New East Digital Archive

Comrade Detective: catch the 1980s Romanian detective show that never was

4 August 2017

Premiering tonight on Amazon Prime Video is Comrade Detective, a long-lost Romanian cop show produced during the Cold War. Here’s the twist: this piece of communist propaganda, featuring an all-star cast including Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Nick Offerman, is an entirely contemporary construct.

The show’s concept, maintained throughout the six-episode series, is that Comrade Detective (Tovarasul Militian) was a TV favourite for millions of Romanians during the 1980s, who tuned in to follow the story of Gregor Anghel (Florin Piersic, Jr. on-screen and Tatum in the voiceover) and absorb some communist ideals. This recently unearthed show has now been digitally remastered and dubbed into English.

In reality, Comrade Detective is a satirical comedy, created from scratch. Filmed in Romanian — and in Romania — with Romanian actors and dubbed into English, the show has the look of a Cold War classic, but is entirely the work of our contemporary stars — don’t be fooled by the introductory sequences preceding each episode, which see Tatum and writer Jon Ronson extolling Comrade Detective as a beloved piece of communist-era television.

Will this high-concept satire keep you gripped and believing you’re in 1980s Romania?

Source: The Guardian