Channel 4 logo

The State press pack

Category: News Release

  • Written and directed by Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winner Peter Kosminsky
  • Premiering at 9pm on Channel 4 on 20th August 2017
  • A powerful four-part drama drawing on extensive factual research to create a gripping and unflinching dramatic insight into the harsh reality of life for those who join ISIS


A compelling, fictional story based on extensive research, The State follows the experiences of four young British men and women who have left their lives behind to join ISIS in Raqqah, Syria.

Jalal (Sam Otto – Collateral) is following in his older brother’s footsteps in deciding to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS, and has persuaded his best friend Ziyaad (Ryan McKen – Bancroft, NW) to accompany him. Single mother Shakira (Ony Uhiara –Law and Order) arrives in Syria with her nine-year-old son Isaac, determined to bring her skills as a junior doctor to the aid of the Islamic State; and teenager Ushna (Shavani Cameron – Youngers, Homeland) has left her family behind to fulfil what she sees as her religious duty after being radicalised on the internet.

As they experience more of the realities of life in Raqqah, witnessing horrific atrocities carried out by the regime and the bloody aftermath of air strikes, their journeys diverge – into disillusionment and despair on the one hand and increasing commitment to the Caliphate on the other.

The State is being produced by Archery Pictures for Channel 4 and National Geographic Channel. It was developed by Channel 4 and commissioned by Head of Drama Beth Willis. The executive producers are Liza Marshall, Kris Thykier and Peter Kosminsky. For National Geographic Channels, Carolyn G. Bernstein is Executive Vice President and Head of Global Scripted Development and Production.

To mark the broadcast of The State, All 4 will be celebrating Peter Kosminsky’s previous dramas for the channel by making them available to stream and download for the next 12 months. The collection, comprising The Government Inspector, Britz and The Promise, can be viewed at