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'Strike Back' stars face new challenges in 3rd season

The upcoming third season of Cinemax's "Strike Back" offered new challenges for star Philip Winchester, who has been shot at, blown up and made to jump out of a helicopter while filming his role as counterterroism operative Sgt. Michael Stonebridge.

As you can see in the brand new trailer for the season, for the first time ever the cast filmed extensive action scenes on boats and, unfortunately, in the waters of the Mtamvuna River in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, which stands in for the jungles of South America in the premiere, which is set to air at 9 p.m. CT Aug. 9 on Cinemax.

"Almost immediately we were kind of laid out with stomach bugs and sickness from the jungle. I mean, it was full on," Winchester told me by phone from Budapest, Hungary, where in June the production finished filming the season.

In the premiere, however, Stonebridge and Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), members of the stealth counterterroism unit Section 20, carry out a mission deep in the Colombia jungles.

"It was brutal. The first week, we were just running through jungle and hijacking boats and swimming in this river," Winchester continued, laughing. "It was a race between getting your close-up and going to the bathroom. So it was a very interesting way to start the season."

The show went on, however, and Winchester reports that the new season will be "bigger and badder than it's ever been."

As Cinemax says, in the action-packed season "Section 20 pursues a deadly terrorist network from Colombia to Lebanon to Eastern Europe, uncovering deadly plots that threaten the West. The team tracks the elusive terrorist al-Zuhari and his well-financed drug cartel partners as they target European and American interests, both at home and abroad, including Section 20 itself. As they often must do, the Section 20 team is forced to resort to extraordinary measures to protect the greater good, making some members question their future with the unit."

Dougray Scott, Robson Green and former Chicagoan Milauna Jackson join Winchester, Stapleton and cast members Michelle Lukes and Liam Garrigan. As you can see from the trailer, Rhona Mitra reprises her role as Maj. Rachel Dalton, the MI-6 spy who took over leadership of Section 20 last season.

I'll be headed to San Diego Comic-Con in July and am hoping to chat up "Strike Back" cast members thet are there.

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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