Homeland – A Complete Insight into the new show beginning February on Channel 4

From the Emmy® Award winning Executive Producers of 24 Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa comes Homeland, the double Golden Globe award winning contemporary thriller starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, and David Harewood.

Loosely based on Gideon Raff’s Israeli television series “Prisoners of War”, it centres on an American soldier taken prisoner during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Left for dead, the soldier (Damian Lewis) miraculously returns to the U.S. after years in captivity. Danes, in her return to series television, plays Carrie Mathison, a driven CIA officer battling her own psychological demons who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to his rescue was a setup, and that this national hero may be connected to an Al-Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil.

HOMELAND CHARACTER PROFILES:

SERGEANT NICHOLAS BRODY

Missing in Action for eight years and presumed dead, Marine Sergeant Nicholas “Nick” Brody is rescued in Afghanistan and brought home a hero. But Brody does not return the same man. The victim of years of torture and abuse at the hands of Al Qaeda, he is physically scarred and emotionally plagued by harrowing flashbacks of his captivity. The question is, has he also been turned by his captors to carry out a terrorist act on U.S. soil?

Damian Lewis plays Nicholas Brody

Born in London, Lewis trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After leaving Guildhall, Lewis appeared in a number of plays between 1993-98, primarily as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. During that time, he was in Ralph Fiennes’ Hamlet on Broadway and played Hamlet in London. He returned to the London stage for the 2003-04 season opposite Helen McCrory in Five Gold Rings at the Almeida Theatre and starred in the 2005-06 National Theatre’s production of Ibsen’s Pillars of the Community.

Lewis’ international break came with his Golden Globe-nominated performance as World War II hero Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He also starred as Soames Forsyte in the acclaimed British production ofThe Forsyte Saga, Series I and II.

Lewis’ other television appearances include the BAFTA-winning BBC miniseries Warriors, BBC’s Hearts and Bonesseries, and Jeffrey Archer-The Truth as the title character. In 2005, he starred in the World War II miniseries Colditzand portrayed Benedick in the BBC’s updated Shakespeare Retold version of Much Ado About Nothing.

Lewis has starred in three films that were shown at the Cannes Film Festival –“Brides,” Chromophobia, and the critical hit Keane, directed by Lodge Kerrigan. He has also starred in Philip Haas’ The Situation, Lawrence Kasdan’sDreamcatcher, Rupert Wyatt’s The Escapist (with Brian Cox and Joseph Fiennes), Stormbreaker and The Baker, which he also produced.

Most recently, Lewis starred as the complex and offbeat Detective Charlie Crews in NBC’s drama series Life. In 2011, he starred opposite Natalie Portman and James Franco in David Gordon Green’s Your Highness.

CARRIE MATHISON

Crack CIA agent Carrie Mathison is not above using unorthodox methods to do her job – uncovering terrorist threats in the Middle East. But a recently botched mission has left her unpopular within the Agency, and stripped her of her authority in the field. Carrie is haunted by her inability to predict the 9/11 attacks and determined to not let that happen again. Her apparently unfounded suspicions of Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody and her unauthorised investigation of him put her career, her reputation, and possibly even her judgment to their ultimate test.

Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison

Claire Danes has established herself as one of Hollywood’s leading actresses, and has just added a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Carrie Mathison to her list of achievements. Danes also recently starred in HBO’s critically acclaimed Temple Grandin biopic. The film is based on the extraordinary life of Temple Grandin and chronicles how she turned her unique talent into a behavioural tool that revolutionised the cattle industry and laid the groundwork for her successful career as an author, lecturer, and pioneering advocate for autism and autism spectrum disorder educations.

Danes won the 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and the film won for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. She also won the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television and the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

She recently completed production on Max Mayer’s As Cool As I Am starring opposite James Marsden. The film is an adaptation of Pete Fromm’s coming of age novel of the same name.

Danes starred in Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed film, Me & Orson Wells opposite Zac Efron and Christian McKay. The National Board of Review named the film as one of 2009’s Top Independent Films.

In 2007, Danes made her Broadway debut starring in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion opposite Jefferson Mays. Danes garnered critical acclaim for her performances in Anand Tucker’s Shopgirl opposite Steve Martin and Jason Schwartzman, Richard Eyre’s Stage Beauty opposite Billy Crudup, Burr Steer’s Igby Goes Down opposite Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, Ryan Phillippe and Kieran Culkin, Baz Luhrman’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.

