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TV Critics tour: 'Homeland' arrives in October

This photo released by Showtime shows Claire Danes

This photo released by Showtime shows Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in "Homeland," season 3. Seeing "Homeland" lose out on an Emmy best-drama nomination after two consecutive nods was painful, said series co-creator Alex Gansa. So was criticism directed at the spy drama's third season, he told a meeting Friday, July 18, 2014, of TV critics, including some of those detractors. (AP Photo/Showtime, Didier Baverel) Photo Credit: AP

Beverly Hills -- "Homeland" will be back Oct. 5 -- a Sunday, so don't bother checking the calender. The return date was announced here Friday, and just to add a little salt with that pepper, Showtime also unveiled the first new season tease (see below).

This season -- by the way -- is currently in production in South Africa... South Africa? Yes, South Africa, and not because the storyline will revolve around the country but because a certain degree of serendipity and pragmatism had gone into the decision to shoot there.

Showrunner Alex Gansa Friday said the production team had given some consideration to returning to Israel -- which was then decided against for reasons not made clear, but in retrospect reasons that were abundantly fortuitous for the show, given the current war in Israel and Gaza, which would have stopped production weeks ago.

Instead, to the end of the world, and South Africa, which -- according to Alexander Cary, one of "Homeland's" top producers -- works because "obviously we were sending Carrie Mathison [Claire Danes] into the field as a CIA case officer/chief of station [and] we wanted somewhere that had the patina, I suppose, of foreignness....so it was really about authenticity, sort of foreign authenticity."

Gansa added, "Cape Town might not seem like an ideal place to shoot for Islamabad, it’s actually amazing. A lot of Bollywood films have started shooting in Cape Town, and there’s a big expatriate community of Pakistanis and Indians there, which provides us extras and great character actors..."

Showrunners were a bit parsimonious with plot details, but did offer a few. Meredith Stehm, another key creative force on the show -- who has so closely and indelibly shaped Dane's character -- said, "she’s [Carrie] in a completely different role now that she’s overseas. And there’s a very big storyline with somebody she’s recruiting and trying to get close to and trying to get his trust."

Per Gansa, "I think that Carrie is very stable in terms of her illness, but I think she’s got a period of grieving to do and coming to terms with what happened at the end of last season [Brody's hanging.] And clearly, that’s represented by the child that she had. So the baby exists as a marker for her emotionally. But the place that she’s in now is a place where you cannot have dependents, so she was forced to leave the child at home...." That child was left with her father, played by James Rebhorn, who died in March. Gansa declined to say how that will be addressed next season except that the story will "honor" both Rebhorn and his character...

 

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