Strike (TV series)

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Series title over a headshot of the dishevelled title character in his office
Also known asC.B. Strike
GenreCrime drama
Detective fiction
Based onCormoran Strike
by Robert Galbraith
Opening theme"I Walk Beside You" by Beth Rowley
Composer(s)Adrian Johnston
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series4
No. of episodes11 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Jackie Larkin
Production location(s)London, England
CinematographyHubert Taczanowski
Editor(s)Gareth C. Scales
Sam Williams
Stephen Haren
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Brontë Film and Television
Original networkBBC One (UK)
Cinemax (US)[1]
Picture format16:9 (1080i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release27 August 2017 (2017-08-27) –
present (present)
External links

Strike is a British television crime drama series based on the Cormoran Strike detective novels written by J. K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.[2] The series was first broadcast on BBC One on 27 August 2017, after receiving an advance premiere at the British Film Institute on 10 August 2017.[3]

The series stars Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike, a war veteran turned private detective operating out of a tiny office in London's Denmark Street, who uses his unique insight and his background as a Special Investigation Branch investigator to solve complex cases that have eluded the police.[4] Burke's casting was confirmed in late 2016, while Holliday Grainger was confirmed to play the role of Robin Ellacott.[5] In early 2017, Kerr Logan was cast in the role of Robin's fiancé, Matthew.[6]

Four adaptations have been broadcast to date, adapting the first four Strike novels: The Cuckoo's Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014), Career of Evil (2015) and Lethal White (2018).

The series premiered on 1 June 2018 in the United States on Cinemax and in Canada on HBO Canada under the title C.B. Strike.[7]



On 10 December 2014, it was announced that the Cormoran Strike novel series, written by J. K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, would be adapted for television by the BBC, for broadcast on BBC One, beginning with The Cuckoo's Calling. Rowling collaborated on the project, and it is believed she contributed to the scripts. Two years later, it was confirmed that the series would total seven episodes of sixty minutes, with shooting to begin in London in the autumn of 2016. Additional scenes were filmed at Barrow in Furness in Cumbria and a petrol station in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.[8]

The production filmed at a private house in Sevenoaks in Kent, which featured as the Bristow residence in the episodes "The Cuckoo's Calling" and "The Silkworm". The Baron's Hall and gardens at Penshurst Place were used for the illustration of scenes in the scandalous Bombyx Mori book, and the Porcupine Cafe features as the cafe on the way to Devon where Cormoran and Robin make a stop.[9] Filming locations also included West London Film Studios.

Ben Richards adapted The Cuckoo's Calling, and Tom Edge adapted The Silkworm, Career of Evil and Lethal White. Richards stated that the series is "very different tonally and visually from other crime dramas". He compared Strike to the British detective television show Morse. Similarly, Edge commented that "people use old-fashioned as a pejorative word, but to me that's part of why these books, and, I hope, the TV series, works so well."[10]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Kerr Logan as Matthew Cunliffe
  • Ben Crompton as "Shanker"
  • Natasha O'Keeffe as Charlotte Campbell
  • Killian Scott as D.I. Eric Wardle
  • Ann Akin as Vanessa Ekwensi
  • Sargon Yelda as D.I. Richard Anstis
  • Caitlin Innes Edwards as Ilsa Herbert
  • Ian Attard as Nick Herbert

Guest cast[edit]


SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAverage UK viewers
First airedLast aired
1327 August 2017 (2017-08-27)3 September 2017 (2017-09-03)8.45
2210 September 2017 (2017-09-10)17 September 2017 (2017-09-17)8.35
3225 February 2018 (2018-02-25)4 March 2018 (2018-03-04)8.08
4430 August 2020 (2020-08-30)13 September 2020 (2020-09-13)TBA

Series 1: The Cuckoo's Calling (2017)[edit]

The Cuckoo's Calling was released on DVD on 27 November 2017.[11]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [12]
1"Episode 1"Michael KeillorBen Richards27 August 2017 (2017-08-27)8.89
2"Episode 2"Michael KeillorBen Richards28 August 2017 (2017-08-28)8.28
3"Episode 3"Michael KeillorBen Richards3 September 2017 (2017-09-03)8.18

Series 2: The Silkworm (2017)[edit]

