Homeland 3, Ch4, with Claire Danes, Damian Lewis PREVIEW

Damian Lewis as Brody and Claire Danes as Carrie in Homeland 3
Damian Lewis and Claire Danes in Homeland 3. Pics: Ch4

Rating: ★★★★

Channel 4: starts Sunday, 6 October, 9pm

Story: Almost three months after America’s ‘Second 9/11’, alleged Langley bomber Nick Brody remains at large.

HOMELAND was carefully primed in its debut season, but blew up in the faces of its makers in series two, with a credibility-snapping plot that released all the thriller’s tension.

Happily, the drama’s rediscovered its mojo. Season three powers back with in gripping style with bags

Carrie is questioned by the Senate in Homeland 3
Carrie in the Senate hot seat

of paranoia, high-level dirty tricks and Carrie going off the rails again.

She has good reason, in fairness. Hung out to dry before a behind-closed-doors Senate investigation, she faces hostile questioning as damaging documents about her and the CIA’s failures are leaked from an unknown source to the senators.

Claire Danes is superb again

It is three months after the Langley bombing, which killed 219 people and for which the missing Brodie is blamed. The CIA is in the doghouse and Carrie and Saul’s closeness to traitor-turned-double agent Brodie is clearly deeply compromising.

But it is Carrie that’s getting all the flak, and as she is off her lithium medication again, the pressure is sending her into frantic overdrive. Claire Danes is once again in can’t-tear-your-eyes-away form as the agent on the edge.

Rupert Friend as Quinn in Homeland 3
Quinn (Rupert Friend) seeks his quarry

Saul, meanwhile, is trying to restore some cred to the agency by taking out six high-level conspirators in the Langley bombing all at the same time. This on its own is a nail-biting strand of the opener, but it is woven brilliantly into the dark machinations around Carrie as well as Jess, now on hard times, trying to cope with Dana’s recovery from her suicide bid.

Homeland is back in the zone

F Murray Abraham returns as Dar Adal to prowl round Saul, prompting the latter’s suspicion that it might be Adal leaking documents to destroy Carrie.

One character who hasn’t returned is Brody – but he will. This may disappoint some viewers of episode one, but his non-show is quite a shrew dramatic move as his non-appearance hangs over all the characters and the rogue congressman’s re-appearance will be all the more dramatic.

F Murray Abraham as Adal in Homeland 3
The ever watchful Dar Adal (F Murray Abraham)

Pushing Homeland beyond what was a tightly plotted, if slightly unbelievable, first season looked like a mistake after season two was such a dreary letdown.

But the new series, which goes out on Ch4 seven days after the US, looks full of compelling and topical intrigue, with its enemies-within theme and well-developed characters throughout. It deserves a good audience, as well, with so many fine actors on hand to bring it to life.

Cast: Claire Danes Carrie Mathison, Damian Lewis Nicholas Brody, Rupert Friend Peter Quinn, Morena Baccarin Jessica Brody, Jackson Pace Chris Brody, Morgan Saylor Dana Brody, Sarita Choudhury Mira Berenson, Tracy Letts Andrew Lockhart, F. Murray Abraham Dar Adal, Mandy Patinkin Saul Berenson, James Rebhorn Frank Mathison, Tim Guinee Scott Ryan, Sam Underwood Leo Carras, Amy Morton Erin Kimball, Pedro Pascal David Pantillo

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