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'Homeland' season 5 to take on ISIS

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David Bloomer/Showtime

Homeland is taking on some major geo-political players in season 5. 

Despite pulling out of the Middle East and relocating to Germany for the upcoming season, Showtime’s espionage thriller will take on Russian president Vladimir Putin and Muslim extremist group ISIS, said Showtime president David Nevins. 

“The first episode’s going to real deal with Russia, being right next to Russia — what’s Putin up to? What’s going on with this tricky relationship there?” Nevins told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Tuesday. “It deals with ISIS. [Homeland producers have] shown the ability to have a new fresh story. I feel like this story is a very fresh story. It’s themes, I think, will resonate with people. Charlie Hebdo. [NSA leaker Edward] Snowden. It’s interesting elements to this season that brings a lot of things together. As long as they keep it fresh, it’s a show that’s never the same season after season.”

After Showtime’s panel, we asked Nevins for more details about the Berlin-set season, which is the first U.S. TV production to ever film a full season in Germany. 

Says Nevins: “Berlin is a crossroads. It’s a crossroads between the old eastern block and the western block. It’s a crossroads between Western Europe and the Muslim world. It’s also a place with the strictest privacy laws in the world. This season explores all those themes and how they all come together.” 

Previously Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa suggested that ISIS might simply be “too evil” to successfully dramatize in a television show. Nevins, however, said the show will go there. “It’s going to touch [ISIS],” he said. “It’s going to touch all those things. It’s a show that reflects the world that we live in. We’ll see. I feel very confident with what their doing.” 

And the Putin storyline? 

“What’s going on with Ukraine — that’s one of the subjects,” the executive said. 

The new season picks up two years after the Pakistan-based events in season 4, with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) “struggling to reconcile her guilt and disillusionment with years of working on the front lines in the ‘war on terror,’ she finds herself in a self-imposed exile in Berlin, estranged from the CIA and working for a private security firm.”

Nevins assured fans the Emmy-winning show isn’t anywhere close to coming to an end, and expects Homeland to continue for several years—with its star. “It’s hard to imagine Homeland without Claire Danes,” Nevins said. “She’s got a multi-year deal, so she’s not going anywhere.”

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