Homeland season 8 showrunner reveals 'contentious' Carrie and Saul story that was scrapped after several tries

‘We tried to tell that story, but it defeated us every time’

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 04 May 2020 12:20 BST
Homeland series finale trailer

Homeland has come to an end after nine years, and its showrunner has revealed the one story that never made it into the show despite many attempts.

Alex Gansa was interviewed about the show’s finale, which pitted Carrie (Claire Danes) against long-time mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), when he explained that his team of writers repeatedly tried to create a storyline involving Israel.

Upon being asked if there was a story the show never got to tell, Gansa told Deadline: “Oh God, it’s the Israel story. That is the story that we tried to tell. We tried to tell that story in season four. We tried to tell that story in season five. You know, we tried that story in season eight, and it defeated us, every time.”

He continued: “It’s really hard to place an American intelligence officer at the heart of a story that is essentially about Israelis and Arabs. It’s really hard. You know, we could not figure out a way to do it that was realistic, and then also, meant something, at the end.

“I mean, it is such a complex and contentious issue, what’s happening in that part of the middle east, and always has been. And we just couldn’t beat that story into submission. We couldn’t get there – every time it led us someplace else. In season four, it led it us to Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In season five, it led us to Berlin, and in the final season, it led us back to Afghanistan.

“So, in all those areas, somehow, America was at the centre of the story, and an American intelligence officer could occupy that place, and somehow, in Israel, we just couldn’t put [Carrie] there.”

The final episode of Homeland, which aired in the US last night (26 April), will be broadcast in the UK on Sunday (3 May) on Channel 4 at 9pm.

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