Occupation (2009): S01E01


Occupation is a three-part drama serial broadcast by BBC One in June 2009.

Three ex-servicemen return to Basra, each for a different reason.


A British Army section led by Sergeant Mike Swift are attempting to assault a sniper group in an apartment block in Basra. The group are caught in a grenade blast, and several members of the section and an innocent young Iraqi girl are injured. Swift carries the girl to a local hospital, where he meets Dr Aliya Nabil. The unit returns to Manchester, England, with Swift being hailed as a hero, but all experience difficulty integrating back into normal family life. The girl and Aliya have also travelled to England, and Swift begins to fall in love with the doctor, nearly embarking on an affair. Having left the Army, Corporal Danny Ferguson finds solace in drugs, before going into partnership with Sergeant Erik Lester, a former US Marine who was impressed by Ferguson’s calmness under fire and has gone into business as a contractor for a private military company. Ferguson and Lester return to Iraq, and secure a contract to escort American businessmen around hospitals and clinics they are planning to rebuild. Lance Corporal Lee Hibbs, having also left the Army and being unimpressed with work as a nightclub bouncer, joins Ferguson and Lester, thinking he can play a role in rebuilding Iraq. On their first assignment, the escort group dress and apply makeup to look like Arabs, and begin their escort job in two old cars. After becoming separated from their other car, Ferguson and Lester, with the American businessman, are ambushed in a roadblock, and the episode ends with Ferguson somewhat comically stripping naked in front of a British patrol shouting “I’m from Kirkby!”, mirroring the actor’s real world origins, in order to prove he is British, the car having been driven away from the ambush by Lester, who has been shot in the neck. Meanwhile, Aliya and the little girl return to Iraq without telling Swift, leading him to volunteer to return.

Occupation Series

You can find a full index and overview of Occupation here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 16 June 2009.
  • Running Time: 180 minutes (total running time).
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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