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Traffik is a 1989 British television serial about the illegal drugs trade. Its three stories are interwoven, with arcs told from the perspectives of Afghan and Pakistani growers, dealers and manufacturers, German dealers, and British users. It was nominated for six BAFTA Awards, winning three. It also won an International Emmy Award for best drama.


Written by Simon Moore
Directed by Alastair Reid
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Production company Channel 4
Original release1989;32 years ago (1989)

The 2000 crime drama film Traffic , directed by Steven Soderbergh, was based on this television serial. In turn, the 2004 American television miniseries Traffic was based on both versions. [1] [2]


The 1989 six-part serial was produced by Britain's Channel 4, written by Simon Moore and directed by Alastair Reid. In the United States, it first aired on Masterpiece Theatre in 1990.


Episode list

No. Title Original air date
1"The Farmer"22 June 1989 (1989-06-22)
2"The Addict"26 June 1989 (1989-06-26)
3"The Criminal"3 July 1989 (1989-07-03)
4"The Chemist"10 July 1989 (1989-07-10)
5"The Politician"17 July 1989 (1989-07-17)
6"The Courier"24 July 1989 (1989-07-24)


The miniseries currently has an average rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. [3] Writer Suan C. Boyd acknowledges the miniseries for giving different perspectives of the global war on drug trade, going as far as to claim that Traffik is the only film sample that includes the poppy grower in depth. [4]

Home Video

The miniseries was released on DVD on 26 June 2001 by Acorn Media. [5]

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  1. Lim, Dennis (27 September 2009). "'Traffik,' British miniseries" via LA Times.
  2. Yannis Tzioumakis (7 March 2012). Unknown. Edinburgh University Press. p. 142. ISBN   978-0-7486-6453-5.Cite uses generic title (help)
  3. "Traffik".
  4. Susan C. Boyd (September 2009). Hooked: Drug War Films in Britain, Canada, and the United States . University of Toronto Press. p.  178. ISBN   978-1-4426-1017-0.
  5. Kirkwood, Kyra (7 May 2001). "It's Not the Oscar-Winning 'Traffic' -- but Acorn Media's 'Traffik' Is the Original". Archived from the original on 28 May 2001. Retrieved 8 September 2019.