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Strike (TV series)

Strike is a British television crime drama series based on the detective novels written by J. K. Rowling, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.[1] 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.[2]

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 series3
No. of episodes7 (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
Picture format16:9 (1080i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release27 August 2017 (2017-08-27) –
present (present)
External links

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.[3] Burke's casting was confirmed in late 2016, while Holliday Grainger was confirmed to play the role of Robin Ellacott.[4] In early 2017, Kerr Logan was cast in the role of Robin's fiancé, Matthew.[5]

Three adaptations have been broadcast to date, adapting all three current Strike novels: The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm and Career of Evil. Grainger has said that it could be some time before another series is broadcast, stating: "I think they've always been quite clear that they'd never want to write one without basing it on the book. It is all about Jo's writing, and the characters are all about what Jo's written. So, you've got to wait."[6] 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 both 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 charactersEdit

Main castEdit

Recurring castEdit

  • 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

Guest castEdit


The Cuckoo's CallingEdit

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

The SilkwormEdit

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

Career of EvilEdit

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

Lethal WhiteEdit

In October 2018, BBC announced that Lethal White will be adapted as a four-part drama with Burke returning as Cormoran Strike and Grainger as Robin Ellacott, and Tom Edge writing the screenplay.[15] The series will air in 2020 with Sue Tully directing all four 60-minute episodes.[16]


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."[17] 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".[18] Christopher Stevens of the Daily Mail also gave the first episode a positive review, also praising the performances of Burke and Grainger as well as Martin Shaw's portrayal of Tony Landry. He said that "as the resourceful Robin, Miss Grainger balances his mournful personality with lots of energy and bounce." However, Stevens was critical of the lack of subtlety regarding Strike's injury.[19]

Similarly, the adaptation of The Silkworm was met with positive reviews, with critics again praising Burke and Grainger's performances.[20][21] However, the episode was criticised for showing a suicide scene on World Suicide Prevention Day, making some viewers claim that this scene was insensitive.[22]

Career of Evil holds an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 8 reviews, and an average score of 7/10.[23]


  1. ^ Sommers, Kat (November 2016). "First Look: Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger in 'Cormoran Strike'". BBC America. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Buy cinema tickets for TV Preview: Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling + discussion | BFI Southbank". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  3. ^ Furness, Hannah (7 September 2016). "Confirmed: Tom Burke to play Cormoran Strike in BBC's JK Rowling dramas". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Tom Burke to play JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike on BBC One". BBC. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  5. ^ "J.K. Rowling's Strike TV series debuts this month". Digital Spy. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  6. ^ "When is Strike back on TV?".
  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.
  9. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Strike – The Cuckoo's Calling/The Silkworm (2017) Article".
  10. ^ Hughes, Sarah (12 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". 27 November 2017 – 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. ^ "BBC - Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger to return for new BBC One Strike series Lethal White - Media Centre". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  16. ^ "BBC - Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger return in Strike: Lethal White". Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  17. ^ "C.B. Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via
  18. ^ "Strike episode 1 review: The next great detective drama". Digital Spy. 27 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  19. ^ Stevens, Christopher (28 August 2017). "CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling". Mail Online. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  20. ^ Power, Ed (10 September 2017). "Strike – The Silkworm, part one, review – an entertaining and disturbing peek into the darker side of JK Rowling's imagination" – via
  21. ^ Wollaston, Sam (11 September 2017). "Strike: The Silkworm review – necrophilia, cannibalism and literary London" – via
  22. ^ "Strike the Silkworm shows intense suicide scene on World Suicide Prevention Day". 11 September 2017.
  23. ^ "C.B. Strike: Career of Evil - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via

External linksEdit