Alex Gansa, Showtime’s Homeland showrunner and producer, revealed to Variety in an interview this week that the show’s new season will feature a showdown between the president and the “deep state.”
Gansa explained to Variety why he felt that season seven of Homeland had to feature an epic clash between President Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) and the intelligence community:
It was hard to say ‘OK, let’s go tell a story in Paris. Let’s go tell a story in South America.’ Something very significant is happening in all our lives right now. And ‘Homeland,’ we’re just in a very unique position to comment on it in one way or another. And it proved a temptation impossible to resist. What’s going on right now in the intelligence community is exactly what we’re dramatizing. And to run away from that would feel it a little cowardly and a little false. So we dived in.
The longtime Showtime showrunner continued, saying that his decision to have the upcoming season serve as a continuation of the previous season was entirely based on Donald Trump’s election.
It was wholly as a result of Donald Trump being elected president. And I honestly think that if Hillary had been elected, we wouldn’t be doing Season 7 set in Washington, D.C.. That’s what’s going on 24 hours a day on cable news. And that’s what we’re thinking about all the time. So it seemed crazy not to explore and to delve into Washington politics and to find a president who is opposed by the deep state and to try to tell a relevant story to what is actually happening in the real world. So all those things fed into that decision.
Gansa then suggested that the intelligence community and newspapers such as the Washington Post and the New York Times developed a “strange relationship” together to combat the Trump administration.
The “Homeland” producer told Variety:
We were there in late April, early May. Trump has been president for three months. And when we were there, there was a lot of saber rattling going on about North Korea. Every intelligence officer that you talk to was genuinely afraid that they would wake up one morning and Seoul would be gone. I mean, literally, that was the conversations that we were having. What was remarkable about it is that there is a traditionally adversarial relationship between the Fourth Estate, journalism, and the intelligence community. In past administrations, in past decades, journalists have always been trying to get to at what the intelligence community is doing and what secrets they are trying to keep from the American people. But what was interesting this year is that there was a real meeting of the minds. In other words, there was a strange partnership that had developed between the intelligence community and the Washington Post, The New York Times in which these two entities, once adversarial, were now joined to try to combat a non-fact based administration. In other words, the intelligence community and newspapers and journalists traffic in what’s true. And now they were joining forces to combat an administration that they felt was not doing that and that was a very interesting alliance to watch.
Gansa added, “In previous years we would have to separate our high-level intelligence officers during these field trips from journalists who would come in. You’d have to send one in one door and one out the other door so that they didn’t meet because there was so much animosity. And this year there was a real feeling of fellowship in the face of what they both considered a threat to democracy and to the nation. So that was interesting to witness.”
The Homeland boss also rebuked suggestions that viewers might become overloaded with politics.
“I wouldn’t call it concern. I would call it terror,” Gansa said. “People may be saturated. I certainly am.”
Gansa added, “Hopefully the story that we told for six seasons and the characters that we created compel people to see where we are this year. That’s the mark with any television show.”