Danes first caught critics’ and audiences’ attention in Ed Zwick and Marshall Hershkovitz’s acclaimed series, My So Called Life, which earned her an Emmy Nomination and she was awarded the Golden Globe for her leading role as Angela Chase.

SAUL BERENSON

Carrie’s long-time mentor in the CIA is Middle East Division Chief emeritus Saul Berenson. He has gone in to bat for Carrie with her boss David Estes more than once. Saul also still has considerable pull within the Agency, and Carrie convinces him to use it to help her make her case against Brody. But Carrie’s questionable investigative methods alienate Saul and threaten to land them both in hot water.

Mandy Patinkin plays Saul Berenson

Mandel Bruce Patinkin attended Kenwood High School, University of Kansas and Juilliard School of Drama. His first break into show business was when he played Che in Evita on Broadway in 1979. He went on to win a Tony Award for the role.

After this initial musical theatre success Patinkin moved to film, playing a number of small parts in movies such as Yentl and Ragtime, before returning to Broadway in 1984 to star in Sunday in the Park, which saw him earn another Tony Award nomination. Over the next decade he continued to appear in various movies such as Dick Tracy andAlien Nation, on Broadway in The Secret Garden and released two solo albums called Mandy Patinkin and Dress Casual.

In 1994, he burst onto the small screen playing the role of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on CBS’s Chicago Hope and promptly won an Emmy Award. Since Chicago Hope, Patinkin has taken parts in a number of films. However, he has mostly been performing as a singer, releasing three more albums. He also returned to Broadway again in 2000 in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s The Wild Party, earning another Tony Award nomination.

He has also been seen in the Showtime comedy-drama Dead Like Me.

He starred in the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds as the unconventional Special Agent Jason Gideon.

DAVID ESTES

A rising star in the CIA, Carrie’s boss David Estes is the youngest director of the Counterterrorist Center in the Agency’s history. He makes no effort to hide his dislike for Carrie, and he thwarts her attempts to do her job at every turn. But is Estes’ antagonism based on Carrie’s professional conduct, or other, more personal reasons?

David Harewood plays David Estes

British actor David Harewood has enjoyed success on stage, television and in film and received an MBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list in recognition to his services to the Arts.

Harewood has appeared in Separate Lies, written and directed by Julian Fellowes, the 2004 screen version of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons and Blood Diamond, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Harewood has been a fixture on the London stage for many years, earning praise for his work in such plays as Sam Mendes’ Othello at the National Theatre, which later went to Broadway. Also at the National Theatre he starred in Welcome to Thebes, directed by Richard Eyre, Henry IV parts I and II and His Dark Materials, both directed by Nicholas Hytner.

Recently, David received universal acclaim for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in Katori Hall’s new play The Mountaintop in the West End.

On British television Harewood was a regular on such series as The Vice, Robin Hood and Babyfather. Most recently he was seen as Mandela in the television movie Mrs Mandela and in the Christmas special Treasure Island. Harewood also guest stars in a number of series including Dr Who, Strikeback and Criminal Justice.

JESSICA BRODY

Nicholas Brody’s wife Jessica is shocked to learn of the discovery and return of her husband. Even though she held out hope that he was still alive, she has been struggling to raise their two children, now teenagers, on her own. She is also in a relationship with Nick’s close friend and co-worker Matt Faber, and is suddenly torn between her love for him and her allegiance to her long-lost husband. Reincorporating this virtual stranger back into her life is not going to be easy.

Morena Baccarin plays Jessica Brody

Morena Baccarin has gained recent success and recognition for her lead role in ABC’s television show, V. In this 2009 remake of the 80’s mini-series, she stars as Anna, the leader of a cult of aliens known as the Visitors.

In 2009, Baccarin made her off-Broadway debut in Theresa Rebeck’s television satire, Our House.

In April 2006, Baccarin reprised her role as adult Adria in the movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth.

In February 2005, Baccarin provided the voice for Black Canary in multiple episodes of the animated series Justice League Unlimited. In 2006, she guest starred in two episodes of the hit television series, The O.C.

Her first movie role came in 2001 in the improvised fashion world comedy Perfume. Following that, she landed a lead part in film festival hit, Way Off Broadway (2001). The science fiction drama Firefly was Baccarin’s first television show, and she later reprised her role in the 2005 film Serenity.

 

Episode 1-3 Synopsis:

Episode 1- Pilot

CIA Agent Carrie Mathison’s unorthodox investigation of threats to US security in Iraq leads to a serious diplomatic incident, and Carrie is stripped of her field status and assigned to a desk job. While her investigation was cut short, she did manage to learn from her condemned Iraqi source that an American prisoner of war had been “turned.”

