20th Century Fox
The first 12 episodes were so tightly wrought it was hard to see how they could pull off a second instalment. Season One revolved around the question of whether captured US marine Sergeant Brody was “turned” during eight years he spent in an Iraqi compound. We thought we had the answer, but the writers skilfully lure us back in.
Damian Lewis continues to dazzle as the impenetrable Brody, able to wrong-foot us with a mere twitch of the eye or corner of the mouth, while Claire Danes is a study in manic determination as Carrie Mathison, the CIA agent determined to prove the whole of Langley wrong.