Tehran
Tehran TV poster.jpg
Tehran's first season international poster. Azadi Tower as background.
Genre
Created by
  • Moshe Zonder
  • Dana Eden
  • Maor Kohn
Written by
  • Moshe Zonder
  • Omri Shenhar
Directed byDaniel Syrkin
Starring
ComposerMark Eliyahu
Country of originIsrael
Original languages
  • Hebrew
  • Persian
  • English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Production
Executive producers
  • Dana Eden
  • Shula Spiegel
  • Julien Leroux
  • Peter Emerson
  • Alon Aranya
  • Moshe Zonder
  • Eldad Koblenz
  • Dimitris Michalakis
CinematographyGiora Bejach
Production companies
  • Donna Productions
  • Shula Spiegel Productions
  • Paper Plane Productions
Distributor
Release
Original networkKan 11
Original releaseJune 22, 2020 (2020-06-22) –
present

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 is also 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] The second season was released on May 6, 2022.[7]

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

Season 1

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 the Israeli Air Force can bomb a nuclear plant and prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic bomb.[8] 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.

Season 2

Hebrew poster of season 2; featuring Israeli actress Niv Sultan (left) and American actress Glenn Close (right)
Hebrew poster of season 2; featuring Israeli actress Niv Sultan (left) and American actress Glenn Close (right)

Prior to being smuggled out of Iran to start a new life in Canada, Tamar accepts a mission to rescue one of the Israeli pilots captured after the reactor mission. At the hospital where the pilot is being held, she encounters Marjan Montazami, a psychotherapist and local agent for Mossad, who aids in her escape. Tamar's aunt is executed for assisting her, and a devastated Tamar agrees to stay in Tehran with Milad to undertake a new mission: the assassination of Qasem Mohammadi who has been promoted to head of the Revolutionary Guard. Tamar works to gain access to Mohammadi by getting close to his son, Peyman. Faraz Kamali continues his relentless pursuit of Tamar, but finds himself compromised as Marjan begins working as a psychotherapist for his wife following her abduction and release by Mossad. In spite of Faraz's reluctant assistance, Tamar's attempt to poison Mohammadi fails, as does an attempt to kill him with a booby-trapped phone. Mossad head Yulia Magen calls off the mission, but Tamar and Milad try to take control of Mohammadi's sports car as he races against his son, which only results in Peyman's death. Marjan is poisoned by Nahid, Faraz's wife. Tamar manages to kill Mohammadi with the explosive mobile phone. Milad is killed by a car bomb planted by the Mossad in the escape car, leaving Tamar alone and trapped in Iran with no-one to trust.

Cast

Main

Special guest stars

Recurring


Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
18June 22, 2020 (2020-06-22)July 27, 2020 (2020-07-27)
28May 6, 2022 (2022-05-06)June 16, 2022 (2022-06-16)

Season 1 (2020)

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)

Season 2 (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"13,000"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharMay 6, 2022 (2022-05-06)
102"Change of Plan"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharMay 6, 2022 (2022-05-06)
113"PTSD"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharMay 13, 2022 (2022-05-13)
124"The Rich Kids"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharMay 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
135"Double Fault"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharMay 27, 2022 (2022-05-27)
146"Faraz's Choice"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJune 3, 2022 (2022-06-03)
157"Betty"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJune 10, 2022 (2022-06-10)
168"Blood Funeral"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri ShenharJune 17, 2022 (2022-06-17)

Production and distribution

Production

Production began on October 28, 2019.[10] Some of the actors playing Iranians were 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 Krav Maga, an Israeli self-defence system. The series was shot entirely on location in Athens.[11] Filming for Season 2 began in August 2021.[12]

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.[13] On June 16, 2020, Apple TV+ bought international rights to the series outside of Israel,[14][15] and will serve as the exclusive streaming home to the series worldwide.[16]

The show's distributors claim that the series was popular with audiences in India, Japan and Singapore.[17]

In September 2020, it was announced that Moshe Zonder, the series co-creator, had inked a first-look deal with Apple.[18] In October 2020, Niv Sultan signed with WME.[19]

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+.[20]

In December 2020, executive producer Julien Leroux said that production had begun on a second season though it had not been officially approved.[17] Almost two months later, on January 26, 2021, Apple TV+ confirmed that the series had been renewed for the second season.[21]

Season 2 was released on May 6, 2022, as per confirmed reports with the first two episodes released that day and later episodes on a weekly basis.[22]

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."[23] On Metacritic, the show has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[24]

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. 17 June 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. ^ "Tehran".
  8. ^ "Program Overview". www.cineflixrights.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (22 June 2021). "Glenn Close To Star In Season 2 Of 'Tehran' Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Production begins on timely and gripping new Israeli drama series TEHRAN – Cineflix". cineflix.com. 28 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Israeli Spy Drama 'Tehran' Eyes U.S. Deal as Virus Crisis Triggers TV Pipeline Shortage". The Hollywood Reporter. 7 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Athens Film Office on Instagram: "Tehran season two starts shooting today in Athens. Stay tuned #appletv #AthensFilmOffice #tehranseries #shauntoub #danielsyrkin #filminglocation #filmingingreece #Athens"".
  13. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (2 July 2019). "Cineflix Acquires Global Rights to Israel-Iran Spy thriller 'Tehran'". Variety.
  14. ^ Kanter, Jake (16 June 2020). "Apple To Co-Produce Israel-Iran Spy Thriller 'Tehran'". Deadline.
  15. ^ "Apple TV+ buys 'Fauda' creator's new Israeli spy thriller 'Tehran'". Haaretz.com. 16 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Apple Boards Israeli Espionage Thriller 'Tehran'". The Hollywood Reporter. 16 June 2020.
  17. ^ a b Ramachandran, Naman (3 December 2020). "ATF: Apple TV Plus Series 'Tehran' Season 2 in the Works". Variety. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise; Andreeva, Nellie (10 September 2020). "'Tehran' Co-Creator Moshe Zonder Inks First-Look Deal With Apple". Deadline. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  19. ^ Kanter, Jake (7 October 2020). "WME Signs Niv Sultan, Star Of Apple TV+ Series 'Tehran'". Deadline. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  20. ^ "'Tehran' Co-Creator Moshe Zonder Inks First-Look Deal With Apple". Deadline. 10 September 2020.
  21. ^ "Apple TV+ renews hit international thriller "Tehran" for season two". Apple TV+ Press. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  22. ^ "Apple TV+ will release Tehran Season 2". Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  23. ^ "Tehran: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Tehran – Season 1 Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 August 2021.