Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 4/5
Following the success of Fauda, writer Moshe Zonder returns to the small screen for another Israeli espionage thriller, this time in the form of Tehran. Well written, tightly paced and featuring some nice twists along the way, Tehran is certainly an enjoyable series, with a good slew of episodes sandwiched by an excellent opener and an equally thrilling finale.
The story revolves around a high-stakes, dangerous mission conducted by a Mossad agent called Tamar. After switching outfits at the airport, she sets to work infiltrating Tehran while trying to evade detection. With hacker friend Sick-boy guiding her along the way, Tamar soon finds herself in over her head, with danger lurking at every turn.
To complicate matters further, a rogue officer known as Faraz realizes something big is going down and conducts his own search, engaging in a cat and mouse game with Tamar until a twist midway through throws him off his game.
It’s at this point the series essentially splits in half, with the second half running two parallel storylines. Tamar tries to carry out her mission while Faraz gains revenge for what’s happened to him.
Both of these storylines eventually converge into a finale that leaves the door wide open for a second season. However, there’s just enough here to make for a solid one-season wonder, so it’s easy not to feel too disheartened with the way those final scenes play out.
Along the way Tehran channels all the best elements of Fauda into an exciting new story. The first episode in particular is incredibly tense, with the scenes on the plane and at the airport some of the strongest across the entire series.
That’s to say nothing of the various hacking and infiltration segments that crop up across the 8 episodes. Every time it makes for some pretty nail-biting moments. This feeds into the main storyline too, which generally ends each episode on a light cliffhanger to keep you watching through to the end.
In terms of atmosphere, Tehran absolutely nails its 8 episode series but does suffer a little with its pacing. After such a breathless opener, Tehran settles into a bit of a lull which may be disappointing for those looking for something a bit more pacey.
Instead, this series plays out with a sneaky cat and mouse chase backdropped against tensions mounting between Mossad and Iran. Those looking for a clean-cut resolution to this rivalry may also be put off by this too. To be honest though, I think it works quite well to highlight the real-world events.
The characters themselves are decent though and Tamar is complex enough to root for across the season. Her confliction between her mission and her heart makes for a really compelling conflict which plays out right the way until the final episode. This is much the same for Faraz too, who finds himself torn between two sides.
These conflicts crop up all over the place but some of the supporting cast don’t have that same level of depth which is a bit of a shame.
Still, despite its flaws Tehran is a compelling and well written espionage thriller. If you’re looking for something similar to Fauda and The Spy, with lots of political tension and drama along the way, then this Apple TV+ Original is well worth a watch.