Tehran
Tehran's international poster.
Genre
Created by
  • Moshe Zonder
  • Dana Eden
  • Maor Kohn
Screenplay byMoshe Zonder
Omri Shenhar
Directed byDaniel Syrkin
Starring
Country of originIsrael
Original languagesHebrew
Persian
English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producersDana Eden
Shula Spiegel
Julien Leroux
Peter Emerson
Alon Aranya
Moshe Zonder
Eldad Koblenz
Dimitris Michalakis
CinematographyGiora Bejach
Production companiesDonna Productions
Shula Spiegel Productions
Paper Plane Productions (in association)
DistributorCineflix, Apple TV+
Release
Original networkKan 11
Original releaseJune 22, 2020 (2020-06-22)

Tehran (Hebrew: טהרן) is an Israeli spy thriller television series created by Moshe Zonder for the Israeli public channel Kan 11.[1] Written by Zonder and Omri Shenhar and directed by Daniel Syrkin,[2] the series premiered in Israel on June 22, 2020[3] and September 25 internationally on Apple TV+.

Featuring dialogue in Hebrew, Persian and English, the series follows a Mossad agent on her first mission in Iran’s capital, which also happens to be the place of her birth.

On January 26, 2021, it was announced that the series had been renewed by Apple TV+ for a second season.[4][5][6]

At the International Emmy Awards ceremony held in November 2021, Tehran received the award for best drama series, becoming the first ever Israeli series to win this award.

Plot

Protagonist Tamar Rabinyan, a young Jewish woman born in Iran but raised in Israel, is a Mossad agent and computer hacker on an undercover mission in the Iranian capital to disable a nuclear reactor.[1] Her objective is neutralizing Iranian air defenses so that Israeli warplanes can bomb a nuclear plant and prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic bomb.[7] When she arrives in Iran she switches identities with Zhila Gorbanifar, a Muslim employee of the local electric company. In Zhila's place she enters the electric company station and connects to the computer network. Then she tries to cut electric power to the Iranian radar system, in order to facilitate an ongoing Israeli Air Force attack. Her mission fails because her boss, who thinks she is Zhila, tries to rape her and is killed in a fight that ensues. After escaping, Tamar has to go into hiding. Being born in Iran and having moved to Israel when she was six, Tamar now discovers her local roots, goes to see her aunt, and befriends Iranian pro-democracy activists.[3] Meanwhile, she is hunted by Faraz Kamali, head of investigations of the Revolutionary Guards.

Cast

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Emergency Landing in Tehran"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJune 22, 2020 (2020-06-22)
22"Blood on Her Hands"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJune 22, 2020 (2020-06-22)
33"Yasamin's Girl"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJune 29, 2020 (2020-06-29)
44"Shakira and Sickboy"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJune 29, 2020 (2020-06-29)
55"The Other Iran"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJuly 6, 2020 (2020-07-06)
66"The Engineer"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJuly 13, 2020 (2020-07-13)
77"Tamar's Father"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJuly 20, 2020 (2020-07-20)
88"Five Hours Until the Bombing Run"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJuly 27, 2020 (2020-07-27)

Production and distribution

Production

Production began on October 28, 2019.[9] Some of the actors playing Iranians were in fact born in Iran, and speak the language as their mother tongue. Niv Sultan, who plays Tamar, studied Persian for four months. In addition, she studied the Krav Maga, Israeli self-defence system. The series was shot entirely on location in Athens.[10] Filming for Season 2 began in August 2021.[11]

International distribution

Originally the series aired on Kan 11 in Israel and is available for streaming on the Kan 11 website in Hebrew.

In July 2019, Cineflix acquired exclusive global distribution rights for the series.[12]

On June 16, 2020, Apple TV+ bought international rights to the series outside of Israel,[13][14] and will serve as the exclusive streaming home to the series worldwide.[15] The show's distributors claim that the series was popular with audiences in India, Japan and Singapore.[16]

In September 2020, it was announced that Moshe Zonder, the series co-creator, had inked a first-look deal with Apple.[17] In October 2020, Niv Sultan signed with WME.[18]

Season 2

Rumors about a possible second season of Tehran began on September 10, 2020, when it was announced that co-creator Moshe Zonder signed a multi-year "first look" deal to create projects for Apple TV+.[19]

In December 2020, executive producer Julien Leroux said that production had begun on a second season though it had not been officially approved.[16]

Almost two months later, on January 26, 2021, Apple TV+ confirmed that the series had been renewed for the second season.[20]

Reception

Tehran has received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, season one holds a rating of 94% based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tehran's expertly plotted twists further elevate a geopolitical thriller deftly balanced between the global and the personal."[21] On Metacritic, the show has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22]

References

  1. ^ a b "Cineflix buys rights to new Israeli TV thriller 'Tehran'". The Times of Israel. 2 July 2019.
  2. ^ White, Peter (2 July 2019). "'Fauda' Writer Moshe Zonder & 'Your Honor' Producer Alon Aranya Set Israel-Iran Spy Thriller 'Tehran'; Cineflix Rights Takes Global". Deadline.
  3. ^ a b "'Fauda' writer's new show 'Tehran' gets picked up by Apple TV". The Jerusalem Post. June 17, 2020.
  4. ^ Zorrilla, Mónica Marie (26 January 2021). "Israeli Spy Thriller 'Tehran' Renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV Plus". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Apple TV Renews Israeli Spy Thriller Tehran For Season 2". NoCamels. 28 January 2021. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (26 January 2021). "'Tehran' Spy Drama Renewed For Season 2 By Apple TV+". Deadline. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Program Overview". www.cineflixrights.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 22, 2021). "Glenn Close To Star In Season 2 Of 'Tehran' Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Production begins on timely and gripping new Israeli drama series TEHRAN – Cineflix". cineflix.com. October 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "Israeli Spy Drama 'Tehran' Eyes U.S. Deal as Virus Crisis Triggers TV Pipeline Shortage". The Hollywood Reporter. April 7, 2020.
  11. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/CSDMvNmqAkj/
  12. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (2 July 2019). "Cineflix Acquires Global Rights to Israel-Iran Spy thriller 'Tehran'". Variety.
  13. ^ Kanter, Jake (16 June 2020). "Apple To Co-Produce Israel-Iran Spy Thriller 'Tehran'". Deadline.
  14. ^ "Apple TV+ buys 'Fauda' creator's new Israeli spy thriller 'Tehran'". Haaretz.com. 16 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Apple Boards Israeli Espionage Thriller 'Tehran'". The Hollywood Reporter. June 16, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Ramachandran, Naman (2020-12-03). "ATF: Apple TV Plus Series 'Tehran' Season 2 in the Works". Variety. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise; Andreeva, Nellie (2020-09-10). "'Tehran' Co-Creator Moshe Zonder Inks First-Look Deal With Apple". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  18. ^ Kanter, Jake (2020-10-07). "WME Signs Niv Sultan, Star Of Apple TV+ Series 'Tehran'". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  19. ^ "'Tehran' Co-Creator Moshe Zonder Inks First-Look Deal With Apple". Deadline. September 10, 2020.
  20. ^ "Apple TV+ renews hit international thriller "Tehran" for season two". Apple TV+ Press. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  21. ^ "Tehran: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  22. ^ "Tehran – Season 1 Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved August 9, 2021.