The gist: Claire Danes plays a bipolar CIA operative (hey, it can happen) with growing suspicions about the integrity of an American POW (Damien Lewis) who’s just been repatriated from Iraq. After a spell in al-Qaeda captivity, is there a chance he could have been “turned”?
Tune out? How’s this for an early expositional question: “He’s been locked up for almost a year and overnight they decide to hold a trial and pronounce a death sentence?” Smooth it ain’t, but get the background out of the way and the drama picks up pace.
Tune in? Homeland is smartly written and clearly topical. What it lacks in obvious charm it makes up for in suspense and tension: the first episode ends with a nifty cliffhanger — involving, somewhat randomly, jazz — that suggests the plot could unfold quite nicely.
Homeland starts on Sunday February 19 on Channel 4