C.B. Strike is a war veteran turned private detective who operates out of a tiny office in London’s Denmark Street. Although wounded both physically and psychologically, his unique insight and background as a military police investigator prove crucial in solving complex crimes that have baffled the police.
Based on the bestselling novels written by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the CINEMAX three-part miniseries C.B. Strike debuts Friday, June 1 (10:00-11:00PM ET/PT), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time.
Tom Burke (“Only God Forgives“) stars as private detective Cormoran Strike and Holliday Grainger (“The Borgias”) stars as Robin Ellacott, his new assistant, and protégé, in the show, which is produced in association with BBC One.
C.B. Strike launches with three one-hour episodes based on “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” the first book in the trilogy, followed by adaptations of the remaining two books, “The Silkworm” and “Career of Evil,” both of which consist of two one-hour episodes.
C.B. Strike was filmed in and around London.
Episode #1: “The Cuckoo’s Calling (part 1)”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JUNE 1 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
London, the dead of winter: Supermodel Lula Landry (Elarica Johnson) plummets to her death from the balcony of her Mayfair apartment. After an inquest concludes that she committed suicide due to the pressures of fame, her brother, John Bristow (Leo Bill), seeks Strike’s (Tom Burke) help in finding justice for his adopted sister. Despite Strike’s attempts to get DI Eric Wardle (Killian Scott) to reopen the case as a possible homicide, he is met with a brusque brush-off and left to his own means to prove otherwise. With Robin’s (Holliday Grainger) help, Strike conducts interviews with neighbors, friends, and family of the victim, hoping to get to the truth.
Episode #2: “The Cuckoo’s Calling (part 2)”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JUNE 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
After the sudden death of Lula’s friend Rochelle (Tezlym Senior-Sakutu), Strike (Tom Burke) decides to interrogate the rest of Lula’s friends. Strike questions Derrick Wilson (Brian Bovell), the concierge at Lula’s building, to determine his whereabouts when the supermodel died and discover how the potential killer escaped unnoticed. The unoccupied second-floor flat and a bouquet of white roses lead Strike to important conclusions.
Episode #3: “The Cuckoo’s Calling (part 3)”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JUNE 15 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Robin (Holliday Grainger) visits a boutique where Lula shopped on the day she died, gathering key information from the salesperson who secretly recorded the celebrated model’s conversation with Rochelle. Strike’s (Tom Burke) tireless analysis of the CCTV footage and a clandestine search of Lula and Bristow’s family home lead him to two possible suspects and eventually point him in the direction of the actual killer.
“The Cuckoo’s Calling” also stars Martin Shaw, Tara Fitzgerald, Si?n Phillips, Kerr Logan, Natasha O’Keeffe, Amber Anderson, Kevin Fuller, Ben Crompton and Sarah Sweeney; directed by Michael Keillor; written by Ben Richards; executive produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts, Neil Blair and J.K. Rowling.
Episode #4: “The Silkworm (part 1)”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JUNE 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Strike’s (Tom Burke) new client, Leonora Quine (Monica Dolan), wants help tracking down her missing husband, the once-infamous Owen Quine (Jeremy Swift), a former bad boy of the London literary scene, now toiling away in relative obscurity. Strike’s first port of call is Liz Tassel (Lia Williams), Quine’s agent, still smarting from her client’s reckless behavior. She has dropped him from the agency after his bombastic, unpublished manuscript, “Bombyx Mori,” caused a stir in the industry with its slanderous, thinly disguised fabulist portrayals.
Episode #5: “The Silkworm (part 2)”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JUNE 29 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
When Owen’s disemboweled body is discovered, Strike (Tom Burke) and Robin (Holliday Grainger) delve deeper into the hidden meanings and concealed secrets of “Bombyx Mori,” fighting to prove the innocence of his incarcerated widow (Monica Dolan). Strike invites Liz (Lia Williams) to lunch and gains insight into Andrew Fancourt (Peter Sullivan), Quine’s famous literary rival, and the feud between them. By looking more closely at the manuscript and putting the pieces of the puzzle together, the true author of an alternative version of “Bombyx Mori”? – ?and the identity of the killer? – ?are revealed.
“The Silkworm” also stars Natasha O’Keeffe, Kerr Logan, Tim McInnerny and Sarah Gordy; directed by Kieron Hawkes; written by Tom Edge; executive produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts, J.K. Rowling, Tom Edge and Neil Blair.
Episode #6: “Career of Evil (part 1)”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JULY 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Robin (Holliday Grainger) arrives at the office to accept a package from an impatient motorbike courier. Opening it, she is horrified to discover a severed leg inside, accompanied by famous song lyrics. Interpreting this as a vendetta against him, Strike (Tom Burke) begins to pull together a list of potential suspects from his past, any of whom may have sent the macabre delivery.
One of the names, Jeff Whittaker (Matt King), relates directly to Strike’s late mother, Leda (Kierston Wareing), and he asks his longtime friend Shanker (Ben Crompton) to help him track down the degenerate musician, while Robin begins to research all three suspects. Strike and Robin’s time-consuming, close-working relationship begins to rile her fiancé, Matthew (Kerr Logan), and the couple’s arguments become more frequent. Adding fuel to the fire, their investigation takes Strike and Robin to Barrow-in-Furness for an overnight stay.
Episode #7: “Career of Evil (part 2)”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JULY 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Strike (Tom Burke) visits several London strip clubs to find out more about Niall Brockbank (Andrew Brooke), who is one of the murder suspects. Robin’s (Holliday Grainger) relationship with Matthew (Kerr Logan) hits a low point and she questions her commitment to marriage. Strike begins to narrow his field of suspects, but the killer continues to taunt them, hitting close to home when he leaves a severed thumb in Robin and Matthew’s tea kettle. Outraged and determined to trap Brockbank, Robin, unbeknownst to Strike, pays Shanker (Ben Crompton) to lead her to Niall’s home, where she tries to question his girlfriend (Emanuella Cole). Brockbank returns home and Robin finds herself in a fight for her life.
“Career of Evil” also stars Andrew Brooke, Emmanuella Cole, Matt King and Killian Scott; directed by Charles Sturridge; written by Tom Edge; executive produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts, J.K. Rowling, Tom Edge and Neil Blair.
C.B. STRIKE is produced in association with BBC One. J.K. Rowling executive produces through her Bronte Film & TV production company; Neil Blair, Ruth Kenley-Letts, and Elizabeth Kilgarriff also executive produce.