The Apple TV+ series, based on Sarah Perry's novel, marks the actress's first role since the conclusion of Homeland.

By Tyler Aquilina
February 21, 2021 at 03:00 AM EST
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Claire Danes is coming back to TV — and her new role is no Carrie Mathison.

EW has your first look at Danes in the Apple TV+ series The Essex Serpent, the Homeland star's first role since that series concluded last year. Based on the bestselling novel by Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent follows newly widowed Cora (Danes), who finds herself released from an abusive marriage. She relocates from Victorian London to the small Essex village of Aldwinter, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area. The first-look photo below shows Danes in character as Cora, done up in period-appropriate garb.

Credit: Apple

The actress recently replaced Keira Knightley in the lead role after the Atonement star bowed out of the project "due to family reasons," as her rep told PEOPLE in a statement in October. "As the COVID cases increase in the U.K. and additional lockdown and restriction rules are potentially being imposed, with so many unknowns, there wasn't a comfortable scenario for Keira that could be put in place for an extended period of child care required for the 4.5-month production," the rep added.

Danes portrayed C.I.A. officer Carrie Mathison on Homeland from 2011 to 2020. She won two Golden Globes and two Emmys for the role, her first regular TV performance since My So-Called Life in the 1990s.

Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant) is directing The Essex Serpent, with Anna Symon (Deep Water) serving as lead writer. A release date for the series has not yet been announced.

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