Homeland pilot

Now, we here at The A.V. Club have gotten pretty used to seeing TV pilots well before the rest of the world, but we're always excited when we get to share a good one with the rest of you folks. And Showtime's new Homeland, debuting Oct. 2 at 10 p.m. Eastern, just might be the best new show of the fall, which means we're even more pleased to bring it to you for your viewing pleasure. Outside of a few bleeped words and a blurred nude scene, this is what will air on Showtime in its entirety, and we hope you see just why we think it's going to make a great show. 

Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a C.I.A. analyst who's come to believe that Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a recently rescued P.O.W., has been turned against his, well, homeland by the very terrorists who captured him. Problem is, Carrie's the only person who thinks this, and everybody else is pretty sure she's gone nuts because, well, Carrie's pretty clearly had issues with her mental health in the past. Also turning up are Mandy Patinkin, who's surprisingly subdued and not singing any show tunes (just yet), and Morena Baccarin, whom many of you will remember from the popular series that was about spaceships but also horses and was some sort of sci-fi/Western hybrid with a name that was something like Spaceships Away! We can't quite recall it, but we're sure one of you will remind us.

Has Nicholas been turned? Is Carrie losing it? Just what is the U.S. willing to do in the name of fighting the War on Terror? Will Patinkin lead with a selection from Candide or It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman? The pilot doesn't answer all of those questions, but it at least gives you plenty of room to consider them. The show's from a bunch of former producers of 24, but it's quieter, more deliberate, and more cerebral than that show, and it's got a host of compelling characters as well. We're hoping it turns into the next great cable drama, but even if it doesn't, this pilot's pretty great. So check it out, and let us know what you think.