Devil’s Due

Salem co-cre­ator Bran­non Braga on Satan, Mar­i­lyn Man­son and rais­ing the dead in sea­son three…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

“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?

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