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Homeland- Season Four

Back to the present for Retroculturati!..

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It isn’t often Retroculturati.com gets excited about modern-day television dramas, particularly those of an espionage bent. No CSI et al in these quarters thank you! For quality dramas we revert to the tried and tested; Alec Guiness as Smiley in the BBC televised series of ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ (is there another version worthy of comment?-NO!) and ‘Smiley’s People’, to Edward Woodward in the original ‘Callan’ and the hugely underrated ‘The Sandbaggers’ .

There is, however, an exception to every rule and in this case it must surely be season four of the American series, Homeland starring Claire Danes. Each series has proved an improvement on the last but this current (in 2014) series is really very good. The script writing, cinematography and edge-of-the-seat acting has, in this blog’s opinion, reached new heights.

It is less character based and focused than the previous series and offers a very realistic insight into life as a CIA operative in Pakistan, it shows the political issues for what they really are, gives the American viewers reminders of the effects of their governments foreign policy in the region whilst from an entertainment perspective, it takes the viewer on a veritable roller coaster ride. Yes, it is entertainment driven but there are enough elements within the plot to suggest some very good ‘intel’ from those who have had first hand experience of dealing with the Taliban, Pakistani Intelligence and the inner workings of the CIA and the American foreign service to deliver a first-class drama.

As tonight’s episode ends and we are left wondering where on earth the storyline will take us next we raise our glass in admiration for a refreshingly good and very compelling piece of television viewing.

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