Airdate: The Promise

On Sunday night SBS screens a stand-out UK drama, the BAFTA-nominated series The Promise.

This was also nominated for Best Mini-Series at the 2010/201 as Banff World Television Festival.

What makes this 4 part drama so unique is its dual storylines, set in two eras: present day and the 1940s.

If you’re worried there’s nothing to watch as of this Sunday, think again -especially if you are a lover of quality, Arthouse drama.

From the multi-award winning writer and director Peter Kosminsky comes The Promise. In a love story that spans the ages, this four-part drama intercuts between the experiences of Erin, an 18-year-old Londoner in present day Israel and Gaza, and those of her military grandfather, Len, who was part of the British peace-keeping force in Palestine at the end of World War II.

Erin’s best friend Eliza, the daughter of wealthy Israeli-Jewish parents, has joint British/Israeli nationality although she lives in the UK. She travels to Israel to carry out National Service in the army and invites Erin to join her for the summer.

Erin is anticipating a summer of parties and attractive, young Israeli men but just before she departs she finds her sick grandfather’s diary. She starts to read it en route to Israel and learns about his life in the army in the then Palestine.

She discovers Len witnessed first-hand the atrocities of the Holocaust and the violent events that occurred when the modern state of Israel was established. Moved by Len’s account and the realisation he wasn’t much older than her when he wrote it, Erin retraces his steps in modern day Israel.

Her journey is exhilarating and turbulent in equal measure. She is forced to confront the drama, complexity and tragedy of life in this troubled land for Jews and Palestinians alike.

8:30pm Sunday November 27 on SBS ONE.


  1. This was an excellent programme……kept me up way past my bedtime. I have visited the Middle East and have felt for some time that an unbiased story should be aired. It is a shame that it was seen by probably only a very small percentage of viewers. Not all have access to On Demand so when are the repeats?

  2. Quality television and a treat to watch, especially with mainstream media (including SBS and ABC) usually with a pro-Israel slant.

    I loved the music as well as the wonderful acting, camera work, story and intense drama.

    I was angry when the last very emotional scene played, the music and credits start to roll and…………………….a bloody voice-over ad for SBS. Outrageous. Please do not allow this to happen again SBS people.

  3. Thankyou for such an educated yet emotional and inspiring story. This gave me an insight of just what its like in Gaza etc and how other people live and have lived in a war-saw environment.
    It touched my heart in the last episode and could not stop crying! The story was well written and I couldnt stop watching it and was glued to the tv.

  4. I have just viewed the concluding episode. Sincere thanks to everyone associated with this production – for the courage to present aspects of the realities of life for all those involved – via this touching/moving tale of the naif with a mission, Erin – to fulfil the promise she only uncovers during her visit to Israel. So satisfying when the key to a resolution is handed over – and the finale tears trickle down cheeks. And a tightened hand clasp!

    Goodness – less is so much, much, more. While the true drama continues one cannot but remain affected by having experienced this realistically portrayed “fictionalisation”! …. Now to see episodes 1 and 2!

  5. A little kid dying asked a friend of his, who happen to be a British soldier to hand over the key to his dad, after 2 generations the soldier’s grand daughter traveled back to Palestine to give the key back to the kid’s dad, she founded that the man she was looking for has passed away, but she managed to give the key to the kid’s sister. At the time when the sister was holding the key into her heart, retrieving what ever left for her of the little old memories, the whole house got demolished by the savage Israeli army.

    The land is still there and people are also still there, one day they will build a new house and they will have the key as well.

  6. I’ve seen only Episode 3! Stunning. Then I read a blog response from Miriam? To earlier episode/s? Hmm!

    I think if we have lived an intelligent and enquiring kind of life then all the subtleties and nuances if not specifically known are understandable. Especially in a land so fraught with injustices, inequities, claims and counter-claims and manipulation by those both within and without.

    The episode I have just seen does not shy away from any of those perspectives – not a thing I saw referenced about which I have not already read! Anger and pain and suffering – military/underground – those wounded/killed/psychologically affected – to small children being incited/encouraged to violence – to the deadening effects of military “service”.

    If anything this drama makes us feel sympathy for – even empathy for – all those who are caught up in it – and especially for those on both (all?) sides who wish a peaceful and just resolution to this long-term sadness!

    I want to say that when I was a young chap – at university – I suddenly awoke from my formerly deep commitment to my fundamentalist and narrow Protestant faith.

    Bravo to the producers! Bravo to the researchers – to the actors! May the mirror start reflecting more positive promises as a result!

  7. Usually when I watch television I am constantly changing channels but last night I watched this intriguing drama from start to finish. This is a beautifully written and mesmerising story. The footage from the concentration camps was confronting to say the least. I am waiting with anticipation for next week’s episode.

  8. … And it stars the lovely Claire Foy who was brilliant as the lead in BBC/ABC’s Little Dorrit. I think she kinda looks Kristen Stewart.

    I’m also looking forward to this. I read somewhere SBS are one of the international co-producers?

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