The Israelis are producing some excellent quality miniseries for television. “Fauda’ which centers around an Israeli Special Operations unit that goes undercover inside Gaza looks a lot like what we’ve read recently where a real operation went bad and the team got into a shootout with Palestinian members of Hamas. “Mossad 101” was another good one, where candidates for the Israeli spy agency are put thru the ringer by their demanding instructor who is running live ops while training his class of candidates. And they don’t know which is real or training.
The latest is a new series which will debut on January 10th on Netflix called “When Heroes Fly.” It centers around another Israeli Special Operations unit that was fighting in Lebanon in 2006. They get into a fierce firefight with Hezbollah fighters that greatly outnumber them while trying to rescue some crewmen from a disabled Israeli tank. During the fighting, their commander is killed. The team has a falling out over it and bitter recriminations go back and forth over their decisions on that fateful night which takes place when the team is trying to exfil back to Israeli territory and go home the next day.
The men go their separate ways for 11 years until the sister of one of the teammates, who happened to be the lover of the officer who took charge when the commander went down is seen in Colombia. Except that she supposedly died in a car crash there nine years before. And they find out that she’s being held against her will. So the commandos reunite for a final, personal rescue mission.
Their final mission together takes them deep into the heart of the Colombian jungle, where they soon realize that if they are to succeed in their search to find Yaeli, each of them must first confront the trauma of their battle in Lebanon that tore them apart so many years before.
It is about men from a Special Operations unit who all get a second chance to find the peace that has eluded them since their days together. But to do so will require perhaps even more loss.
SpecialOperations.com was contacted by the film company and we were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the first three episodes. We hope to eventually sit down with some of the cast members before the January 10th premiere for a follow-up piece.
But the story is guaranteed to grab you and pull you in and keep you hooked until the final episode. It has been enormously popular in Israel and the cast and crew have already been signed on for a second season of 10 episodes.
The series was created by writer and director Omri Givron, co-creator of the Israeli show “Hostages,” and based on a book by late Israeli author Amir Gutfreund.
When Heroes Fly is produced by Spiro Films for Keshet Broadcasting. Having won the Best Series award at the inaugural Canneseries festival in April, the series debuted on Keshet 12 in May to rave reviews, increasing slot average by 35% in ratings and 21% in share, and making it the channel’s most-watched drama on Israeli television.
The headliner is Tomer Kappon who played a role in Netflix’s “Fauda”. He plays Aviv Danino, the second-in-command of the Special Ops unit and who suffers from horrible PTSD, after 11-years later from their experiences in Lebanon.
Israeli pop singer and actress Ninette Tayeb plays Yael ‘Yaeli’ Ashkenazi, the love interest of Aviv who everyone believed killed in Colombia in a car accident nearly a decade ago. She’s considered one of the most famous new faces in the Israeli entertainment industry.
Nadav Netz is her brother, Dov ‘Dubi’ Ashkenazi, Michael Aloni is the very successful business Dotan ‘Himmler’ Friedman. Himmler blames Aviv for their commander’s death and the two have become bitter towards one another. And Moshe Ashkenazi is Yakir ‘Benda’ Ben-David, the one member of the team everyone loves regardless of where they stand elsewhere.
The Hebrew-language film with English subtitles is guaranteed to appeal to the fans of the action genre as well as those who prefer the thriller type cliffhangers. Having watched the first three episodes, we can’t wait for the rest of the series to make its debut in January. The trailer for the series can be seen below:
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