Freeform’s latest drama, Motherland: Fort Salem tells an intriguing story about three young women joining the army, except with a supernatural twist. These three women are witches and they’re becoming part of an army full of their fellow magic users. They have to deal with the usual military threats as well as a group called The Spree. The Spree are also witches who are against joining the military and leave a bunch of innocent people dead wherever they go.
Welcome to a world where ‘the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped,’ welcome to ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’
According to Freeform, Motherland: Fort Salem takes place in an alternate universe version of present-day America where witches stopped their persecution by agreeing to fight for their country. The show follows three main characters, who are all joining the witch army. These main characters are Raelle Collar (Taylor Hickson), Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton), and Abigail Bellweather (Ashley Nicole Williams).
“In this world,” Freeform’s summary continues, “the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are strikingly familiar to our world.” However, since they’re witches, they have “supernatural tactics and weapons.” Raelle is “reluctant” to join the army after her “mother recently died in the line of duty.” It probably doesn’t help that she has problems with authority.
Tally becomes a soldier even though her mother disapproves. She is “kind, strong-willed, and curious,” according to Freeform. Last but certainly not least is Abigail, who is from the upper classes of the witches’ military society. She is a true leader, “smart, driven, and courageous.”
Welcome to ‘alternative America’
Now that you know what the show is about, and have an idea of the characters, let’s hear it from the experts: the actresses themselves. In an interview with Build Series, Taylor Hickson, Ashley Nicole Williams, and Jessica Sutton discuss Motherland: Fort Salem. Each one of them talks about her character. Sutton also gives a summary of the show.
According to Jessica Sutton, who plays Tally, the show is “set in an alternative America where witches have escaped persecution 300 years ago by signing a deal with the U.S. government to fight on the front lines.” It’s an intriguing premise. The show is a unique one, for sure.
Get to know the new recruits of ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’
Now that you have a basic summary from one of the actresses herself, it’s time to delve into characters. Let’s start with Taylor Hickson’s character, Raelle. Hickson describes her character Raelle in the Build Series interview as initially “very intense, very jaded, very reckless.” Throughout the story, viewers will get to see her become “a bit more of a team player.”
At the beginning of the show, however, she is definitely “fury in all its glory.” Next comes Ashley Nicole Williams’ character, Abigail. She feels that joining the military is “what she was born to do.” According to Williams, “she was raised knowing she was going to be in the military.”
Abigail “comes from a long lineage of lieutenants and generals.” Because of this, she feels that she can’t fail and this causes friction with Raelle, who isn’t taking anything seriously. This friction is where Tally comes in. Sutton describes her character as the “glue” that holds everyone together.
As Sutton puts it, Abigail and Raelle are a case of “unstoppable force meets immovable object.” So it’s a good thing they have Tally to keep them together. Tally is also described by Sutton as “the truest believer.” She is “earnest and innocent.”
The ‘heart to the show’ is ‘unity’
Besides the intriguing premise and fascinating characters, what does Motherland: Fort Salem have going for it? Well, according to Jessica Sutton, there is a definite “heart to the show.” This heart is “unity.” Such unity exists because, as Sutton mentions, the main characters “need each other to survive.”
Even if they don’t want to work together, they have to. This will probably lead to interesting stories for our three leads. Sutton also speaks about archetypes that the three main characters fit into. According to the actress, Raelle represents “the mind.”
While Abigail represents “the body” and Tally represents “the heart.” These archetypes show how the trio needs to work together. The body needs a mind and heart to work, after all.