I examined the exit of the vampire John Mitchell, played by Aidan Turner, from the show ‘Being Human’.

One of the most visible casualties, especially for Richard Armitage fans, was the rapid death of our beloved John Porter, in Strike Back.

The end of season 1 sees him driving into the sunset, with the promise of future adventures.

This by no means Porter was out of danger, as he heads to Iraq, and Delta force elimination team is given the green light to intercept him.

Fast forward, we have Strike Back: Project Dawn, meant as a continuation of the series.

It follows Section 20, a secret branch of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), which is trying to stop Latif, a Pakistani terrorist, who is plotting “Project Dawn”.

John Porter is captured by Latif’s men while trying to figure out Latif’s plan.

He is tortured, then shot.

The end.

And a very sad end to our beloved character it is!

Don’t get me wrong! Armitage nails the whole scene, but the he’s had plenty of practice of how to make death on-screen look believable.

It could have been worse.

Some actors are never given a chance to return and tie up their characters loose ends. They simply vanish, and there’s a mention, in passing, of what had happened to them.

Perhaps letting John simply fade away, gone on some undisclosed mission, would have been a more fitting end.

Having said that, the finality of the bullet in the head ends all speculation on whether Armitage would even consider returning.

John Porter is the combination of two of the most obvious themes in RA’s career:

playing a character whose name is ‘John’ (Porter, Thornton, Standring, Bates, Mulligan)

playing a character that is killed off ( Ultimate Force, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Robin Hood, Spooks, Captain America, Strike Back)

I could only hope that with the demise of poor John Porter, Armitage will experience a different type of character.

Of course, we know how Thorin Oakenshield’s story ends, so that is wishful thinking on my part.

Knowing Richard’s luck, Thorin’s middle name is probably John, too.

Poor Porter, another victim of the ruthless Hobbit machine 🙂

Here’s a promo for Strike Back: Project Dawn.

Like with Spooks series 10 and Being Human series 4, I won’t be going back.

A loss of a beloved character spoils the show for me.

Images: RANet

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18 responses »

  1. I cant watch this….far too traumatising the first time. Forgive me but I just cant go through it again….seriously!

    • I know, and I understand! The good thing is, you can always think that the end of season 1 is the end of the story of John Porter, as far as we know. I much prefer to think of him going around in an old jeep, saving the world 🙂 Im just not sure if bringing Porter back for the second series, especially as it had undergone such a huge change was the wisest. Maybe they just needed to bring the ratings in for the first episode.

  2. You do know that Thorin dies in The Battle of the Five Armies, don’t you? It’s right towards the end of the second part so, at least, we’ll get to see him for most of “The Hobbit”.

    It isn’t clear from the Inspector Lynley episode that Phillip dies – he was shot rather high up near his shoulder – and that’s not necessarily a fatal shot.

    Peter MacDuff doesn’t die in MacBeth – he kills the main character!

    Remember – Guy, Lucas and Porter are SND (So Not Dead) – they’ve been loved into being in Angie’s fanfic and on her blog!

    • You’re right, it was McDuff’s family that kicked the bucket. James McAvoy was amazing in that! When he was chopping up the pig head, I thought: There it is, in yet another RA film 🙂
      As much as I understand the SND aspect, and what the power of a woman’s love can do, the truth is that Armitage poured his heart into the dying scenes, and he did it very very well. So, I’m willing to acknowledge the final moments of a character, especially with regards to Richard’s acting abilities. Then I can choose to not focus on Porter in series 2, or imagine that Lucas/John jumped off a building, but the body was never found 🙂 Just little lies to make the situation better.

  3. I’ve heard so much about JP’s death that I decided not to watch it !!! Of course I didn’t watch SB or plan to watch it!! It doesn’t matter if people say: JP was this and that… I can be very stubborn sometimes and I’m not proud of it, but in this case I believe I have enough violence on the TV news so I refuse to watch more when I choose a movie!!

    • I understand that! It’s a shame. because John Porter is a sexy hero, but the violence is not to every person’s liking. All i can say is that Armitage took this simple part and gave it soul 🙂

      • That’s what everybody says about RA… and I know I should be stronger, but… at this moment of my life I choose not to be… maybe someday!!! 😉

        • You know what’s best for you! I don’t think Strike Back is much worse than, say, Spooks in the level of violence, plus we see sweaty Porter in combat pants, so it’s not all bad 😉 But he does get knocked about quite a bit, and he does do a bit of knocking himself!

          • Ah, the sweaty Porter… LOL
            Well, now you reminded me that I need to be ready to see Thorin in action with that huge sword, all in 3D … 😉

          • But as it’s fantasy, I think it’ll be better. With Porter, there’s that edge of realism. I with you could watch the first episode with Orla. She is my favorite Armitage leading lady. She is captured and tortured (I know I’ve lost you here…). Porter comes in to rescue her. When he looks after her and tries to give her hope! Amazing. They had very good acting chemistry.

  4. Hi, For me the series has only one season. 😉 I saw the last moments of JP and I decided to ignore them…
    Mainly, because I think they didn’t take into account the characteristics of the character to organize their departure. I mean, throughout the series, JP is able to beat everyone and everything, despite injuries and difficulties… and then kill him with little resistance on his part? hmmm, I’m not convinced at all…..

    • They clearly had another type of show in mind for the new season, and figured they might as well milk that Armitage / Porter storyline to make the new characters more legit. I agree with the decision of some fans not to watch the first episode, like you Vec. It’s nicer to see Porter just riding off!

  5. I totally agree with you!!! Hopeful Richard’s newest project with allow him to survive in the end.

    • Hello JoAnn! As there’s a son and a love interest involved, I really do hope so. Then again, if we count Thorin as his latest project, we’ve spoken too soon… 🙂

  6. Pingback: John Porter Stricks Back in the Desert, Alive and Kicking « I Want to be a Pin-Up

  7. Just saw the death scene. So tragic. Show won’t be the same without him.

  8. Just re watched the John Porter series and I can’t beleive how a program went from being great to utter shit in the second series. At first I thought the second outing was a completely different show. It is so B grade and as far as I can tell the entire cast from series one disappeared not just JP. Anyway I was glad to see JP repeated on telly. It’s cool.

  9. Totally with you on that last bit. When my favorite character dies, or a close favorite, I can’t really bring myself to finish it. Same with Being Human; that was far too tragic on a deep level. I probably won’t watch any more Strike Back either.

    Ugh, and poor Thorin!! I really would like Armitage to live in something.

    That seriously cracked me up, though… Thorin’s middle name is most definitely John. 😛


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