Salem co-creator Brannon Braga on Satan, Marilyn Manson and raising the dead in season three…
“I’m back. Fuck all of you.” That’s what the devil is thinking at the start of the third season of historical horror series Salem, according to co-creator Brannon Braga. After being awakened by Salem’s witches at the end of season two, Lucifer intends to take revenge on God by destroying humanity. Yet, it’s not just Puritans who will suffer, Braga tells Red Alert. “Season three will have the witches starting to question what they’ve done. He lied to them and he’s not promising what he promised before. We’re taking on a somewhat Miltonian theme.”
With Satan set to be a major character in Salem’s third season, it could be a breakout year for the 12-year-old actor who plays him, Oliver Bell. “We weren’t exactly sure how big a role his character would have until we saw Oliver’s dailies coming in from the first couple of episodes of season two and we were like, ‘We’re really lucky. We can basically do whatever we want to because Oliver can deliver.’”
Braga tells a similar story about Marilyn Manson, who joins Salem’s cast in season three as a barber-surgeon named Thomas Dinley. Braga describes Dinley as having “a whiff” of Sweeney Todd and Jeffrey Dahmer, and says the character got a prominent role this season because Manson is such a good fit. “It was just like Marilyn was part of the show from the beginning,” Braga recalls. “He walked into Dinley’s shop and looked around at all of the bizarre instruments of torture and things floating in jars and he said, ‘Oh, this is what my house looks like.’”
The big question mark this season is over the fate of Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), mother of the boy whose body the devil has taken over. She was also Salem’s most powerful witch before sacrificing herself at the end of season two. It’s no spoiler to say she returns but she will have changed, Braga teases. “When she comes back she’s deranged and she’s furious… Very early in the season there are some shocking developments that I definitely don’t want to give away but Mary’s tale has only just begun.”
Salem is now airing on WGN America and will be released on iTunes in the UK.
Better the devil you know?