Carrie becomes convinced that this information has alarming significance to the return of Sergeant Nicholas Brody, who was missing in action for eight years (and presumed dead). After receiving intelligence on an al-Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan, Navy Seals stormed the house, killed 13 terrorists, and found Brody in a locked cell.

The CIA is treating this as a hero’s return from war, but the timing is too suspicious for Carrie to ignore. Already on thin ice after the incident in Iraq, she is forced to break protocol in order to prove her theory that Brody is working for al-Qaeda, and now poses a major threat to his own country.

Meanwhile, Brody receives a hero’s welcome at home, but it’s clear that the years of torture and abuse at the hands of al-Qaeda have taken their toll. He is physically scarred, and emotionally plagued by harrowing flashbacks of his captivity; all of which hampers his ability to reconnect with his wife and teenaged kids, who feel that a stranger has returned to them.

Episode 2 – Grace

Brody continues to struggle with life at home with his family. He suffers from post-traumatic stress, which manifests itself in violent nightmares where he repeatedly asks his captors to kill him and hallucinations where he relives the torture he was put through. Jessica begins to become fearful, as he unknowingly grabs onto her during his nightmares. Brody has a vision of Walker’s death, which shakes him to his core. Carrie watches this all play out on the surveillance camera and tries to get a handle on what’s going through his head: fear, shame…

Saul manages to get Carrie four weeks of surveillance on the record, so she doesn’t have to hide what she’s doing anymore. Saul still isn’t sold on Brody working for Al Qaeda, noting that he’d be playing the hero card and talking to the press. Carrie thinks he’s still struggling with the fact that he’s become a terrorist. She catches a break when a CIA Agent passes on a new piece of evidence she hopes to tie to Brody. Meanwhile, Estes is pushing Mike to get Brody in front of the cameras, as they want him to be the face of the war – reminding everyone that it’s far from over.

Episode 3- Clean Skin

The CIA is buzzing with the information from Carrie’s asset: Lynne – girlfriend to Prince Farid of Saudi Arabia. She videotaped a meeting between Farid and Abu Nazir in Cypress. Immediately after the meeting, Farid came to the states. Carrie believes he did so in order to fund a terrorist attack in the U.S. She now hopes to trace the money to a specific Al Qaeda operative – perhaps even Brody himself.

Meanwhile, Brody has surprisingly agreed to a network interview with Lawrence O’Donnell. An interview with the entire family is to follow, but Dana isn’t interested in pretending for the cameras that they’re the perfect family. She makes this clear to Jessica, as well as letting her know that she knows what’s going on.

Lynne is getting increasingly nervous and tells Carrie that she wants out. Carrie assures her that she’ll be protected. However, when Carrie attempts to get approval for a team, Estes denies her permission. Not wanting to lose access to Farid, Carrie lies and tells Lynne that she’s got agents following her at all times.

 

Brody’s Lost Years – A Timeline of World Events

2004

February; Social Media changes forever with the launch of Facebook reinventing the way people communicate and share information across the Globe

May; The US waved farewell to Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe with the series finale of Friends. Broadcast in the US and the final episode was watched by over 52 million viewers.

September; Pop Princess Britney Spears marries Kevin Federline a self-proclaimed “American dancer, rapper, fashion model, and actor”

December; A devastating earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused a Tsunami to hit various countries in Asia resulting in a death toll of over 200,000 people.

2005

February; YouTube, a video sharing website, is launched globally a site on which users can upload, view and share videos. The first Youtube video was entitled ‘Me at the Zoo’.

April; Pope John Paul II dies after 26 years in service, the second longest standing pope.

April; During the London Marathon, Paula Radcliffe makes an unscheduled toilet break on the street at the 22 mile point. She later said “I want to apologise to the nation. I didn’t really want to resort to that in front of hundreds of thousands of people”

July; 4 bombs were detonated on London transport across the capital in a targeted terrorist attack.

July; London won the 2012 Olympic Bid fighting of stiff competition from New York, Paris, Madrid and Moscow. The 2012 Olympics will be held in London for the first time since 1948.

2006

June; 2006 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Germany. The cup was won by Italy and the final was watched by an estimated 715 million viewers making the tournament one of the most watched events in TV history.

July; Social networking site Twitter is launched across the globe allowing users to share their thoughts, pictures and musings all within 140 characters.

