Homeland: turns out Muslims WERE trying to kill you all along

Ed Williamson

8th February 2012

I bloody knew it. Nah, just joshin' with ya. They're a good bunch really, just not a patch on the Buddhists. Those cats don't give you any trouble. I can count on one hand the number of times a Buddhist's tried to start some shit with me. It's twice, and one of them was mainly my fault.

I've been tiresomely telling anyone who'll listen how good Homeland is going to be for a couple of weeks now, ever since I saw the first episode. It's getting so that the guy in my local Dallas Chicken ducks behind the counter when he sees me coming. Plus that speed-dating night was a total write-off. Ha! Their loss. Any one of those women could've been watching it with me for the next three months while I explained its merits to her at length. Actually I probably would've asked her to wait in the kitchen so I could concentrate, but she could've taken a book with her or something.

Why is this? Well, it's tenser than John Terry bumping into Anton Ferdinand at Morrisons, and it's flooded with top-notch acting talent like Damian Lewis, Claire Danes, David Harewood and the bloke who played that guy in The Shield who was Dutch's partner and just wanted to knock off early the whole time.

Except he looks a bit more peppy than this.

Damian Lewis in particular, who it's easy to forget was the main guy in Band of Brothers more than ten years ago, given that you don't see him around all that much, is a lead character whose allegiances you can't figure out, and it's going to be interesting to see how he plays that. You're going to have to like him, sympathise with him, and half-suspect he wants to blow you up all at the same time.

Danes looks mental. Just mental. But her theory that Lewis's Sergeant Brody, the returning American hero, is actually an Al-Qaeda operative will have to turn out to be halfway right or at least plausible, otherwise there's no show.

A hand on the hip means only one thing: SASS.

Most of all I get the impression it's going to be sensible and balanced, acknowledging the presence of real national security threats, but hopefully trying to dispel the notion that those three dark-skinned guys you saw in a Dodge Omni last Saturday are plotting to blow up your house. This looks like a post-9/11 drama that takes in the paranoia as well as the patriotism.

Homeland starts on Channel 4 on Sunday 19th February, 9pm. Watch it, or you are officially soft on terror.

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