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  • Writer's pictureM.C.

Top Eight Political Thrillers on Netflix

I generally focus my viewing hours watching speculative fiction, but I still enjoy any story that has great characters and is well-told. Netflix is having a heyday of political thrillers filled with intrigue, back-stabbing, red herrings, and plot twists. And a couple have a speculative fiction element – shape-shifting assassin, anyone?

Though produced for streaming on the small screen, these shows have top-level production quality and star several Hollywood greats, like Stanley Tucci, David Tennant, Keri Russell, Rufus Sewell, Charlie Cox, Ciaran Hinds, and Olga Kurylenko.

As most of these have been released recently, they have only one season, or they are a limited series. A couple have been renewed for a second season, and I

In alphabetical order:

  • Bodyguard – From the UK, it stars Richard Madden (Robb Stark from Game of Thrones) as a police officer and war veteran who, after stopping a terrorist bombing of a train, becomes protection officer for the Home Secretary. Dealing with PTSD, he must protect the controversial Home Secretary who wants to displace the Prime Minister. When she is attacked, the bodyguard must unravel the conspiracy surrounding both his job and his family.

  • The Diplomat – Keri Russell (The Americans) is the reluctant new Ambassador to the UK which has just suffered a military attack in the Red Sea, killing dozens of sailors. Her husband, played by Rufus Sewell, also used to be an ambassador and has strong opinions of what she should do. In her new role, she must navigate UK politics and family dynamics to uncover who was really behind the attack.

  • In From the Cold – A mom and daughter are on vacation in Spain when the mom is kidnapped, and discovered to be a Russian assassin who had disappeared decades ago. Part of an experimental program enabling shape-shifting, she is recruited by the CIA to help stop a terrorist. She agrees in order to keep her daughter safe.

  • Inside Man – Stanley Tucci is an Arizona death-row inmate with a genius ability to solve crimes. David Tennant (Doctor Who) is a London pastor who has abducted a woman who found a thumb-drive with child pornography and believes it belongs to his son. An intrepid reporter is friends of the woman and goes to Tucci for help, who does so in an unconventional way.

  • The Night Agent – Who answers the phone when CIA agents need help in the middle of the night? The Night Agent does. And when the niece of two assassinated agents calls for help, the agent leaves his desk to help and stumbles into a broader conspiracy reaching to the highest levels of The Company.

  • The Recruit – Stars Noah Centineo (who looks, sounds, and acts exactly like a young Mark Ruffalo) as a newly-hired CIA lawyer who gets entangled in a case when a former asset threatens to expose her relationship and confidential information to the public. The recruit is thrown into the field and must work with the asset to find who is threatening both her and the United States.

  • Treason – When the head of MI6 (Ciaran Hinds) is poisoned and nearly killed, his deputy (Charlie Cox, aka Daredevil) steps in and discovers the culprit to be his former lover and Russian agent (Olga Kurylenko) who has manipulated several international incidents to advance Cox’s career. She now needs him to give her secret information or be exposed, which would ruin his career. Escalating the situation, the Russian agent has information on a terrorist threat to a London ferry, but will only exchange that information for what she needs.

  • Who Is Erin Carter? – When a gold heist goes awry, an undercover police informant to an international criminal organization runs away, along with her daughter, to hide and start a new life. Five years later, they are found in Barcelona by both the UK police who recruited her and the criminal organization. She must fight to save her family as forces close in from both sides.

All are fun, binge-worthy shows. And, if you enjoy UK-based political thrillers and criminal investigations, there are several more shows on Netflix which fit the bill, like Broadchurch, Luther, etc.

Let me know in the comments if there are other political thrillers you recommend.


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