With its Season 7 debut, the cloak-and-dagger cable series Homeland veered full force into its plot line depicting an American president who is a fascist, paranoid, autocratic, and un-American criminal. But, despite the obvious liberal theme, producers insist they aren’t portraying a fictionalized Donald Trump.
The February 11 premiere episode picked up where Season 6 ended as President Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) had ordered the arrest of 200 members of the nation’s intelligence services allegedly for participating in the Season 6 plot to assassinate her.
As Season 6 started, the producers of Homeland clearly thought that Hillary Clinton would be our real president, but once Donald Trump won the office the writers began to morph their Hillary character into an evil Trump character and this season seems to be headed to its most extreme ends.
Homeland showrunner and producer Alex Gansa had already revealed to Variety that the show’s new season would feature a showdown between fictional President Keane and the “deep state.”
“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,” Gansa said. “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.”
“It was wholly as a result of Donald Trump being elected president,” the producer added, as if his point wasn’t clear enough.
Indeed, as the first episode aired, the show’s hero, former White House advisor Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), joined the “resistance” to work against the paranoid president and to restore order to the nation.
Still, despite the obvious attempt to turn his President Keane into a worst-case Trump scenario, Gansa insists that his character is not Trump. “Keane is not Trump and Trump is not Keane,” Gansa said. But he admitted that the two “share similar issues.”
However, Gansa also admitted that his vision had changed from the ideas they were looking at as Season 6 began. “I don’t believe we’d be telling the story in Washington, D.C., if Hillary Clinton had been elected president,” he said.
But to put a finer point on his goal, Gansa added, “Our mission this year is to feel relevant in the current political landscape.”
Despite his protestations, Gansa appears clearly to be attempting to portray President Donald Trump as a fascist trying to destroy the United States.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.