“Flying out to Berlin, the Saturday after the Paris attacks, all of us were doing some soul searching about the place of Homeland in the world,” executive producer Alex Gansa revealed of the considerations the creatives and cast of the Showtime show gave to the terror attacks that killed 130 people on November 13, 2015. “What is the show’s role in a world that has become very dangerous?” the showrunner added of what he was thinking as Homeland filmed its terror attack Season 5 finale in the German capital.

Joined by Season 5 actor Miranda Otto and fellow Homeland EP Meredith Stiehm, Gansa was speaking at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys all-day event at the DGA Theater. The fifth season of the show debuted on October 4 last year and saw multi-Emmy winner Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison having set up a new life for herself and her daughter in Berlin as the head of security for a philanthropic German billionaire. Of course, being Homeland, a CIA data breach, ISIS, civil war, refugees, and old Cold War foes’ geopolitical moves saw her pulled back into the world of Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and the adrift Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend). Added to that was Otto as the Berlin CIA Chief of Station with an agenda of her own.

“It was very exciting to work with Claire and Mandy, and it was extremely exciting every time we got a new script in because I never knew what was going to happen next,” Otto told me onstage of joining the established but ever-changing Homeland. “We have not had somebody come into the show and take over entire episodes like Miranda has done – she owned a big part of the season this year,” noted Gansa, with praise for The Lord Of The Rings alum. “I watched this actor take after take, deliver a performance that I have not seen on our show since Damian Lewis left,” the showrunner said.

Click on the video to see my conversation with Gansa, Stiehm and Otto and learn some of the story behind the story of Homeland.