A unique hybrid of politically-resonant thriller and compelling character drama, Homeland captured viewers’ attention from the get-go. With superb acting and a meticulously mapped out plot so well-researched it felt prescient at times, it’s no wonder we couldn’t stop watching. For everyone missing Homeland, here are seven standout thrillers on Topic that will more than fill the void.
It’s no exaggeration to say that without Prisoners of War, there would be no Homeland. In fact, Homeland was based on this Israeli series, written and directed by Gideon Raff, who oversaw the American remake. As in Homeland, this series features soldiers, in this case two, returning from war. Like Brody, Nimrod and Uri have to readjust to civilian life after many years in captivity. As they’ve been gone for 17 years, the changes are dramatic, including Uri’s wife having married his brother. Complicated politics and relationships underscored by stunning acting performances make this series as compelling and riveting as the American version it inspired.
Dirty politics, shady military loyalties, a layered character-driven thriller? Yep, Commandos certainly shares a lot in common with Homeland. Ex-Dutch Special Forces commander John de Koning may not have bipolar disorder, but he does suffer from PTSD, haunted by a failed covert mission from three years ago. When he’s confronted by a murderous enemy from his past and his ex-team members start being mysteriously killed off one by one, John must face his past and risk everything to find and stop the killer.
Like Homeland, Les Sauvages expertly intertwines personal and political drama. One part crime thriller, one part character-driven storyline, this series follows Idder Chaouch, France’s first president-elect of North African descent, who narrowly survives an assassination attempt on election night. The political drama explores the power struggle between nationality and ethnicity, while the family drama reveals a possible connection between the attack and Chaouch’s daughter’s fiancé.
While this series is more frequently compared to House of Cards and The Sopranos than Homeland, it has much more in common with the latter than you might suspect at first glance. The same way Homeland gave us a glimpse into a world many knew little about, so does Baron Noir, only in this case, instead of returning prisoners of war, it’s the dirty business of French politics. Complex characters, outstanding acting, and the viewers’ constant whiplash from trying to decide who’s deceiving whom make this a natural choice for Homeland fans.
In this international political thriller, ex-peacemaker Ann-Mari Sundell comes out of retirement to mediate the final and greatest peace negotiation of her career. As she attempts to broker peace between the Turks and the Kurds, she discovers that the puzzle she is solving is a different, even more twisted one than she originally imagined. Just as Homeland tried to mirror real-life political dramas, the plotlines from Peacemaker were inspired by real people and events. Homeland enthusiasts will sense a lot of other similarities between the two shows, including the feeling that no one can be fully trusted, the interconnectedness of the characters’ lives, and the gripping tension that makes it hard to say no to “just one more episode” before bed.
Similar to Homeland, Hostages dials up the tension while toying with our idea of absolute right and wrong. Anyone who takes innocent people hostage has to be a bad guy, right? In Season 1 of this gripping Israeli series, Adam Rubin (whom you might recognize as Rudy McCoy from Homeland) and his belligerent gang of terrorists take Dr. Yael Danon and her family of four hostage. His ultimatum to Dr. Danon? Lethally botch the prime minister’s surgery tomorrow or watch her own family die. We soon learn, however, that Adam has his own reasons for his drastic actions, and everything is not so black and white. In Season 2, the riveting drama continues when Adam abducts the prime minister himself.
Like Homeland, Blackout centers around national, high stakes danger, but the real story lies in the intricate layers within each character and their relationships with each other. In this thriller set in Belgium, the big threat isn’t an ex-POW turned terrorist, but a nationwide blackout. Belgian Prime Minister Annemie Hillebrand is forced to choose between family and country when her daughter is kidnapped and threatened with death “if the lights go on.” With only her husband Herman and Michael, her former head of security and secret ex-lover, in the know, Annemie must make an impossible choice.