Condor is a 2018 television series, based on the Three Days of the Condor movie and the original Six Days of the Condor novel by James Grady. It stars Max Irons, William Hurt, Leem Lubany, Mira Sorvino and Brendan Fraser with the show created by Todd Katzburg, Jason Smilovic and Ken Robinson. The show first aired on the Audience Network before its shutdown and is now on Epix. It's been renewed for a third season as of 2022.
In the first season, Joe Turner is a CIA research analyst who works at IEP Analytics, which serves as a cover for CIA research analysts in research and analysis of data to investigate potential terrorist threats against the United States. When assassins target the IEP building, Joe is on the run and is framed as the mastermind of the murders of his fellow analysts while he tries to investigate and figure out who wants him dead.
The second season starts with Joe living in Hungary as a means of getting away from the aftermath of the conspiracy. After American forces in Ukraine were targeted, a defecting SVR officer named Vasily Sirin warns Joe that a CIA double agent was working with the SVR in Moscow to leak details of CIA operations in Eastern Europe. With Joe's uncle Bob dead, he returns back with Vasily in order to find who's the double agent and what's the significance of Vasily's relationship with Bob aside from being a CIA asset.
This show contains examples of:
- Action Girl:
- Joubert is the dark kind, Sharla Shepard and Marty Frost are straight ones except that Frost's pretty damn dark too, as it turns out eventually.
- Season 2's Ekaterina Gnezdy is no slouch either - a tough, no-nonsense Russian agent who can more than handle herself in a gunfight.
- Action Survivor: Joe Turner might not have any "kineticnote training" but he's still observant, sharp-witted, well-read, and athletic; he often ends up getting the better of various trained field operatives simply by thinking outside the box and running like hell.
- Adaptation Expansion: The series spends more time examining characters on many different sides of the central conflict than both the film and the novel, and delving into the ethics and politics at the center.
- Adaptational Nationality / Race Lift: Joubert (played by Leem Lubany) is still a foreigner, but is now an Arab Israeli.
- Adaptational Villainy:
- While in the film Sam Barber was unwittingly roped into coming as to fetch Turner in order for the CIA to kill him due to their friendship and killed when he found out what was going on, the series' version of Sam (played by Kristoffer Polaha) is actively a part (albeit a relatively small one) of the conspiracy at the center of the series and is killed by Joubert while saving Joe (played by Max Irons).
- Downplayed with Joubert. The original was still a Professional Killer who didn't seem too fussy about his targets but he came off more as an Affably Evil Consummate Professional, whereas this version is a straight up Ax-Crazy Straw Nihilist.
- Anyone Can Die: The series. The majority of them courtesy of Joubert.
- Artifact Title: Unlike the book and movie, the series gives no explanation for why it's titled "Condor".
- Ascended Extra:
- In the film, Fowler was a minor CIA cohort of S.W. Wicks, Joe's Head of Department, who doesn't get much screentime, while in the series, Nathan Fowler (played by Brendan Fraser) is a major part of the Big Bad Ensemble.
- Mae Barber was a bit character in the film, but a regular character (played by Kristen Hager) in the series.
- Asshole Victim: Before sending Nathan Fowler to kill Gareth Lloyd Abbot gives a lengthy speech how, even though their cause is noblenote every life taken in its pursuit is nonetheless a tragedy. Except Lloyd is a slimy merc who didn't even have the excuse of believing he was doing the right thing, and was Only in It for the Money. When Fowler puts a bullet in his head, few tears are shed.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: It takes Bob Partridge the span of a minute and a plastic coffee cup to tear apart Boyd Ferris' theory that Joe was the inside man for the assault on IEP and to pinpoint the real culprit. Granted, he's got a personal stake in doing so but still.
- Badass Israeli: Joubert is an Israeli Palestinian formerly with the Mossad, and she's a highly skilled assassin.
- Beware the Quiet Ones:
- Joubert's Establishing Character Moment showcases her antisocial tendencies and lethal expertise when she kills a man who keeps harassing her and Nathan while they bury a bag full of dead prairie dogs.
- Fowler doesn't speak a lot either, and it gives some people the impression that he's a weakling who can be pushed with impunity. Except as Gareth Lloyd found out the hard way, even he has his limits.
- Book Ends: At the end of Season 2 Joe is once again working for the Agency and has an Asian female colleague... except he's now stationed in Langley proper.
- Boom, Headshot!: You can make a drinking game out of characters getting shot in the head and be hammered senseless before credits roll in episode 1.
- The Cameo: Joubert turns up for a single scene at the end of Season 2. To the surprise of none, she kills somebody - namely Reuel Abbot.
- Canon Foreigner: A few, naturally, considering the series' Adaptation Expansion, but most notably Caleb Wolfe (played by Delmar Abuzeid).
- Category Traitor: Joubert is a Palestinian Israeli who served in Mossad. As such, she's viewed as a traitor by other Palestinians.
