First Look: Watch the complete pilot for Showtime’s ‘Homeland’

Senior Television Writer
09.13.11 43 Comments

When I wrote yesterday about my ambivalence towards most of the new fall shows, I was referring to the various comedies and dramas debuting on the broadcast networks. But if we’re expanding our discussion of the fall season to the entire TV universe, then there was at least one drama pilot I watched that made me very eager to see another episode: Showtime’s “Homeland,” a new thriller starring Damian Lewis as a soldier who returns home after spending years as a POW in Iraq and Claire Danes as the CIA analyst who’s convinced he was turned in captivity and is collaborating with terrorists.

The series, adapted from an Israeli drama, is produced by “24” vets Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, but it has a less hyperbolic vibe than the adventures of Jack Bauer. (Stylistically, hit has a lot in common with another Showtime drama, the short-lived but terrific “Sleeper Cell.”) The performances by Lewis and Danes are impressive, and they’re ably supported by Morena Baccarin as Lewis’ wife and Mandy Patinkin as Danes’ CIA mentor.

“Homeland” doesn’t debut on Showtime until October 2, but in this crazy, mixed-up digital world in which we live in, you can watch the pilot now, right here on HitFix. The version we have is slightly edited from what will air on Showtime in a few weeks (I haven’t watched the whole thing, but some nudity is blurred, for starters), so if you want to wait for the full experience, I understand. My own review will keep until the TV premiere date, but those of you who watch, feel free to discuss what you see in the comments. I’m always glad to have Lewis (“Band of Brothers,” “Life”) on my TV, and it’s great to have Danes back on the small screen with a regular role.

So watch, enjoy (hopefully), and discuss.

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