Who does not love binging on quality spy tv shows? Movies are great, but spy TV shows have a different charm to it. The feeling of ‘just one more’ episode will give you a blood rush at 3 am. Here are some of the best spy tv shows that will have you sacrificing your sleep.
10 Best Spy Tv Shows
The first to make the list is Fauda. The story is narrated by a couple. It is not just any Hollywood spy tv show. It dates back to Israeli wars and crisis. The series starts by explaining the normal lives of the husband and wife. Things change after the happy couple encounter a stranger. The main storyline shows the differences in ideologies.
This is what causes many local wars. Soon, these wars go on to be full-blown terrorist attacks. There are suicide bombers, sleeper agents and assassins. Each of these fears no one. The underlying message of the story is how ideologies can cause societal division. There are endless violence and conspiracies. This show is not for the faint-hearted. Amidst all the terror, there is an entry of Doron Kavilio. Kavilio is a retired officer who returns to Israel when he discovers that an enemy is still alive.
This enemy is Taufiq Hammed, the leader of an organization. Each episode goes on for about 30 minutes. The spy tv show might seem dry at the start, but it picks up after the first few episodes. You can stream this on Netflix. It has two seasons for now. A word of warning is that the show is only for 13+-year-olds.
2. The Same Sky
This is another classic fiction-documentary. It holds the partition of Germany and the events that it led to. German history and crusades are intriguing. This show has managed to beautifully capture it and deliver it to the audience. It covers history about Germany and spies who were sent out in the name of patriotism. It has seduction and deception. Directed by Oliver Hirschbeigel, this is not something you want to miss.
Along with an excellent cast, you will get to see the events surrounding the Berlin wall. East and West Germany had their differences for a long time. As per our history textbooks, we only get to hear one side of the story. In The Same Sky, you will get full coverage regarding the inter-county affairs. It is not just about cliché political drama, and it portrays the lives of people post Hitler too.
Another selling point of the show is the cinematography. It shows Germany in a different light. The show has only one season with six episodes. You can binge-watch this on Netflix. Currently, it has only one season, but you will wish there were more.
3. The Night Manager
This is originally a book by John le Carre. Much like all great literary produce, this book was a brainchild due to the Cold Wars. Post-Cold War was an era of change and reformation. This is where all the drama begins. The show was released in the year 2016. Ofcourse, it takes a slightly different direction than the original book. The protagonist, Jonathan Pine, is played by classic actor Tom Hiddlestone. Pine is an ex-officer from Britain.
He leaves his job and is now working at an Egyptian Hotel. This hotel is merely a façade. There are various things that go on within the hidden rooms here. Being an ex-officer, Pine figured this out quickly. He encounters two charming characters that lift the spirit of the show. These are an arms dealer and an investigator. One of these is trying to frame Pine for something that happened years ago. This very secret is why he left Britain government service.
The lives of these three protagonists are what sums up the plot. While you watch this, don’t be quick to favourite any character. All of them have masks and are carrying layers of secrets. The cast of this show is like a dream come true. Each one fits into their role like it is their own personality. You can stream season one of this show on Amazone Prime Video.
Initially, many people thought this was a remake of an old classic that aired in 1975. However, Condor proved its worth with its launch in 2018. The show is about a CIA analyst named Joe Turn. Quite content with his work, Joe’s life takes a twist when his colleagues are killed. Turn thinks he is next and has to escape for his life. At the same time, he needs to get to the bottom of the murder.
Joe was quite close to unfolding the motive behind the murder. Soon he realizes that exposing them will bring up an age-old secret about his family. What does Joe do now? He has to choose between his family and his country. The show holds a lot of bloodshed and can be very graphic at times. The show has great supporting actors that hold down the main protagonist. It is the blending of history and a great plot. We are sure that Fraser will be your favourite character from the show.
There are a deeply human emotion and top-class acting that make Condor what it is. You can stream the show on Stan. However, Stan might not be available in most countries. If that is the case, you can try for other free online sites like Cartoon.HD or Popcorntime. If you are hooked onto it after season one, we have good news for you. Season 2 of Condor is currently under production.
5. The Bureau
The Bureau has its roots in French politics and the corruption that goes on within te system. France’s intelligence service, DGSE is the prime focus of the show. It centres on the lives of those who work for the Bureau. Among these, the main protagonist is Guillaume Debailly, who has a thrilling backstory. Debailly is an amazing agent. Due to his skills, he was sent as an undercover agent to Syria.
One would think that this mission would have ended in a year or two. However, Debailly spent six years in Syria. You can tell that this had done some serious psychological damage. After six long years, when he is back to France, he is asked to train a young agent for another mission. The story is a heartwarming one about how he trains a young boy to be the best at his job. He shows relentless empathy towards the boy.
He uses his past knowledge and trauma to guide him. Living with many identities is dangerous. Debailly moulds into each identity he adopts. That is what makes him a great agent. This show is not as heavy as the previous ones. Here, more importance is given to human relationships than political endeavours.
