Spy stories had always been dominated by males, but there’s a new wave rising in the last decade. From “Homeland”, “The Americans”, to “The Little Drummer Girl”, the heroines in these female-centered spy series provide a different perspective and style. That goes the same direction in this new eight-episode Israeli series “Tehran”, a massive hit in Israel this summer and then acquired by Apple TV+ to stream worldwide from September 25.

Setting mostly in Iran despite its Israeli production, “Tehran” is about the cost of espionage and the weight of these two nations with long history. Created by Moshe Zonder (“Fauda”), Dana Eden and Maor Kohn, the series is a thrill ride with heavy twists and an unstoppable plot. The series is packed with danger, action, conflict, betrayal, and murder, but it never forgets the humanity within each character. 

In the suspenseful opening scene, we follow a young Mossad agent and hacker Tamar (Niv Sultan) enters Tehran in cover for her mission of disabling Iran’s nuclear reactors and executing an air attack. Tamar is no doubt a skillful agent, but the mission goes wrong and forces her to go on a run. While hiding in Tehran, her parents’ homeland and her birthplace, she starts to dig up her family roots and re-recognize her true identity.

The biggest, deadliest threat here is an Iranian intelligence officer named Faraz (played by “Homeland” alum Shaun Toub), whose path comes across with Tamar and aims to hunt her down. Faraz mainly is served as the villain that keeps the story thrilling, yet the character turns out to be a reflection of Tamar. They both make sacrifices to serve their countries, and eventually hurt themselves by involving in too deep. When national and personal interests begin to collapse and against each other, they both become victims.

Well crafted with efficient storytelling and editing, “Tehran” is a roller coaster that put audiences on the edge of the seats. The story is rich with thrilling twists, intimate personal stories, and digs into the long political tensions between these two ancient cultures. The agents and killers here are not as deadly as James Bond or Jason Bourne, they are individuals who are struggling between personal and political identities. Just like us, they have to make countless difficult decisions in this chaotic political storm. 


Contact me at jiajinpin@gmail.com.  Follow social at @jjpin

  • Distributor: Apple TV+
  • Production: Donna Productions, Donna and Shula Productions, Paper Plane Productions, and Shula Spiegel Productions
  • Creator: Dana Eden, Maor Kohn, and Moshe Zonder
  • Cast: Niv Sultan, Shaun Toub, Shervin Alenabi, Navid Negahban, and Liraz Charhi
  • All episodes are available for streaming on Apple TV+

Read the review in Chinese

One thought on “‘Tehran’ TV Review: Apple TV+’s Israeli Spy Thriller Is About the World that Force Us to Make Tough Decision

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