Tehran (TV series)

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Tehran
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
  • Paper Entertainment
Original release
NetworkKan 11
Release22 June 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 22 June 2020[3] and 25 September internationally on Apple TV+.

Featuring dialogue in Hebrew, Persian and English, the series follows an Iranian-Jewish Mossad agent on her first mission in Iran's capital Tehran, which is also the place of her birth.

On 26 January 2021 it was announced that the series had been renewed by Apple TV+ for a second season.[4][5][6] On 22 June 2021, it was announced that Glenn Close had joined the cast.[7][8] The second season was released on 6 May 2022.[9] On 8 February 2023, it was announced that the series had been renewed by Apple TV+ for a third season, with Hugh Laurie joining the cast.[10]

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[edit]

Season 1[edit]

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 to take down the Iranian air defences for long enough to enable the Israeli Air Force to bomb a nuclear plant, and so prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic bomb.[11] 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, 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 the ensuing struggle. After escaping, Tamar goes 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[edit]

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 failed reactor mission. At the hospital where the pilot is being held, she encounters Marjan Montazami, a British 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 Guards. 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 Director 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 Mossad in the escape car, leaving Tamar alone and trapped in Iran with no-one to trust.

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Special guest stars[edit]

Recurring[edit]

  • Esti Yerushalmi as Arezoo, maternal aunt of Tamar and mother of Raziyeh Nekumard (seasons 1–2)
  • Arash Marandi as Ali, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps agent working under Kamali. (seasons 1–2)
  • Vassilis Koukalani as Sardar Qasem Mohammadi, head of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (seasons 1–2)
  • Danny Sher as Mike (season 1)
  • Moe Bar-El as Karim (season 1)
  • Ash Goldeh as Hassan (season 1)
  • Nati Navid Toobian as Dariush, father of Raziyeh Nekumard (seasons 1–2)
  • Reza Brojerdi as Farham Kasrai (season 1)
  • Alex Naki as Mordechai Rabinyan, Tamar's father (season 1)
  • Qais Khan as Mohammed Balochi (season 1)
  • Sogand Sara Fakheri as Raziyeh Nekumard (seasons 1–2)
  • Reza Diako as Shahin (season 2 special appearance; season 1)
  • Dan Mor as Eran (season 1)
  • Tomer Machloof as Nevo (season 1)
  • Sara von Schwarze as Yulia Magen (season 2)
  • Bahador Foladi as Amir (season 2)
  • Sia Alipour as Vahid Nemati (season 2)
  • Behi Djanati Atai as Fatemeh Mohammadi, wife of Qasem Mohammadi and mother of Peyman Mohammadi (season 2)
  • Bijan Daneshmand as Dr. Kourosh Zamestani, head of the hospital (season 2)
  • Elnaaz Norouzi as Yasaman Haddadi (season 2)
  • Cyrus Khodaveisi (Season 3)

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
1822 June 2020 (2020-06-22)27 July 2020 (2020-07-27)
286 May 2022 (2022-05-06)16 June 2022 (2022-06-16)

Season 1 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Emergency Landing in Tehran"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar22 June 2020 (2020-06-22)
22"Blood on Her Hands"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar22 June 2020 (2020-06-22)
33"Yasamin's Girl"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar29 June 2020 (2020-06-29)
44"Shakira and Sickboy"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar29 June 2020 (2020-06-29)
55"The Other Iran"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar6 July 2020 (2020-07-06)
66"The Engineer"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar13 July 2020 (2020-07-13)
77"Tamar's Father"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar20 July 2020 (2020-07-20)
88"Five Hours Until the Bombing Run"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar27 July 2020 (2020-07-27)

Season 2 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"13,000"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar6 May 2022 (2022-05-06)
102"Change of Plan"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar6 May 2022 (2022-05-06)
113"PTSD"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar13 May 2022 (2022-05-13)
124"The Rich Kids"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar20 May 2022 (2022-05-20)
135"Double Fault"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar27 May 2022 (2022-05-27)
146"Faraz's Choice"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar3 June 2022 (2022-06-03)
157"Betty"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar10 June 2022 (2022-06-10)
168"Blood Funeral"Daniel SyrkinMoshe Zonder & Omri Shenhar17 June 2022 (2022-06-17)

Production and distribution[edit]

Production[edit]

Production began on 28 October 2019.[13] 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.[14] Filming for Season 2 began in August 2021.[15]

International distribution[edit]

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.[16] On 16 June 2020, Apple TV+ bought international rights to the series outside of Israel,[17][18] and will serve as the exclusive streaming home to the series worldwide.[19]

