Although X Company has finished airing it’s three seasons in the UK and Canada, it’s only recently been brought to the US by Ovation. Season 2 starts next week, Monday, May 7th at 10/9c. We highly recommend you check out this series, starring none other than our SGT MacAllister, Warren Brown.
Here are our top 10 reasons you should be watching this series:
10. Tension – Similar to Strike Back you’ll find a “no one is safe” mentality that leaves you glued to the seat. And buying stock in Kleenex. It’s something I love about Canadian and British tv, unlike here in the US, there is not that “main characters make it through everything” plot. It creates a dynamic that allows for so much more realism and tension. And tears. The kind of tears that make you reach for the remote to press play on the next episode.
9. Style – while staying mostly historically accurate, the creators of X Company did take some liberties, creating a style for these spies that evokes the time period but is still fun and attractive to modern audiences. The actors may have lamented this – there are interviews with complaints about wearing wool and tweed while filming in the summer, but the payoff for the audience is huge.
8. Alfred – Jack Lasky plays Alfred, a man with perfect synesthesia – he literally experiences ALL his senses at all times. He sees, tastes, feels and hears the music, the gunshots, the bombs. The world is indescribably difficult for him. But, because of this gift/curse, Alfred also has a perfect memory. It’s for this reason he’s recruited into X Camp and the character growth we see from Alfred over 3 seasons is nothing short of mind-blowing. Changing from a man terrified of loud noises into a man who’s willing to endure torture in order to keep his secrets – Alfred is intriguing and compelling.
7. Location – Strike Back fans will notice a connection between the two series (aside from Warren Brown of course). Both series used locations in Budapest, including some of the same underground tunnels. You may spot SGT MacAllister and Neil Mackay running down the very same streets – keep your eyes peeled!
6. X Camp – It’s a truly new WWII story. Unlike so many of the WWII stories we’ve seen that take place in the trenches or slugging it out on ships – this is a super smart show about a little-known spy training camp out of Canada. The existence of X Camp was classified until the 1980s, and it’s rumored that Ian Fleming himself attended. In fact, the creator of the CIA – Willian Donovan – worked with X Camp and took inspiration from its model.
5. The Cast, Period – From the incredibly captivating Evelyne Brochu to the hilarious Dustin Milligan and the charming Connor Price, this cast will capture your heart. To be honest, in making this list I had to fight the urge just to list each cast member, there isn’t a weak link among them. These actors give everything, stripping away pretense to get to the heart of their characters.
4. Writing – This show is compelling and smart and tense and magical. Creators and writers Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern won a Writers Guild of Canada award in 2017 for Best Writing in a TV Drama and it’s well deserved. There is never a line that seems out of place or out of character. They understand their subject matter and their actors and are able to pull the very best out of both.
3. Heart – In a time when we’re often flooded with war movies, big explosions, and battlefields littered with bodies, yet another may seem too much. But X Company takes the big out, instead focusing on the small – the personal stories that will take your breath away. The good and the bad. Stories are told with sincerity, simplicity, and respect. You’ll walk away from each episode needing time to digest what you’ve seen, an effect of intelligent heart, something too few series have these days.
2. Torben Liebrecht – As the Nazi Franz Faber, Liebrecht is exactly what people mean when they say you can love an actor, appreciate his incredible skill, but truly dislike his character through and through. Although that latter may change through the series, the former does not. He brings passion and emotion to every scene he’s in. He was recognized for this talent in 2017 when he won a Canadian Screen Award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role.
1. Warren Brown – of course. I mean this is a Strike Back blog after all. But truly, I don’t think that any fan of X Company would argue the point that Brown’s portrayal of Neil Mackay is anything less than extraordinary. Mackay is a man who’s lost almost everything and everyone before the show even begins, and the hits just don’t stop for him. Yet despite every trial and test, Mackay is steadfast and good to the core. Brown’s heartbreaking performance will bring you to tears, and then leave you happy you got to witness the openness with which he performed. And let’s be real – it’s Warren, he’s ridiculous levels of handsome and adorable and frankly, we’d watch him in anything.
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