- Coming and Going: Joubert, a nymphomaniac, likes seducing and sleeping with men whom she's been hired to kill. It's not to get them vulnerable so she can do that, but just some twisted thrill of hers.
- Conspiracy Thriller: Like both of its source materials before it, the series focused on a conspiracy within the CIA.
- Cool Old Guy: Bob Partridge is an extremely competent operative, in addition to being a Nice Guy with a surprisingly well-adjusted moral compass given his line of work.
- Dad the Veteran: Nathan Fowler has one, in addition a lot of emotional baggage stemming from their strained relationship.
- Dark Action Girl: Joubert is a ruthless, very adept hitwoman.
- Decomposite Character: At the beginning of the 1975 film, Joe has an Asian-American co-worker/Love Interest named Janice Chong who is killed in the attack on the CIA analysts' office. The series has two characters that share elements with the film's Janice: an Asian-American co-worker and close friend — here a lesbian — named Sarah Tan (played by Ellen Wong) who is killed in the attack on the IEP office, and Joe's long-estranged ex-girlfriend Janice Haron (played by Melissa O'Neil).
- Dissonant Serenity:
- This is what makes Nathan Fowler so disturbing; in the series' opening scene, he casually digs a hole in which to bury a bag full of dead prairie dogs.
- Joubert barely emotes while piling up corpses on top of corpses.
- The Dreaded: In Season 2, Arcadiy Volk scares the shit out of his colleagues in the SVR. And once we see his gleefully sadistic execution of Polina it's not hard to understand why.
- Driving Question:
- Why was the IEP building compromised and who's responsible for targeting Joe?
- For Season 2: who is the SVR mole within the CIA?
- Even Evil Has Standards: Obviously YMMV as to whether the Mossad is evil, but Joubert's file states that they kicked her out for signs of mental instability. What that says about her current employers is an exercise left to the viewers.
- Extreme Libido: Joubert is a nymphomaniac, and Boyd Ferris (played by Gabriel Hogan) has shades of this.
- Expy: A few.
- Joe's uncle, Bob Partridge (played by William Hurt), as a higher-up in the CIA that is fairly sympathetic to Joe, seems to be one to Cliff Robertson's Higgins character from the film, although Higgins has more Punch-Clock Villain tendencies; in chasing Joe, the series's Marty Frost (played by Mira Sorvino) shares elements with Higgins as well.
- Gareth Lloyd (played by Jamie McShane) seems to be one to Leonard Atwood from the film.
- Everybody Smokes: Maybe not everybody but still, the number of on-screen smokers is unusually high for a series set in the second decade of the 21st century. Then again, they're all in VERY stressful circumstances.
- Face Death with Dignity: When Joubert comes to kill him, Abbott tells her he won't scream. She just replies "I know" and kills him offscreen.
- Fake Guest Star: Downplayed somewhat with Brendan Fraser, as he does not appear in a couple episodes, but Fowler is such an important character and the show spends so much time exploring him that he may as well be considered a series regular.
- False Flag Operation: Season 1's plot was to start a bioterror incident in Saudi Arabia so that the Muslim world will blame the rest of the world for the attack and start another world war since the conspiracy members don't see any rational way to win against Islamic extremists. Bob is freaked out when he learns about it. If Muslim-friendly countries in Asia and the Middle East learn about this, then there's no knowing if their Muslim populace will be radicalized too.
- A Father to His Men: Bob Partridge refers to the IEP Analytics team as his "kids" and takes it really personally when they are killed in the first episode.
- Foreshadowing: The episode "Exile is a Destiny" shows a CBP officer at Dulles Airport overriding the error that Vasily's bogus biometrics did not match with the fake American passport passed by the CIA. It meant that the SVR knows that he came to America.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Nathan Fowler is this for his co-workers and even for his fellow conspirators.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Reuel Abbott is revealed to have gone from an idealistic advocate of civil rights and Vietnam War protestor who decided that he could change the CIA from within. Aiming to spread human rights all around the world, he turned into a ruthless man over the years, with it culminating in him plotting genocide against the Muslim world, always telling himself it was for the greater good.
- Gaining the Will to Kill: Over the course of the series Joe goes from a more or less Actual Pacifist to a guy who shoots an unarmed and injured woman in the head for the greater good. Although, in fairness, those on the business end have only themselves to blame for that particular development.
- Gender Flip: The assassin Joubert is now a woman.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: Reuel Abbott starts feeling increasingly bad about what he's done in the CIA over the years, trying to blow the lid in Season 2. He's killed by Joubert before he can tell Congress.
- Honorary Uncle: Joe is this to Sam and Mae Barber's kids.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Joe, to the max; he and Janice both lampshade this in "Trapped in History".
