Motherland: Fort Salem, Freeform’s 10-episode sci-fi series, is set in a women-dominated world. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped with women on the front lines, fighting the terrorist threats but with supernatural tactics and weapons. The males stay at home and offer emotional support.
The story takes place in an alternate supernatural reality of present-day America in which witches ended their persecution nearly 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government. Also known as the Salem Accords the witches agree to fight for their country. Basically, the witches formed a compact – ‘Leave us alone and we’ll be your army’. Through the promise of the agreement, witchcraft has become the art of war, and witches are trained to be soldiers. They serve for life, protecting the U.S. from all enemies.
327 years later the story follows the descendants of these witches who have been drafted and have come to boot camp to become powerful weapons for the American military. In the background the witches of Fort Salem have many enemies, however none as dangerous as the Spree, a radical terrorist group of witches who murder people with magic. Their motive – To destroy the Salem Accord. The witches must band together as a unit to fight the evil witch terrorists.
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The cast and characters of Motherland: Fort Salem
The series follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment.
Jessica Sutton (The Kissing Booth) is Tally, a kind, strong-willed and curious witch who enlisted despite her mother’s passionate disapproval.
Ashley Nicole Williams (Shepard) plays Abigail a brash and courageous leader. Her ancestresses have a long military history pretty much since the beginning.
Taylor Hickson (Deadly Class) portrays Raelle, a rebel, with major authority issues who really don’t want to be there. Her mother recently died in the line of duty. She is the glue that holds the unit made up of Raelle, Abigail, and Tally herself.
Beyond the three young leads, upon arrival at Fort Salem, Abigail, Raelle, and Tally meet the mysterious enlistee Scylla (Amalia Holm, Playground) who rounds out the young witch recruits. Scylla is a playful yet dark and mischievous recruit who is not what she appears to be.
The witch’s powers in Motherland: Fort Salem
Now that you are familiar with the main characters and the basic plot of the story, it’s time to get into the power and abilities of the witches. While both men and women can be witches in the world of Fort Salem, it’s the women who are born with stronger powers and get conscripted to fight.
Witches gain their powers through mastering the languages that witches practice at their time in the service – Menishe. According to the show’s wiki, the witches refer to their powers as Work, which is the witch’s ability to use their additional vocal cords to supernaturally create change in the world through their voice. They utilize Seeds or Seed Sounds. There are 61 Seeds aka notes, and spells are just different combinations of seeds. Any witch can do anything, technically, but they just specialize in what they’re best at. Each witch specializes in a certain seed skill during training. Each military unit usually has a group of witches with different skills who work as one.
Witches possess the following capabilities
Mothers pass the same magic skills and witchcraft to their daughters. Witches are skillful in a variety of areas like foretelling, healing, or causing incredible damage. Each witch specializes in a certain skill during training. And each military unit usually has a witch team with different skills who work as one (Much like an army tank team.)
Witches can manipulate the weather and are trained to control the air, thus cause damage against targets while halving effective armor.
According to the show’s wiki, healing refers to a witch’s ability to heal the injuries of others. One method of healing involves transferring the injuries of others onto their bodies.
Witches usually draw on the rush from sexual energy by performing a ceremony called Beltane. The more sexual energy that is sparked between the man and the woman, the more powerful the witches can be.
With collective efforts, witches can take control of people’s thoughts from the inside, and controlling their actions while leaving them no memory of the event. The Spree Witches can transplant memories to cause someone to murder others or themselves.
What is Motherland: Fort Salem based on?
The Salem Witch Trials that took place in the late 17th, became an allegory for political persecution in the twentieth century and is frequently mentioned in political debates. In 1692 the paranoid Massachusetts townspeople held a series of show trials against 19 women. The indictment: Practicing witchcraft. All of them, without exception, found their deaths in one way or another – whether in torture or execution after a forced confession following torture. From these events came the coined phrase Witch Hunt, meaning unfounded persecution of a particular individual or group in a society with opinions or a way of life that goes beyond the normal.
According to an interview with the show’s creator Eliot Laurence (Claws), the show asks: “what if the witches of Salem were actual magic-users?
“It came from a life-long obsession with anything even remotely witchy…The lightning bolt of the military thing happened and then I was like, okay, it’s in Salem and one of the Salem Witches was actually a witch and cut a deal with the Massachusetts Militia – after that the details started cascading.”
Originally envisioned the project to be a book, written in epistolary style via diary entries and military reports, Dracula-style, Laurence added “I tried to do it as a book series first and even put a book proposal together. People were very nice who read it but nobody wanted to buy it. Then this wonderful producer named Kevin Messick on this and he called me one day and was like, Why don’t we do this as a TV show?”
Is Motherland: Fort Salem, renewed for a 2nd season?
Motherland: Fort Salem is filled with drama, witchcraft, and the occasional romance. The show has been renewed for season 2, which will premiere on June 22, 2021.
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