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The creator of upcoming espionage drama Berlin Station is not a Homeland fan.
When Olen Steinhauer took the stage at the Television Critics Association press tour on Saturday to field questions about the Epix series, it was inevitable that he’d be asked about comparisons to the Claire Danes starrer.
“They are two very different things. The only similarity is that they both deal in the world of intelligence,” he said, adding that he and the other producers were already working on the project when they found out that the fifth season of the Showtime drama would be taking place in Berlin. “I think there was a moment of hesitation. Like, ‘Oh shit, everyone is going to compare us.’ ”
But Steinhauer suggested the similarities between the two end there. “The one crucial difference is that in Homeland, you’re following Carrie [Danes’ character]. She’s the fulcrum of everything — it’s her drive that gets things done. But that’s not how intelligence works,” he said.
“How did they find Bin Laden? It was not one person who was driven to extremes,” he added. “This show is supposed to show how normal people with an abnormal job have to work tougher. They are not superheroes. This is an ensemble [show] because intelligence is an ensemble.”
He went on to insist that Berlin Station will not only offer a more accurate portrayal of the intelligence community but also the city of Berlin itself. “The fact that they shot Homeland in Berlin, and having watched what they ended up making, it’s a hugely different thing,” he said, noting specific scenes that wouldn’t appear authentic to locals. “In Berlin Station, Berlin is a character in the story. We were insistent on keeping things real. We want Berliners to be able to watch this show and think, ‘Oh, I know this place.’ “
Berlin Station premieres Oct. 16 on Epix.
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