Homeland: Showtime series, based on Israeli drama about POWs, taps into post-9/11 psyche

Producer and writer Howard Gordon’s TV shows have reflected uncannily the American psyche since the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

“24,” the Fox drama he helped mold into the Emmy-winning thriller about terrorist-busting super patriot Jack Bauer, premiered just weeks after Sept. 11 and became a testosterone-amped fantasy retort to al Qaida.

Gordon’s acclaimed new Showtime series, “Homeland,” created with Alex Gansa and based on the Israeli drama “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War”) debuted not long after the assassination of Osama bin Laden earlier this year. (The fourth episode of this series about a returning POW aired just days after the Oct. 18 release of Israeli captive Gilad Shalit.)

Damian Lewis as Sgt. Nicholas Brody photo/showtime/kent smith

The POW at the center of “Homeland” is Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), who is rescued after eight years of captivity in Afghanistan, hailed as a national hero and trotted out by the military as a poster boy for the war on terror, even as his flashbacks of horrific torture reveal his instability. Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is the rogue CIA officer who suspects Brody may have been transformed into a terrorist agent, and who utilizes illegal means to plant video cameras in his home and even to spy on the awkward sex he attempts with his wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin).


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Mandy Patinkin photo/showtime/kent smith


Naomi Pfefferman

L.A. Jewish Journal