Likely to draw discussion and controversy given the very topical and incendiary subject matter, the UK’s Channel 4 and the National Geographic channel in the USA have teamed up for a 4-part scripted drama series titled The State, which follows the experiences of 4 young British men and women who have left their lives behind to join ISIS in Raqqah, Syria.

Written and directed by Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-Winner Peter Kosminsky, the international co-production promises a compelling, fictional series that draws on extensive factual research to create a gripping and unflinching dramatic insight into the harsh reality of life for those who join ISIS.

Jalal (Sam Otto) 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) to accompany him. Single mother Shakira (Ony Uhiara) 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 Seth) has left her family behind to fulfil what she sees as her religious duty after being radicalized 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.

Channel 4 and National Geographic have unveiled today a first look trailer at the new drama which explores and confronts one of the most important issues of our time. The series is set to premiere in August in the UK and then around the world on National Geographic. No specific dates at this time.

The State is 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.

Check out the first trailer below: