If You Need A Good Political Thriller, Get Ready For Netflix's '1983'


Netflix has spent the last couple of years beefing up its "Original Series" content by leaps and bounds. There are the in-house creations, like Strangers Things and The Crown. But Netflix also partnered up around the world with production companies to bring foreign language series to the network. The latest of these is the first Polish production entitled 1983, which Netflix did in conjunction with The Kennedy/Marshall Company and House Media, along with Polish director Agnieszka Holland, who directed all eight episodes. What is 1983 about? It's a political thriller set in an alternate timeline.

The series may be called 1983, but the action is set 20 years later in 2003. But this is not the 2003 viewers know. It is one which occurs in a universe where the Iron Curtain never fell and the communist government still reigns supreme.

What happened? Well, 20 years ago, in 1983, a series of devastating terror bombings changed the course of history, as martial law was declared in Poland, changing the direction of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev's government.

Here's the trailer:

Here's the synopsis:

The deeply frozen Cold War is heating up. Twenty years after a devastating terrorist attack in 1983 that halted the course of Poland’s liberation and the subsequent downfall of the Soviet Union, an idealistic law student and a disgraced police investigator stumble upon a conspiracy that has kept the Iron Curtain standing and Poland living under a repressive police state. Now, in 2003, after two decades of peace and prosperity, the leaders of the regime enact a secret plan made with an unlikely adversary in the 1980s that will radically transform Poland and affect the lives of every citizen in the nation — and the world. What these two men discover has the potential to ignite a revolution and those in power will stop at nothing to keep it a secret.

The show will also introduce American viewers to talents like Robert Więckiewicz, a multiple Polish Academy Award-winning actor, as well as singer-actress-writer Michalina Olszanska and TV host and actor Maciej Musiał. Więckiewicz plays the older, disgraced police officer and Musiał plays the young law student.


For those fans of The Americans looking for a Cold War-era thriller to fill the empty space left behind after FX ended the series this spring, this is a show that looks like it will fill the gap nicely. For fans of foreign language TV and movies, this Poland-based story gives the Oscar-nominated Agnieszka Holland, who worked on House of Cards, a chance to tell a political story about her home country.

When the project was first announced, Holland said in a statement:

We are really happy that we’ll be able to combine the wonderful experience of the Netflix team, our great American producers and writer, with Polish talent and a Polish sensibility.

Hopefully, American fans will find 1983's alternate history as irresistible as some of Netflix's other recent political fare, including the BBC co-production Bodyguard and the final season of House of Cards.

1983 does not yet have a release date.