''Homeland'' producers tackle Middle Eastern politics — and familial intrigue — on ''Tyrant''


Homeland co-creator Howard Gordon offers up a homecoming of a different sort with Tyrant: A wedding brings L.A. doctor Bassam ”Barry” Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner) back to the (fictional) war-torn Middle Eastern country that he fled 20 years ago. But there’s no honeymoon here as he — along with wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan) and their two kids — gets entwined in the thorny politics of a nation ruled by his father (Nasser Faris) and his unhinged older brother, Jamal (Ashraf Barhom). ”It’s the story of a family and the birth of a nation, and really is about how the past informs the present in this man’s life,” explains Gordon, who is exec producer/showrunner of the series created by Homeland‘s Gideon Raff. ”He’s a guy who, in classic hero-journey-speak, fulfills a destiny that he has tried to escape. In some ways it is closer to The Godfather than it is to Homeland or 24.” The show will unspool myriad family drama while exploring the tricky political dynamics of a strife-ridden region. ”Whether you’re talking about Egypt or Syria, there are no good choices versus bad choices — there are only bad choices. The question is: What’s the least bad choice to make and what’s the price?” says Gordon. ”That’s the place where this show lives.”