7.4/10
1,270
6 user 4 critic

Small Island 

A gentle Jamaican woman reunited with her husband in post-World War II London encounters both racism and homesickness as she adjusts to her new life.
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1  
2010  
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Naomie Harris ...  Hortense 2 episodes, 2009
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Storyline

In 1939 Hortense, illegitimate but intelligent and ambitious, is brought up on Jamaica with the family of charismatic, free-thinking Michael, who joins the Air Force when war breaks out and goes to England. After the war, Hortense, now a qualified teacher, makes a marriage of convenience to Gilbert Joseph, paying for his passage to England on condition he sends for her. She not only hopes to see Michael again but believes that living in Britain will give her more scope. When she arrives in London in 1948, she is extremely disappointed by the one room in which they must live and the obvious colour prejudice. Queenie, their liberal landlady, is also a woman used to disappointment, marrying decent but dull and sexless Bernard to get her away from the family farm. Whilst Bernard - now presumed missing - was in the Air Force during the war, she first took in lodgers from the armed forces, partly for the company, including Michael, with whom she had sex. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karl Johnson (Arthur) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Bernard) play father and son. In 2015, they both appeared on stage in Hamlet at the Barbican, where Benedict Cumberbatch played Hamlet, and Karl Johnson played the Ghost of Hamlet's father - another father and son pairing. See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 3 December 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
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User Reviews

 
Small Island...draws you in
24 April 2010 | by lally8See all my reviews

I wasn't sure what to expect but being the BBC I knew it should turn out to be a good short series. I wasn't disappointed, as the story was well told and has a way of gently pulling you in right from the start, where you can really get to empathise with the main characters. This is a tale of two very different places (England and Jamiaca) and where fate plays a big hand in bringing four people together. The setting is based around the second world war, during which the Jamaicans were actively encouraged to fight for the commonwealth and take a trip into the unknown..The unknown being a dark, cold and stark looking London, where times were hard. Apart from the cleverly weaved story it certainly shows you how hypocritical we can be at times and how racial undertones can so easily dominate if you don't stand up to the small minded. The main character Queenie (Ruth Wilson)was excellent, capturing the mood of the era and showing how human spirit can overcome adversity and prejudice. So if you want a well told human story this is well worth a look. I would thoroughly recommend it


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Details

Official Sites:

Official soundtrack site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Small Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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