- Idiot Ball: After holding him on suspicion of being The Mole for the Russians, Robin includes a bag of peanuts in Gordon Piper's breakfast every day to taunt him due to his peanut allergy. It apparently didn't occur to her that if he got depressed enough, he could use them to commit suicide, which is dumb because (a) if he's not a mole, then she's enabled the death of an innocent man, (b) if he is a mole then she's endangered a potential source of intelligence. Guess what happens?
- I Lied: Vasili Sirin in Season 2 doesn't actually know the identity of the Russian mole in CIA, and was just bluffing to get a safe passage to the States.
- I Never Said It Was Poison:
- Sam saves Turner from the killers to make it sound like they're on the same side. But Turner realizes Sam is in on this when he mentions the companies Turner was looking into.
- In Season 2, Tracy gives himself away to Robin as The Mole by referring to her asset in the Russian intelligence services (Polina, aka Phoenix) as "she" after Robin is worried that Phoenix has been outed and killed, when Robin had always been careful to call Phoenix "he" around her colleagues in keeping with standard spy practice and Tracy could only know Phoenix's true gender through the Russians.
- Inside Job: Part of the attack on the IEP building was thanks to Harold, who poisoned the coffee meant for Ellie since she was the first line of defense in case it was attacked while posing as the secretary/receptionist.
- Irony: Joubert off-handedly mentions to Mailer that their superiors chose him to carry the plague into Mecca during the Hajj because unlike her he wouldn't enjoy it; in the end she ends up being the one to thwart the whole operation with little trouble.
- Karma Houdini: Joubert isn't going away any time soon it seems.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Like in the film, Joe and Kathy's relationship is somewhat this (although here they displayed significant chemistry beforehand after their Tinder date). It doesn't end well.
- Middle Eastern Terrorists: "What Loneliness" involves the investigation of a Saudi-American radical trying to bomb a stadium with a bioweapon. Except that it is cooked up by Gareth Lloyd.
- The Mole: Sharla is this for Bob in Marty's investigative team.
- Named by the Adaptation: The character of Joubert is given a first name, Gabrielle, in keeping with her Gender Flip.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Gareth hadn't gotten greedy, Joe would never have uncovered the plot.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sharla delivers this on a man who tries to pressure her into continuing after she changes her mind about having sex with him and continues to touch her when she tells him not to.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Max Irons's Irish accent is audible at a couple of points in the series.
- Private Military Contractors: White Sands. And they're in league with the conspirators in the CIA.
- Professional Killer: Joubert is a former Mossad agent who now works as a CIA hitwoman.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Bob dismisses Marty Frost as this when she is suspicious that he may be in contact with Joe while she is investigating whether or not Joe committed the massacre. Turns out she's right.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Harold is the inside man for the attack, including poisoning security officer Elle. When the hit team appears, Harold snaps at them for shooting by him only to get a bullet in his head.
- Sadist: Joubert claims that spreading the bioweapon at the Hajj would be fun for her, but other than that doesn't seem to derive any particular satisfaction out of killing; by contrast, Season 2's Arcadiy Volk doesn't bother hiding his glee as he watches Polina A.K.A. "Phoenix," CIA's mole within the Russian embassy die a painful, drawn-out death from poison (slipped into a lavish meal by Volk himself).
- Sideboob: Joubert is shown from multiple angles when she's having sex with Joe, several being shots from the side of her topless while her breasts are pressed against him and only just obscuring her nipples doing so.
- The Sociopath: Many characters in their own way, but most notably Joubert. She's a cold-blooded killer who explicitly doesn't care about others.
- The Stoic: Ten years old Joe Turner was this; adult Joe Turner less so.
- Successful Sibling Syndrome: Nathan is revealed to have this. Of note, the successful brother, Alex, was killed fighting in the Middle East.
- Suicidal Sadistic Choice: Bob is coerced to shoot himself between seasons 1 and 2, after he gets threatened with his wife being killed too otherwise.
- Toplessness from the Back: Joubert is shown nude from the back and waist up while riding Joe when they have sex.
- Turn Out Like His Father: Both Nathan Fowler and Joe Turner in their own ways.
- Twofer Token Minority: Several supporting characters are women of color.
- Janice Wong is Joe's ex-girlfriend who's East Asian American.
- Sarah Tan is East Asian American and also a lesbian.
- Sharla Shepard is an African-American and it turns out is also a lesbian whom Sarah was involved with.
- Gabrielle Joubert is a Palestinian Israeli woman.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Deconstructed heavily with Nathan Fowler.
- We Used to Be Friends: Volk and Sirin were "like brothers" once upon a time; in the present, they hate each other with a burning passion.
- Wham Episode: "Out of His Exile": CIA agent Tracy Crane is the double agent with the SVR. It started from his being demoted when he was filmed making out with a Russian woman.
- Would Hit a Girl: The assassins that raided IEP building took out the female IEP analysts alongside their male colleagues.
- You Killed My Father: Or rather, Parental Substitute uncle. Joe admits to Tracy before he shoots him that this is revenge for Tracy killing his uncle Bob.