Have you been missing your adrenaline fix from 24? Well two of the men associated with the creation and running of that hit TV series are now involved with the SHOWTIME series Homeland. Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa are the executive producers of this new series and their 24 influence shows. Homeland has the same type of tense situations and political intrigue that drew crowds to 24. If it holds up as well all year long as it does in the first three episodes then Houston, we have a winner!
Claire Danes stars as Carrie Matheson, a CIA Officer. Based on information she got from an informant in Baghdad, Carrie believes that a recently rescued prisoner of war in Iraq has been turned. Sgt. Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) had been held prisoner for eight years and was presumed dead. Now he has been rescued and is returning home to his family.
Claire wants the CIA to provide surveillance on his every move but her request is denied. Even her mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) won't back her up until and if she provides some positive proof that Brody has been turned. So Carrie has to come up with a plan of her own.
The series does a fantastic job of keeping the viewer guessing as to "is he or isn't he?" Just when you think you know the answer something comes along to change your mind. It can be something to prove that he isn't or something to indicate that he is. How long the series can and will keep us in the dark is unknown at this time.
The acting in this series is of the highest caliber. All of the roles both lead and supporting are played by actors who know their craft. At the top of this list is Danes. She has the nervous energy and the desperate drive of Carrie's personality totally in control. This is a role unlike any other Danes has played in the past and she nails it.
Equally good is Patinkin as Saul. Patinkin is the type of actor that draws an audience to a series, any series, in which he appears. He doesn't know how to give a bad performance. As Saul he is knowledgeable but world weary and the slope of his shoulders and the rubbing of his brow make you feel the weight that is on his shoulders.
Damian Lewis is mysterious and moody as Nick. He is stretched taut and each movement is a reaction to his past. Nick is the cipher of the show and Lewis keeps the secrets locked up inside Nick's brain.
Morena Baccarin plays Nick's wife Jessica. Jessica has some secrets of her own and you can see how they torment her. Baccarin lets it play out in her eyes. This is a one hundred and eighty degree turn for Baccarin from her role as the "head alien" in "V." There was no emotion in that role and this one is all emotion.
Homeland is one of the best drama series I have seen this season, and it looks to draw viewers to SHOWTIME based on its merits. Danes and Patinkin are the main star draws but it is the complex and intriguing storyline that will keep viewers coming back for more and more.
Homeland premieres on SHOWTIME, Sunday, October 2 at 10PM.