‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ EPs Break Down The Witchy New Series: ‘It’s Not Hogwarts’

'Motherland: Fort Salem' premieres March 18. The series follows three young women - who are also witches - as they fight for their country. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the EPs, who revealed that these aren't your typical witches.

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Motherland: Fort Salem is set in an alternate, present-day American where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by striking a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country. The show follows the journeys of three young witches — Raelle, Tally, and Abigail — as they go through basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment. Over the years, television has showcased a number of witches on screen, but the Motherland witches are very different.

“That’s the thing about this. It’s not Hogwarts and it’s not magic in college,” creator and EP Eliot Laurence told HollywoodLife at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “How well you do in basic determines your future. Raelle walks in with a chip on her shoulder the size of who knows what, but you’ll see her grow a lot. The characters grow a ton and change over time.”

He also discussed why he wanted to take a different route with witches. “I wanted to do something completely different,” Eliot said. “I love Charmed. I love it all, but I wanted to do something new. I didn’t want it to be about spells. I wanted it to feel real.”

The character of Tally will find herself in the middle of Raelle and Abigail’s tension in the first season. “Tally just wants everybody to like each other,” Eliot continued. “That’s an exhausting role and there’s a lot of pressure in being that person.” Fellow EP Kevin Messick adds, “The experience of being at Fort Salem is going to be what I think Eliot described in the first script for her as a human exclamation point. She’s going to come out of it a different, stronger person.” Motherland: Fort Salem will air Wednesdays on Freeform.

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