What if the witch trails of the 17th century came to a stop? Instead of being burned at the stake, what if they were offered a chance to live – and work for the United States military? That’s the idea behind Motherland: Fort Salem, a new pilot ordered by Freeform. Today we got a glimpse of what the series could be like thanks to a 30 second teaser released on YouTube

The rapid stomping of feet brings the viewer to immediate attention as the teaser starts. One woman appears to be gleeful at the whole affair before an unnamed leader calls for silence. “You are among your own kind now,” she tells them tenderly. They must find comfort and strength in it, for they are in a safe place of witches. Not everyone appears on board with this approach but unfortunately we don’t learn any more since the teaser ends. 

Luckily for us, Deadline has a series description to give a better picture. “Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, Motherland: Fort Salem follows three young women — from basic training in combat magic into early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world — but with supernatural tactics and weapons.” With all of the supernatural shows on television right now, this seems completely unique if not a little crazy.

However, there’s immediately a few issues. As io9 points out, there was no formed government yet in America during the Salem Witch Trials of 1690s. While the trials raged on in Europe until 1750, the witch fever had long ended Stateside. As most Americans know, the Constitution that laid down the laws of the land wasn’t written until 1787, near a century after the Trials. So the timing is way off. If we let the historical inaccuracies slide and just accept this as an “alternative America” story, who is this show for? 

Freeform has ordered 10 episodes of the hour-long drama, with no indication of when it will premiere. The series was created and written by Eliot Laurence and executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick. Which is a whole lot of men for a show being pegged as “female empowerment”. Fingers crossed that the show becomes a lot more diverse as it moves into production.

Check out the teaser below and let us know what you think. Be sure to come back to Geek Girl Authority for more television news.

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Erin Lynch