Brannon Braga Talks SALEM, Balancing Fantasy and History, Rooting the Show in Horror, and More

     April 19, 2014


This Sunday, April 20th, WGN America premieres Salem, the network’s first venture into original programing, staring Shane West, Janet Montgomery, Ashley Madekwe, Seth Gabel, Xander Berkeley, Iddo Goldberg, Tazmin Merchant and Elise Eberle. Salem travels back to 17th Century Colonial Massachusetts for an alternate look at one of the darkest chapters in American history, approaching the infamous era from the point of view that witches were not only real, but manipulating the gruesome events of the trials to their will. The pilot kicks the show off on a strong note; a fun and creepy mixture of horror, fantasy and history that sets itself apart with singular imagery, an engaging mythology and a uniquely sensual approach to dark magic.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the set in Shreveport, Louisiana where the town of Salem has been meticulously reconstructed from the ground up. While I was there I sat down for an exclusive video interview with Co-Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Brannon Braga. He talked about why the concept of Salem appealed to him, balancing the fantasy and history elements of the show, the show’s strong horror elements, and more. Check out the interview after the jump.

Brannon Braga:

  • Talks about what attracted him to the concept of the show.
  • Talks about how the history of Salem is untapped material.
  • Talks about balancing the line between fantasy and history.
  • Describes the tone and genre of the show.
  • Says it’s “unflinching horror”.
  • Will the show touch on the immense sociopolitical ramifications of this period in history?

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salem TV show poster