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Karen Gillan’s Joining HBO’s Salem Witch Trials Drama Like A Proper Time-Traveller

From a creator of Orange Is the New Black

Karen GillanI may be biased here as both a longtime fan of witch narratives and as someone fond of Amy Pond, but this is the best news of the day: Karen Gillan’s just joined HBO’s The Devil You Know. In other words, she just joined the Salem Witch Trials drama co-written by Orange Is The New Black creator Jenji Kohan. Selfie is gone now, but this is a whole other ballgame.

The series, which is starting production in Boston this Spring, is being co-written by Kohan, The 100 and Eureka writer Bruce Miller, and directed by Gus Van Sant. The cast, which is already sprawling, is headlined by Eddie Izzard. Here’s how Deadline describes it:

Described as a provocative period drama, The Devil You Know explores the circumstances around one of the most compelling chapters in American history — the infamous Salem Witch Trials in 17th century New England, where intolerance and repression set neighbor against neighbor and led a town to mass hysteria.

[Ever] Carradine will play Ann Putnam Sr., Thomas’ (Izzard) wife, who is sickly but strong among her peers. [Damien] Molony is Robert Putnam, Thomas’ (Izzard) eldest son. [Julian Rhind] Tutt plays Minister Samuel Parris, a hard-line Puritan, who isn’t very popular, until the accusations start. [Matthew James] Thomas is Henry Paine, a newcomer from England. [Nigel] Lindsay plays Dr. Griggs, a man of science and reason. [Ewan] Bremner is Israel Porter, patriarch of the powerful Porter clan. Gillan plays Jane Porter, youngest daughter of Israel Porter. [Hannah] Nordberg, repped by Paradigm and manager Marnie Cooper, is Betty Parris, Samuel Parris’ daughter. [Naian Gonzalez] Norvind … is Samuel Parris’ niece. [Zawe] Ashton…is the Parris’ slave brought from Barbados. She truly loves Betty, whom she’s cared for since birth. [Will] Pullen recurs as Moses Cooper, [Kate] Nash as Bridget Bishop, [Mary] Mouser as Earth Fenn, [Beanie] Feldstein as Lydia Harris.

I’ve been waiting for a long time for a Salem Witch Trials show I could really sink my teeth into (obviously feel free to hit the comments telling me of ones I’ve missed/underrated), and if Kohan’s involved this one might actually have the mix of humor and spotlight on women’s stories I require from my dramas.


And I’m certainly all for Gillan exploring the next stages of her career — with both Guardians Of The Galaxy and Selfie she’s hardly slouching in the moving-on-from-Amy-Pond department, but an HBO show could be a huge step if it’s played right. Here’s to hoping they give her good stuff to work with, and that this series actually plays off.

(via io9, image via Jaguar PS/Shutterstock.com)
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