Showtime have released a teaser trailer ahead of the fourth season of ‘Homeland’, due to begin airing in just over a month’s time. Warning: if you’ve not seen any of the previous seasons of ‘Homeland’, there are plot spoilers below.

'Homeland' will return to screens in the US and UK in early October

The 100-second trailer indicates the exploration of a lot of dark material and political intrigue to come. "It's a tyranny of secrets", says Mandy Patinkin's character Saul in his trademark cryptic manner. Business as usual then.

The fourth season is due to kick off with two back-to-back episodes broadcast on Showtime on Sunday October 5th in the US, and on Channel 4 in the UK shortly afterwards.

After all that’s happened in the last three seasons, the biggest question for many is how the programme makers are going to spin out any more material. But the trailer shows both Carrie (Claire Danes) and Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) to be in the depths of indecision – Carrie at having to leave her child to take a foreign post with the CIA, Quinn seemingly about to crack under the pressure of moral dilemmas. There are a number of unresolved questions despite the loss of Brody (Damian Lewis), one of the two main protagonists for the first three seasons.

More: Netflix add ‘Homeland’ to their roster

The original season of ‘Homeland’ was based on an Israeli TV drama series entitled ‘Hatufim’, translated as ‘Prisoners of War’, directed and produced by Israeli director Gideon Raff. The American adaptation was enormously popular throughout its first two seasons, but last year’s third season drew heavy criticism from some quarters for being too thin on the ground in terms of interesting plot material.

We all know how season 3 ended

But Brody spent half of the twelve episodes off screen entirely and the series still kept up some momentum, albeit rather slowly. Some are concerned about how the new series will hold together in light of his death, but in some ways the finality of the last series offers the chance for the remaining characters to start over, and the promise of more plot twists and character U-turns ahead should be enough to reward your patience.