It must be the season of the witch -- or at least, that’s what WGN America is implying with the debut of its upcoming drama “Salem.” The show, created by Adam Simon and Brannon Braga and based on the Salem witch trials of the 17th century, is set to premiere Sunday, April 20. And if we could give you any advice before watching the original-scripted series, it’s that you might want to break out the night-light you’ve been hiding in your night table.
“Salem” will definitely leave your skin crawling hours after you watch the eerie 13-episode season, which is based on one of the most disturbing time periods in American history. “This is not just one of the worst moments in American history, it’s the worst and the first and it sets the tone of what will happen hundreds of years later,” Braga told Hollywood Reporter. “We asked ourselves why it keeps happening.”
During the Salem witch trials, more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft and 20 people were killed during the hysteria.
With that said, Braga promised viewers that “Salem” will be a historically accurate drama of what occurred in Massachusetts -- but with a twist. “Our take on the Salem witch trials is that witches were real and they were running the trials, that’s what our show is,” the showrunner explained. “The show comes from the transcripts of the witch trials. Good records were kept of the things people were accused of.”
And if you think that these history buffs might stray away from the Salem witch trials to introduce more mythical creatures -- think again. “Our show is about witches; there are no vampires or werewolves. We are hoping our form of magic is different; it’s more grounded in the kind of things people claimed happened at the time. It’s less ‘Harry Potter’ and more grounded in nature,” Braga continued.
“Salem” will be an “illustrated version” of what went down during the 17th century and might even give fans a better insight into what happened during the trials than history books do, according to actor Seth Gabel, who will be portraying the role of Cotton Mather in the new series. Joining Gable in the “Salem” cast will be Janet Montgomery from “Entourage,” Shane West from “A Walk to Remember,” and Ashley Madekwe from “Revenge.”
But considering all the gruesome scenes that occur, including brandings and hanging, we doubt you’ll even recognize the actors. Just see for yourself and check out “Salem’s” promo for season 1 here:
Are you excited to see “Salem” hit the small screen? Let us know if you’ll be watching when it airs April 20 on WGN America.
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