The show's distributors claim that the series was popular with audiences in India, Japan and Singapore.[20]

In September 2020, it was announced that Moshe Zonder, the series co-creator, had inked a first-look deal with Apple.[21] In October 2020, Niv Sultan signed with WME.[22]

Season 2[edit]

On 10 September 2020, it was announced that co-creator Moshe Zonder had signed a multi-year "first look" deal to create projects for Apple TV+.[23]

In December 2020, executive producer Julien Leroux said that production had begun on a second season though it had not been officially approved.[20] Almost two months later, on 26 January 2021, Apple TV+ confirmed that the series had been renewed for the second season.[24]

Season 2 was released on 6 May 2022, as per confirmed reports with the first two episodes released that day and later episodes on a weekly basis.[25]

Season 3[edit]

On 28 February 2023, Apple TV+ announced that Tehran had been renewed for Season 3 and is currently in production. Hugh Laurie is set to join the ensemble cast.[26]

The show's producers and Kan 11 reached an interim agreement to allow production of the third season to continue during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.[27]

Reception[edit]

Tehran has received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, season one holds a rating of 94% based on 18 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."[28] On Metacritic, the show has a score of 72 out of 100, based on six critics.[29]

Writing in The Guardian, Rebecca Nicholson gave the second series four out of five, praising Close's performance and describing the series as "a solid thriller, often breathlessly exciting, [that] has cracked the code of relentless tension".[30]

References[edit]

  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 Zaltzman, Lior (17 June 2020). "'Fauda' writer's new show 'Tehran' gets picked up by Apple TV". The Jerusalem Post.
  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. ^ "Glenn Close to Star in Season 2 of 'Tehran' Apple Series". 22 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Glenn Close Joins Apple TV Plus Thriller 'Tehran' as Series Regular". 22 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Tehran".
  10. ^ "Apple TV+ announces season three renewal for "Tehran," with Emmy Award nominee Hugh Laurie set to join award-winning series". Apple TV. 8 February 2023.
  11. ^ "Program Overview". www.cineflixrights.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (22 June 2021). "Glenn Close To Star In Season 2 Of 'Tehran' Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Production begins on timely and gripping new Israeli drama series TEHRAN – Cineflix". cineflix.com. 28 October 2019.
  14. ^ Vlessing, Etan (7 April 2020). "Israeli Spy Drama 'Tehran' Eyes U.S. Deal as Virus Crisis Triggers TV Pipeline Shortage". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ "Athens Film Office on Instagram: "Tehran season two starts shooting today in Athens. Stay tuned #appletv #AthensFilmOffice #tehranseries #shauntoub #danielsyrkin #filminglocation #filmingingreece #Athens"".
  16. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (2 July 2019). "Cineflix Acquires Global Rights to Israel-Iran Spy thriller 'Tehran'". Variety.
  17. ^ Kanter, Jake (16 June 2020). "Apple To Co-Produce Israel-Iran Spy Thriller 'Tehran'". Deadline.
  18. ^ "Apple TV+ buys 'Fauda' creator's new Israeli spy thriller 'Tehran'". Haaretz.com. 16 June 2020.
  19. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (16 June 2020). "Apple Boards Israeli Espionage Thriller 'Tehran'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  20. ^ a b Ramachandran, Naman (3 December 2020). "ATF: Apple TV Plus Series 'Tehran' Season 2 in the Works". Variety. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  21. ^ Petski, Denise; Andreeva, Nellie (10 September 2020). "'Tehran' Co-Creator Moshe Zonder Inks First-Look Deal With Apple". Deadline. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  22. ^ Kanter, Jake (7 October 2020). "WME Signs Niv Sultan, Star Of Apple TV+ Series 'Tehran'". Deadline. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  23. ^ "'Tehran' Co-Creator Moshe Zonder Inks First-Look Deal With Apple". Deadline. 10 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Apple TV+ renews hit international thriller "Tehran" for season two". Apple TV+ Press. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Apple TV+ will release Tehran Season 2". Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  26. ^ "Apple TV+ announces season three renewal for "Tehran," with Emmy Award nominee Hugh Laurie set to join award-winning series". Apple TV+ Press. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  27. ^ White, Peter (20 July 2023). "Apple TV+'s 'Tehran' Lands SAG-AFTRA Waiver". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  28. ^ "Tehran: Season 1 – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  29. ^ "Tehran – Season 1 Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  30. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (6 May 2022). "Tehran series two review – Glenn Close adds menace to this breathlessly exciting thriller". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved 28 January 2024.

External links[edit]