6. Whiskey Cavalier
Speaking about light-hearted spy dramas, this is one of the best spy tv shows. Once again, the focus is on relationships. Directed by Dave Hemingson, it is a new genre that needs to be explored. Whiskey Cavalier is not as heavy as the previous spy tv show mentioned. Neither is it too casual like Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A perfect blend of action and drama.
Two spies, who work for different agencies have to come together to solve a similar case. No, it is not what you think. This is not some romantic love story. The twist is that both these spies despise each other’s presence. They work remarkably as individuals but tend to mess up when together. A great story of development and friendship.
It highlights aspects of gender differences as well. It is a fun-filled show with cases and missions that you cannot imagine. If you are into spy-thrillers but need a break from the bloodshed, this is among the best spy tv shows. A 2019 released Action Comedy spy tv show is just what we need right now. It has a good plot with a lot of humour. You can watch Whiskey Cavalier on Hulu or Netflix.
Watch this show for the brilliant Esme Creed-Miles. The show is an adaptation of the 2011film. Hanna is no ordinary girl. She was raised in a forest. Her story reeks of adaptability. This is one huge takeaway from the show. It is a show about cracked identities. Throughout her journey, Hanna has just on question “who am I?”.
She lives off a book about a CIA agent. From here, she learns the important skills one needs to have about life. She is on a mission to reveal her true identity. Meanwhile, she is completely in the dark about who is chasing her and why. A story that brings up ancestral drama and revenge. Hanna is a strong character and leaves young women with awe. The fight scenes will definitely make you want to “Fight like a girl”.
Along with top-notch action, you get to see mild romance. Like we mentioned, its mostly about adaptability. Watch the journey of a girl brought up in the woods who tries to make it to the Big City. The show has two well-written seasons. It is not too late to start binge-watching this before the third season is released. You can stream this show on Amazon Prime.
8. The Enemy Within
This one is our personal favourite. It has deception and suspense at its core. Every episode will leave you wanting more. It is a story about Erica Shepherd. She was the most brilliant spy America could have ever produced. However, due to the drastic turn of events, she was quick to become one of the biggest traitors of the country.
This led to her ending up in prison for a lifetime. Shepherd has accepted her fate but soon learns that her daughter is being hunted. The only way to save her is to work with an FBI agent, Will Keaton. The twist is that this was one of the agents she deceived years ago. What works in her favour is that they have the same motive. Keaton wants to catch the legion of assassins and spies. He cannot do this without the help of Erica.
Throughout their journey, they need to walk on eggshells. Working for the CIA’s biggest traitor raised up trust issues in Keaton. The character development of Keaton and Shepherd is something to look forward to. This show was short-lived but had one of the best stories. You will be left with many questions after each episode. How did Shepherd betray America? What is Keaton hiding? Is he responsible for an abduction? Watch The Enemy Within on Netflix to get some answers.
This is one of the best spy tv shows ever made. The name itself reveals that it is a show based on American intelligence service. This is a spy-thriller with a plot that will leave you dumbfounded. Originally, it is adapted from an Israeli show. This show is a whole package of everything. The most important part about th show is how it depicts mental health. One of the CIA officers, Carrie Mathison, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Claire Danes, who plays Mathison, has done justice to her strong character. The other important character is Nicholas Brody.
He is a Corps Sniper for the state. Both of them work for Homeland, but the equation changes after Brody returns from a mission. Brody was held hostage by the leading terrorist organization. This was the Al-Qaeda. Mathison believes that after his escape, Brody might not entirely be trustworthy. She thinks of him as a threat to the country.
But due to her disorder, she is not taken seriously. At the same time, do you think Brody who worked so hard for America would just compromise on his loyalty? It might be unlikely, but it is still plausible. To know what actually goes down within the two, you can stream Homeland on Netflix. The show has eight seasons, and it gets better with each one.
Another show with a strong woman character. How can you not love Maggie Q. Maggie Q has starred in various shows as an agent. She is the face of beauty with brains. The show is about Nikita, who has a near-death experience. She was almost killed by an assassin. The secret government agency Division rescued her and gave her start over. Knowing how well-networked spies are, Division had to fake her death.
They saw potential in her and gave her the opportunity to work for American intelligence. Naïve Nikita thought it was a regular officer-job. What she was actually trained for is to be a spy. As the show unfolds, Nikita realizes that Division is just a front of illegal activities. Moreover, she was hunted by them, not out of goodwill. It was all a part of a well-executed plan. After discovering the truth, Nikita tries to seek revenge from the organization.
Division recruits people to go on and be killers. The whole story is about how a girl seeks justice. She protects young citizens from falling prey to Division. Once again, Maggie Q will leave you astonished with her acting-skills. You can watch this on the CW channel or The CW app.
We hope this article helps you discover some best spy tv shows. Our article helped maintain a balance between the different sub-genres of spy series. We covered gender roles, history, mental illness and some breathtaking characters.