Wow. How have I missed this little tidbit?! I like to keep an eye out for this sort of thing and if it slipped through my net chances are many of you won’t know of it either, so even though it’s relatively old news (late Dec 2010), I draw your attention to…
Showtime, the cable network behind numerous top quality tv shows (think Dexter, Californication, The United States of Tara), is developing a new series called HOMELAND, and in the lead role is none other than Brit hero Damian Lewis. The domestic terrorism story isn’t exactly original, but could be considered politically relevant I suppose, and nonetheless provides a lot of leeway for intrigue and excitement. Damian Lewis plays Sgt. Scott Brody, a Marine who returns to the US after over 8 years of captivity in Baghdad, Iraq and is instantly the subject of a CIA investigation suspecting that he is colluding and conspiring with his former kidnappers. Hopefully this homegrown terrorism plot won’t give in to scenes of such flagrant patriotism and the like as 24 did, but will instead be driven by the strength of it’s characters and plot lines. Knowing that Damian Lewis is generally very cautious and particular in his choice of roles gives me quite a lot of confidence that we won’t be disappointed.
Homeland will also star Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride), David Harewood (Blood Diamond), Laura Fraser (A Knight’s Tale) and Claire Danes (Stardust).
If, by some unfortunate fault in your upbringing, or through amnesia or whatever, you are unaware of Damian Lewis, he’s best known for his roles in Band of Brothers (nominated for a Golden Globe) and Life, although he was also terrific in The Escapist, Dreamcatcher, The Baker, and pretty much everything else he’s been in. (If you’re of an older generation, you may have been a fan of the 2002 mini-series The Forsyte Saga in which he was very convincing as the machiavellian Soames Forsyte. In fact, he particularly excels at sinister characters.)
With the track record both Showtime and Damian Lewis can boast, I have little doubt that this will be a show worth following. My only fear is that often the best shows don’t last long (see my eulogy of Terriers) – hopefully this one will get the ratings it needs to live a long, fruitful and above all, entertaining life!
Homeland still has no pilot release date but is due out in the fall this year.