Amazon names transmission date for Julia Roberts psych drama, Homecoming

We live in an increasingly convergent, multi-media age, where each one bleeds into another: novels are adapted for television; television inspires film; podcasts feature true-crime cases; and now television adapts podcasts. Yes, we’re now getting TV dramas based on chart-topping podcasts.

The podcast in question here is Homecoming, an ‘immersive’ fiction story that originally starred Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris, and David Cross (you can listen to it here) and was billed as a psychological thriller.

Amazon Prime Video has adapted the pod into a series that stars Julia Roberts in her first ever lead role for television.

Here’s a teaser:

So what’s the story? Here’s Deadline to fill you in:

Roberts plays Heidi Bergman, a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a Geist Group facility helping soldiers transition back to civilian life. Walter Cruz (Stephan James) is one of these soldiers, eager to begin the next phase of his life. Overseeing Heidi and the facility is Colin Belfast (Bobby Cannavale), an ambitious company man whose manic demands point to questionable motives.

Four years later, Heidi has started a new life, living with her mother (Sissy Spacek) and working as a small-town waitress, when a Department of Defense auditor (Shea Whigham) comes to her with questions about why she left the facility. Heidi begins to realize there’s a whole other story behind the story she’s been telling herself.

Homecoming: Friday 2nd November, Amazon Prime Video

Netflix renews Altered Carbon for series two, hires new lead

Last week, Our Chris reviewed sci-fi noir, Altered Carbon, on Netflix (see his review here). The good-looking series, based on the novel trilogy by Richard K. Morgan, did well for the streaming service and provided plenty of Bladerunner-type thrills.

Now we hear that it has been renewed for a second, eight-episode series. Not only that, but Anthony Mackie will take the lead role from Joel Kinnerman, playing Takeshi Kovacs. You may be thinking, why? Morgan’s cyberpunk novels are set centuries in the future, in a world where humanity has overcome mortality via a technology that allows human consciousness to be transferred from one body. So sort of like Doctor Who.

The Verge reports:

Netflix hasn’t indicated what path season 2 will take, but the recasting suggests that the show might tackle the next book in the trilogy, Broken Angels, to some extent. That novel is set three decades later, with Kovacs as a member of a mercenary outfit fighting in a corporate war on a planet called Sanction IV. He’s recruited to secure a buried alien artifact, a plot point teased in the first season.

If that’s the case, viewers should expect some big changes for the show. Where Altered Carbon was a neo-noir cyberpunk story that focused on the consequences of wealth inequality, Broken Angels is a very different book that moves toward military science fiction and space opera.

We might have to take a pass on the next series if it goes strictly sci-fi.