At a time when many beloved TV shows are getting axed, US political thriller Homeland is still going strong with its eighth season now approaching.
Since the seventh season wrapped up all the way back in April 2018, it might feel like a long time since viewers have checked in on their favourite crew of plucky intelligence agents doing their best to defend the stars and stripes.
Between the long break and the expectation that this will be the closing chapter in the Homeland story, season eight is almost certainly going to go out with a bang.
Here’s everything we know about it so far.
Saul is given a nearly impossible task to complete as season 8 begins. Picture: Showtime
Who stars in the new series?
Claire Danes will reprise her role as CIA officer Carrie Mathison, and Mandy Patinkin will return as her mentor, Saul Berenson.
It has been confirmed that Danes’ husband Hugh Dancy (mostly known for his starring role in Hannibal) will be joining the cast as a Washington consultant named Josh Zabel.
Sam Trammell, of True Blood fame, will also come on board as Vice President Benjamin Hayes – a character who viewers have been warned to keep an eye on for the coming season.
What will happen in series eight?
Having been captured by Russian forces at the end of season seven, Carrie is held in a gulag for seven months before finally being released. Her confinement has shredded her psyche to the degree that she barely recognises her former colleagues.
In spite of her condition, Saul is forced to turn to her when he is charged with ending the “forever war” in Afghanistan – a task he has no hope of accomplishing without her expertise and connections.
Beyond that, there are plenty of familiar faces from the previous seven seasons that could still make a return – like acclaimed Amadeus actor F Murray Abraham’s black ops specialist Dar Adal.
Will Dar Adal make a surprise return in season 8? Picture: Showtime.
Is this the final series?
After a long period of uncertainty, it was finally confirmed that season eight will be tasked with bringing Homeland to its “proper conclusion”.
The show’s creators had been talking about ending the show at this point since before the seventh season was even released but later comments by Claire Danes seemed to suggest that things were not quite so certain.
However, the series then finally put paid to any remaining hopes that it would continue beyond that, tweeting that fans should prepare for the “final mission” when series eight arrives.
When is the new series out?
The show was initially supposed to be released in June 2019 but was then been pushed back until autumn and finally delayed until sometime in the following year after it was decided that the fall schedule was already jam-packed.
Fans who were just about tearing their hair out at that point will have been relieved to learn that season eight will arrive on Sunday 9 February 2020 in the US at least
Channel 4 have typically aired new seasons of Homeland in the UK a week after they premiere in America, so it is expected that season eight will drop over here around Sunday 16 February 2020.
Episodes will then be available to watch via the channel’s online service, All4.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, The i.