7 Characters Who Make Homeland Essential

Six seasons in and still going strong, Claire Danes’s tense counterterrorism thriller picks up several months after Carrie thwarted an attack in Berlin in an edge-of-your-seat finale.
(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Here are 7 reasons to watch Channel 4's spy drama Homeland on (Sunday at 9pm). Also available on 4onD if you haven’t been watching series 6 from the get-go…

Our seven favourite things about Channel 4's espionage thriller Homeland are the characters. Here's why we love them…

1 Superwoman (Carrie Mathison)

Claire Danes has consistently impressed in the role of Carrie. The 38-year-old ex-CIA officer is now living in New York and running a charity offering legal help to Muslims. She battles with bipolar disorder, is a single mum, a loyal friend (to former colleagues Quinn and Saul) and has the ear of the President-elect. She’s a 21st-century superwoman fighting for the greater good.

2 The man with nine lives (Peter Quinn)

The seemingly indestructible CIA operative, played by Brit Rupert Friend, was left lame and mentally scarred after he was captured and poisoned at the end of the last series. Despite this, he’s become a lone wolf, recalling all his black ops skills as he embarks on an investigation all of his own. Our guess is it will dovetail nicely with Carrie’s pursuit of the truth… Despite his limp and his bruised and bloody face, we think he’s still got the wow factor!


And now...


3 The underdog (Saul Berenson)

Mandy Patinkin is like everyone’s favourite uncle. The softly spoken, understated CIA boss has to kow-tow to his Machiavellian superior Dar Adal. Although Saul’s unlucky in love, and it seems, in work, we know his day will come. The actor said of his role, "I like Saul better than I like Mandy".

Now, that has to be testament to a good script!


4 The future’s orange (Frannie)

Carrie’s daughter’s flaming red hair is a little reminder of Nicholas Brody (lest we forget the show's former protagonist, her father). Could we see a spin-off with Frannie, all grown up, as an elite soldier-spy like Damian Lewis’s formidable character? Watch this space.


5 On trend (Mysterious Max)

Now Max (Maury Sterling) may have temporarily stepped into Quinn’s shoes as Carrie’s spy partner, but his recent coup to land employment in a top secret media firm was the highlight of series six. The fake news company, run by dodgy broadcaster and conspiracy theorist Brett O’Keefe, is so of the moment. Are sock puppets for real? And are the programme makers suggesting fake news could be a government propaganda tool? It's enough to trump Trump!


6 Fact is stranger than fiction (President-elect Elizabeth Keane)

Could the new President-elect, played by Elizabeth Marvel, have been modelled on Hillary Clinton? Alex Gansa, the series co-creator, admitted that filming had already started before Donald Trump’s surprise election victory. "My first reaction was, 'Oh my God, we are now counterfactual to the point of being irrelevant,'" he said. "It took a while to dig ourselves out of that feeling. We just came back to the fact that Homeland, after all, is fiction."

7  The Baddie (Dar Adal)

Every good drama needs a baddie and this time out it seems the CIA has a home-grown one – Dar, who is trundling along on a mysterious political agenda of his own. What went on in the past with Quinn? We need answers! How and when they catch Dar – played by the sublime F Murray Abraham – is yet to play out. But it keeps us watching, guessing and tuning in each Sunday…

Watch Homeland on Channel 4 on Sundays

Mandy Cooper
TV Times Highlights Editor

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.