As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Cinemax's "Strike Back" was one of last summer's more pleasant surprises. It was an action show that, given its channel of origin, could have just been an excuse for explosions, gunfights and lots of naked flesh. And it had all of those. But the gun, knife and fist fights were always well-choreographed, the international locations were used well, and there was more than lip service paid to both characterization and moral ambiguity. It was, as I wrote at the time, much better than it needed to be, and I'm very much looking forward to its return on Friday, August 17 at 10 p.m.

If you're a fan of the show and happen to be going to San Diego next month for Comic-Con, though, you may not have to wait as long. Cinemax is presenting a "Strike Back" panel featuring returning stars Philip Winchester (straight arrow British special forces ace Michael Stonebridge) and Sullivan Stapleton (wild card American operative Damien Scott), plus new cast addition Rhona Mitra, who has displayed an on-screen proficiency with firearms in the past. I'll be moderating the panel, which will be Friday, July 13, at 8 p.m. in Room 6DE of the Convention Center.

The next day, July 14, Cinemax is hosting a screening of the first two episodes of the new season at 1 p.m. at the Reading Cinemas Gaslamp Stadium 15, which is a few blocks away from the Convention Center on 5th Avenue and G Street. It's open to anyone with a Comic-Con 2012 badge, and seating is first come, first serve.

Also, here's an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip of Winchester and Stapleton getting ready to do a bit of stunt driving in the new season: