Treadstone explores “the origin story and present-day actions of a [fictional] CIA black ops program known as Operation Treadstone—a covert program that uses behavior-modification protocol to turn recruits into nearly superhuman assassins. The series follows sleeper agents across the globe as they’re mysteriously ‘awakened’ to resume their deadly missions”. The program breaks down these assassins’ personalities, erases their memories, and eliminates their moral code so they can effectively kill targets around the world.
The series explores Treadstone’s legacy and begins in an East Berlin incident that transpires in 1973. This involves John Randolph Bentley (Jeremy Irvine), one of the program’s agents, who escapes his Soviet captors. The story then zooms to the present day, following a group of assets being “activated” by force or awakened after a moment of high tension.