Is The Diplomat on Netflix based on a true story?

By Louie Fecou
Published: April 22, 2023 (Last updated: March 3, 2024)
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Is The Diplomat on Netflix based on a true story?

Political thriller, The Diplomat, created and written by Debora Cahn, of Homeland and The West Wing fame, has had viewers on the edge of their seats and making them wonder if it is a true story.

The story follows Kate Wyler, an experienced handler of international crises set to go to Afghanistan for her next assignment. However, she is reassigned to London when a British naval ship is attacked under hostile fire, and the country starts to look toward Iran for answers.

Is The Diplomat on Netflix based on a true story?

The story of The Diplomat, although wrapped in real-life events, is fictional.

Writer Debora Cahn is no slouch when it comes to thrilling reality-based stories that could happen, so it is no surprise that while watching The Diplomat you get the feeling a lot of it could be true.

Cahn would say that the idea was originally conceived while she was working on Homeland.

How realistic is The Diplomat?

The premise of an attack against a British Naval boat in the Persian Gulf, and the escalation of tension between Britain and Iran, is certainly reminiscent, although a highly exaggerated depiction of events that actually happened in 1999.

The event in real life featured three Iranian vessels that “attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz.”

Although events were very tense, with British ships being put on alert, it was probably due to diplomatic solutions that the situation did not escalate any further.

This blending of real events and fictional accounts leads to the show having an air of authenticity that can make you think that what you are watching is based on real events.

Realistically speaking, it has to be said that although these types of situations do occur in the real world, for a show to be entertaining it has to have a dramatic license to keep viewers intrigued, leading to more exaggerated depictions of the outcomes.

The characters in the show also have their own particular hang-ups and more down-to-earth traits that a lot of Debora’s shows seem to gravitate towards and some say that adds authenticity, although the quippy and snappy dialogue can sometimes appear just a little too scripted, but that is really just my opinion.

Who wrote The Diplomat on Netflix?

The show was created and written by Debora Cahn.

Debora has had a fantastic career in TV and has worked on some of the most well-loved series ever shown.

Initially, she would work on the quick-fire walky-talky political drama The West Wing, writing and producing from the fourth to the seventh season.

She would join the production team of romantically charged quotable hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy from 2006 to 2013, before moving to the Martin Scorsese series Vinyl.

Delving into the world of film, she would write the HBO movie Paterno, starring Al Pacino.

Debora has won two Writers Guild of America Awards and has received multiple nominations for her outstanding work in the world of TV and film, and a deal with Netflix means that there will be much more to come.

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