Witch tale Salem returns Halloween week for a bloody third season, in which the devil walks the earth and the stakes for the neighborhood witches are higher than ever.
Series co-creator, executive producer, and writer Brannon Braga filled us in on some of the latest dark doings in 17th-century Massachusetts.
“The devil has returned to Earth, but he’s broken his promise to his handmaidens, the Witches. He intends to destroy the world, and the only woman who can stop him, his mother, is dead,” Braga explained. “That’s just the first five minutes of season 3! Like previous seasons, it’s a wild and scary ride where characters are transformed in ways you never see coming.”
Another thing you might not have seen coming is music artist Marilyn Manson guest starring as the bloody barber surgeon Thomas Dinley.
“In the 1690s, the man who cut your hair also cut you open. Manson is like a cross between Vidal Sassoon and Jack the Ripper,” Braga warned, noting also that Salem takes viewers to hell this season. “We went Hieronymus Bosch with it.”
Braga is the creator, writer and executive producer of more than 300 episodes of Star Trek television, including work on series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise. Other credits include the relaunch of Fox’s Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, Terra Nova, and 24, as well as films Mission: Impossible II, Star Trek: Generations, and Star Trek: First Contact.
The man knows his sci-fi (understatement) and said developing supernatural drama can be very similar.
“Both science fiction and supernatural need to be grounded and believable, in my opinion, so the magic in Salem is based in nature and naturalism, drawing upon actual depictions of witchery from the transcriptions of the Salem witch trials,” he said, adding, “Some of the things that frightened people in the 1690s are wilder and more terrifying than anything in horror movies today.”
Salem stars Janet Montgomery (Human Target) as Mary Sibley; Shane West (Nikita) is Mary’s love Captain John Alden; Seth Gabel (Arrow) appears as Cotton Mather; Ashley Madekwe (Revenge) stars as Tituba; and Tamzin Merchant (Jane Eyre) is Anne Hale.
The series also stars Elise Eberle (The Astronaut Farmer) as Mercy Lewis, Iddo Goldberg (Mob City) as Isaac Walton, Joe Doyle (Raw) as Baron Sebastian Marburg, and Oliver Bell (The Saint) as Mary’s demon child. Samuel Roukin (Turn) joins Salem this season as The Sentinel.
Season 3 of Salem premieres Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 9/8C on WGN America
Also Read: Brannon Braga’s 10 Favorite Horror Films