Elevator Pitch – RATLINE

PitchGet this: In the final days of World War II, a German Catholic priest uncovers a plan by Bishop Hudal to exploit the Church’s emergency immigration program to sneak Nazis to South America through Spain, and he defects to the Allies to help put an end to the plot.

What is it? A historical spy drama based on conspiracy theories that major fascist figures—including Adolf Hitler—escaped the crumbling Third Reich via the real-world “rat lines” through which thousands of Nazis fled to Argentina.

A special five-member team is organized by the Allies to hunt them down, led by an Anglo-Jewish SBS veteran known as Mr. Spade and consisting of former priest Josua Herz, Spanish Maqui (resistance fighter) Rafaela Basto, Black American pilot Samuel “Diamond Sam” Washington, and Argentine Mapuche actor Eduardo Llancaleo.

ElevatorPitch-RATLINE

Pitch: Nazis are a secure draw for audiences and, as the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle shows, “what if” dramas based on World War 2 multiply that draw.

SEASON 1: As the Allies swarm into Nazi Europe, Father Josua Herz uncovers the rat line plot of Bishop Hudal, who leads the German College in Rome. Meanwhile, Eduardo uncovers threads of the same plot in Bariloche, Argentina. Rafaela does the same in Galicia, Spain. We see the military accomplishments of Mr. Spade and Diamond Sam help push the Allies to victory. Eventually Josua, Eduardo, and Rafaela contact Allied agents with their information, initiating the creation of the Ratline Team.

SEASON 2: As Berlin falls and news of the Holocaust spreads, the team gathers in Galicia and intercepts several death camp officials. Conflicts in the team begin to show, with Josua’s morality questioning the brutality of Rafaela and Spade, and everyone wondering why the actor Eduardo is on the team. As everything seems about to unravel due to personal tensions, with dozens of Nazis slipping through their grasp as a result, they discover hints of the greatest refugee of all … Der Führer himself.

SEASON 3: After Hitler escapes them in Galicia, the team becomes demoralized by the official Allied position that he committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin. They track Hitler’s U-boat to the Canary Islands and prepare a raid on Villa Winter where they know he is hiding. Spade feuds with the others about their obsession with Hitler, arguing that hundreds of Nazi war criminals are escaping while they pursue a man sick with Parkinson’s and doomed to die on the passage to South America. Eduardo contacts them with information about Hitler’s expected arrival in Argentina as their raiding plans fall apart from lack of support from the Allies.

SEASON 4: The team is disowned by the Allies, Sam ordered to return to the United States and Spade to England. They both go AWOL to continue the mission, tracking Hitler (with Eduardo’s inestimable help) across Argentina to Bariloche.

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