November; Channel 4 launches 4oD, its own-brand video-on-demand service, making it the first UK broadcaster to make all its home-grown programming available on an on demand basis.

November; Saddam Hussein is convicted and hung for crimes against humanity.

2007

January; The first Apple Iphone is unveiled in the US. This revolutionary touchscreen, hand held portable computer / phone had estimated development cost was $150 million.

February; Britney Spears, now separated from Kevin Federline, has a very public meltdown. After months of reckless behaviour she is pictured shaving off all her hair and is admitted to rehab.

July; The smoking ban forced the puffing population onto the pavements of England as the ban was enforced making it illegal to smoke in all enclosed work places.

July; The final Harry Potter book ,The Deathly Hallows, was released worldwide and sold over 11 million copies in the first 24 hours alone, becoming the fastest selling book in history.

2008

March; Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opens to utter chaos with broken baggage handling systems and cancelled flights – despite costing £4.3 billion to build.

October; Russell Brand resigned and Jonathan Ross was suspended from the BBC after making a now notorious radio prank call to Andrew Sachs which ccaused an influx of complaints to the BBC.

November; Britney Spears and Kevin Federline divorce.

November; Lewis Hamilton wins the drivers title by one point to take his first Formula One World Championship.

2009

January; Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America and the first ever Black President Elect.

January; An airplane had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River, New York as it was struck by a flock of geese at take-off. All passengers managed to evacuate the plane and it became known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

June; The King of Pop, Michael Jackson dies aged 50.

June; Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the most expensive player sold in football history with a price tag of £80million. 

2010

January7.0-magnitude earthquake devastates Port-au-Prince, Haiti It is the region’s worst earthquake in 200 years. The quake levels many sections of the city, destroying government buildings, foreign aid offices, and countless slums With a confirmed death toll over 230,000 it is one of the deadliest on record.

February; Apple sells its 10th billion song via Itunes. The song purchased was Guess Things Happen That Way by Johnny Cash. Downloaded by a 71 year old man in Georgia, he received a personal call from Steve Jobs and a $10,000 iTunes gift card.

April; An explosion in the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland results in a volcanic ash plume in the atmosphere over northern and central Europe. Air travel in the region is halted for several days, causing the cancellation of several thousand flights and disrupting the travel plans of millions of people.

April; An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, a BP oil drilling rig, off the coast of Louisiana kills 11 people and injures 17. Experts estimate that 13,000 gallons of crude oil per hour poured into the Gulf of Mexico on the first day. After 86 days of gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico and several previous attempts to contain the flow, BP managed to cap its leaking oil well.

July; Wikileaks, an online publisher of anonymous, cover and classified material, leaks to the public over 90,000 internal reports about the US led involvement in the War in Afghanistan from 2004 – 2010

October; Florencio Ávalos became the first of the trapped Chilean miners to be brought to the surface of the collapsed mine. The men, dubbed, Los 33, spent 68 days trapped in a mine half a mile underground. Avalos was pulled to safety via a capsule made for the rescue mission. The rest of the miners will be carried to safety over the next 24 hours. 

October; Vajazzling took over the country as The Only Way Is Essex stars took to our screens showing off their fake tans, flash cars and their ‘reem’ lifestyles.

 

2011

April; Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. An estimated audience of over 3 billion tuned in to watch the event live. Bridesmaid Pippa Middletons’ bottom becomes a worldwide phenomenon.

May; Lady Gaga becomes the first Twitter user with more than 10million twitter followers. The mega-popular music celebrity is a huge social media star, also being the first person to hit 10 million fans on Facebook, as well as 1 billion views on YouTube.

August; Widespread arson, rioting and looting took place on the streets of London. Starting off in Tottenham and spreading to other parts of England, five people lost their lives in the four days Britain lost control.

October; After more than four decades of authoritarian rule, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime is overthrown by rebel forces after six months of intense fighting. Gaddafi was captured in October but died of his injuries.

December; The world population reaches an estimated 7 billion.

December; The Arab Spring also known as the Arab awakening saw a wave of demonstrations and protests across the Arab World. The attempt to raise awareness of state repression and Internet censorship resulted in the fall of many governments and long standing presidents.

December; Channel 4’s 4oD service reached a total of 1.2 billion views in the five years since it launched.

MUG5

Chris "MUG5" Maguire is a multimedia futurist that specializes in all things multimedia. From Record Production to Film Making Chris has worked with hi-end clients the world over. Chris is the Editor in Chief of both KingLoaf.com & Altsounds.com