Is Honour on Netflix based on a true story?

 Keeley Hawes in Honour.
Credit: ITV

Honour is the latest thrilling crime drama to arrive on Netflix that has got viewers wondering if it's based on a true story. 

After it originally aired on ITV in 2020, it’s not hard to see why Honour has gained critical acclaim in the years that followed.

The gritty drama stars Keeley Hawes as DCI Caroline Goode, as she investigates the disappearance of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod.

Across the taut mini-series that has now landed on Netflix, the police officer uncovers what happened to the young woman and how those responsible for the crime were closest to her.

A story that will stay with you long after the credits, the drama also details how internal failings led to the death of a vulnerable young woman.

But is Honour based on a true story?

Is Honour on Netflix based on a true story?

Honour is in fact based on the real-life murder of Banaz Mahmod and follows the police investigation led by DCI Caroline Goode.

Prior to her untimely death, the 20-year-old had fled a violent and abusive forced marriage to be with another man.

Despite building a new life with boyfriend Rahmat Sulemani in London, Banaz would disappear in late January 2006.

Though concerns had been previously raised about her welfare, it was only when Rahmat reported her missing that police began their investigation.

It was later discovered that she had been murdered on the orders of her uncle for leaving her abusive marriage.

Though those involved would receive life sentences, her case would also be the subject of a ground-breaking investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Ultimately, it was ruled that Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police had repeatedly dismissed Banaz’s fears - even when she’d attempted to report the death threats she’d received from her family.

Keeley Hawes in Honour
Keeley Hawes in Honour

Filmed over a decade on from the true crime case, Honour highlights forced marriages, honour killings and Banaz's case.

The government previously estimated that there were nearly 5,000 ‘honour-based’ related crimes across the UK - which included coercing women into forced marriages and abuse.

It’s thought that 10-15 women a year are killed as a result of these marriages, although the exact number is unknown.

Having learned about the case, lead actress Keeley Hawes revealed that she felt a "huge sense of responsibility" when re-telling Banaz's story.

She told The Radio Times, "I think being the sister of Banaz and feeling, even after 14 years, immense pain for the way my sister’s life ended and how she was let down by the police and so many others, I feel no matter who tells her story or how it’s told, it will always be painful to hear, because in a dream world Banaz would be telling her own story."

Keeley added, "I have dedicated my life to, campaigning and raising awareness on these issues, I am not focusing so much on the angle [from which] the story is told; what I can comfortably say is that I am pleased the conversation is being had, and that no matter who speaks about it, for me and those who loved Banaz, this conversation will always hurt."

Honour is available to stream on Netflix now. If you have been affected by the subject in this article, you can find support from the Freedom Charity.