‘Strike Back’s Alin Sumarwata Says ‘the Stakes are Higher’ in Season 6


A Russian bomber crashes into the South China Sea, and the covert multinational Section 20 special-ops team heads off to find out why — as well as who stole its cargo of nuclear warheads. With that premise, expect January 25’s Season 6 premiere of Strike Back to live up to the series’ thrilling standards.

“The stakes are higher,” says Alin Sumarwata, who plays Lance Cpl. Gracie Novin, a brawny, brainy, beautiful operative. (And let’s face it: She also boasts TV’s hottest haircut.) That leads Novin and her military intelligence teammates, Sgt. Thomas McAllister (Warren Brown) and Sgt. Samuel Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson), to Kuala Lumpur, where they encounter the mysterious Katrina Zarkova (Yasemin Kay Allen), who, despite her enemy status, could end up a new Section 20 partner.

This risky strategy creates some tension between the team and the new commander, Col. Alexander Coltrane (Jamie Bamber, Battlestar Galactica).

“They know a little about his history; there’s not immediate respect for him,” says Sumarwata of the squad’s take on Coltrane. “He’s worried about their lack of discipline.” Offscreen, there’s no such issue: “We adore Jamie. He’s a sublime addition.”

Good thing the actors get along. The steamy Malaysia locations found them battling dehydration through demanding, highly choreographed sequences with military consultant trainers — the kind of action Sumarwata sees a responsibility in playing.”I want to be part of redefining how women soldiers are [portrayed] on TV,” she says. “[Service life is] a duty, and you do it whether you’re a man or a woman.”

Strike Back, Season 6 Premiere, Friday, January 25, 10/9c, Cinemax