The Silkworm was released on DVD on 19 February 2018.[13]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [12]
4"Episode 1"Kieron HawkesTom Edge10 September 2017 (2017-09-10)8.67
5"Episode 2"Kieron HawkesTom Edge17 September 2017 (2017-09-17)8.02

Series 3: Career of Evil (2018)[edit]

Career of Evil was released on DVD on 16 April 2018.[14]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [12]
6"Episode 1"Charles SturridgeTom Edge25 February 2018 (2018-02-25)8.43
7"Episode 2"Charles SturridgeTom Edge4 March 2018 (2018-03-04)7.72

Series 4: Lethal White (2020)[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [15]
8"Episode 1"Sue TullyTom Edge30 August 2020 (2020-08-30)7.29
9"Episode 2"Sue TullyTom Edge31 August 2020 (2020-08-31)6.30
10"Episode 3"Sue TullyTom Edge6 September 2020 (2020-09-06)6.51
11"Episode 4"Sue TullyTom Edge13 September 2020 (2020-09-13)TBA


The Cuckoo's Calling received generally positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an approval rating of 82%, based on 17 reviews, and an average score of 6.6/10. The website's critics consensus reads "The TV adaptation of C.B. Strike delivers an entertaining detective series that faithfully and effectively adheres to genre tropes."[16] A reviewer for Digital Spy, who reviewed the first episode, praised both Burke and Grainger's performances. The reviewer said that Burke's performance was a "revelation".[17]

Similarly, the adaptation of The Silkworm was met with positive reviews, with critics again praising Burke and Grainger's performances.[18][19] However, the episode was criticised for showing a suicide scene on World Suicide Prevention Day, making some viewers claim that this scene was insensitive.[20]

Career of Evil holds an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 8 reviews, and an average score of 7/10.[21]

Lethal White holds a 67% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 9 reviews, and an average score of 5.6/10.[22]


  1. ^ "C.B. Strike – Watch Cinemax's Original mystery Series Online". Cinemax.
  2. ^ Sommers, Kat (November 2016). "First Look: Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger in 'Cormoran Strike'". BBC America. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Buy cinema tickets for TV Preview: Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling + discussion | BFI Southbank". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  4. ^ Furness, Hannah (7 September 2016). "Confirmed: Tom Burke to play Cormoran Strike in BBC's JK Rowling dramas". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Tom Burke to play JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike on BBC One". BBC News. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  6. ^ "J.K. Rowling's Strike TV series debuts this month". Digital Spy. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  7. ^ Anop, Nirat (9 October 2017). "Cinemax 2018 Programming Lineup". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  8. ^ "JK Rowling series filmed". Darlington & Stockton Times. 20 January 2017. p. 7. ISSN 2040-3933.[better source needed]
  9. ^ "Strike – The Cuckoo's Calling/The Silkworm (2017)". Kent Film Office. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  10. ^ Hughes, Sarah (13 August 2017). "Witty, not gritty: JK Rowling's gentle TV detective is a return to the era of Morse". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Strike: The Cuckoos Calling" – via Amazon.
  12. ^ a b c "Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 10 September 2017. (User must select "BBC1" in the Channel field and then select the appropriate year, month and week to retrieve the figure for each episode)
  13. ^ "Strike: The Silkworm". 19 February 2018 – via Amazon.
  14. ^ "Strike: Career Of Evil". 16 April 2018 – via Amazon.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "C.B. Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling". Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via Rotten Tomatoes.
  17. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (27 August 2017). "Strike - 'The Cuckoo's Calling' episode 1 review: This could be the next great detective drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  18. ^ Power, Ed (11 September 2017). "Strike – The Silkworm, part one, review – an entertaining and disturbing peek into the darker side of JK Rowling's imagination". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  19. ^ Wollaston, Sam (11 September 2017). "Strike: The Silkworm review – necrophilia, cannibalism and literary London". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  20. ^ Fleming, Molly (11 September 2017). "Strike the Silkworm shows intense suicide scene on World Suicide Prevention Day". Metro. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  21. ^ "C.B. Strike: Career of Evil". Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via Rotten Tomatoes.
  22. ^ "C.B. Strike: Lethal White". Retrieved 14 September 2020 – via Rotten Tomatoes.

External links[edit]