We’re Joining the Witch Army of Motherland: Fort Salem
The new Freeform series is ready to recruit you.
Ever since the first teaser trailer introduced us to Motherland: Fort Salem, we’ve been eagerly anticipating Freeform’s new series. I mean, what’s not to love about a badass army of witches fighting the forces of evil?
The synopsis for the series reads: “Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution over 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the government to fight for their country, Motherland: Fort Salem follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world—but with supernatural tactics and weapons.”
Freeform released a new full trailer for the series during their press tour at the TCAs, where we found out more about the series. Motherland centers on three recruits: Raelle (Taylor Hickson), a rebellious new recruit who lost her mother in battle, Tally (Jessica Sutton) a charismatic, confident which who enlisted against her mother’s wishes and Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) a natural born leader who comes from a distinguished military family.
Together with their soldier sisters, the trio must train and learn to master their powers while they face a violent new terrorist threat who call themselves The Spree. Meanwhile, the witches face increasing fear and antipathy from non-powered American citizens. There’s a lot to like here: a matriarchal society run by female generals and a woman president. An army populated by women. These reversals of gender roles are rich territory in and of themselves, and immediately sets the series apart from other grounded fantasy genre fare.
It’s also an exciting reversal in what we typically see with stories about witchcraft. By elevating witches to be a powerful force for good, Motherland avoids many of the magical tropes we’ve seen before. These aren’t witches hiding what they are, and while they train in Fort Salem, they are light years away (thematically speaking) from that infamous witch hunt.
Demetria McKinney, who plays drill sergeant Anacostia said of the series, “It was a lot of reinvention, taking what was meant to be bad and making it such a positive and powerful thing for us to build up and create this world, … It’s so powerful. We’re all harnessing power that has been taken away from us in a way by society. Sexuality, we use that for power. Everything has been flipped as far as the gender roles. It’s so cool to be part of something so innovative.”
Creator and showrunner Eliot Laurence (Claws) followed up on the power of sexuality within the series, saying “We talked a lot about what female sexuality looks like in the absence of patriarchy … Their sexuality is not something that complicates their lives or labels them in any way. It informs their power.”
A world without the patriarchy? That’s reason enough for us to tune in.
Motherland: Fort Salem premieres March 18th on Freeform.
(via Entertainment Weekly, image: Freeform)
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