Fort Salem

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Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
Posts: 3858
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:15 pm

Fort Salem

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:19 am

To be honest I’m not 100% sure about Fort Salem, but I’m certainly finding it interesting. Currently up to episode four, which is a good sign, if a series isn’t holding us we often jump ship at episode two.

Anyway I’ll try and keep this spoiler, well, if not free certainly light, but the basic setting is a present day, but alternate history, USA were the Witches of Salem ended their persecution by agreeing to serve as soldiers. The tale features on three new recruits undergoing their training at the titular Fort Salem.

The characters are drawn simply, but nicely; the ambitious one, the naive one, the cynical one. And there are some interesting quirks about this world; magic seems to be based around the witch’s voice, witches applaud by stamping their feet rather than clapping their hands and their primary melee weapon appears to be a scourge. (Which is defined in Fort Salem as bullwhip with a, seemingly, magically charged weight on the business end.)

And as might be expected in a show about witches there are also some girl/girl smoochies, which I don’t have a problem with. –g- And some positively fierce female heterosexuality.

I’m trying to avoid any major spoilers so I haven’t really researched it, so I don’t know if this an original or series or based on a book, or graphic novel. But I am wondering how the presence of magic has effected the world e.g. would anyone bother with nuclear weapons when three women singing in close harmony could devastate a city? There are hints. The title sequence shows a “different” map of the United States. And oblique reference to where the characters grew up. Overall I’m getting the impression that the world of Fort Salem has been fully thought out and not just slapped together. (Though I could be wrong.)

Anyway I reckon it’s worth checking out. Currently on BBC3 iPlayer, so if you wanted you could binge you could, but we’re watching it at roughly one episode per week. (Feel free to have your mileage vary.).

And FWIW here's the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EtJurKMjJY
"I Want My Chirfugging Goose Back!"

Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
Posts: 3858
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Fort Salem

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:02 am

Finished the first season of Fort Salem, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure about it at first but I really got into it. I found the characters, which I’d first thought simply drawn, to have depth. (And some, a fair degree of ambiguity.) The setting intrigued me, and while it wasn’t based on a published work, the show-runner had mapped out the world in unpublished works long beforehand.

IMNSHO I think that ‘Fort Salem,’ in a way, belongs to the genre of military SF, well fantasy in this case. It certainly follows some of the requirements of the classic war movie; a small band of individuals coming together as unit and learning and growing together. And since this is about witches a unit, well in basic anyway, is a group of three.

And on the theme of military SF I would say ‘Fort Salem’ has a large element of Heinlein in it; service, sacrifice and loyalty. And with a large element of Haldeman too; doubt, cynicism and “Can we trust our leaders?”

It’s not perfect. Occasionally there are incidences where tactics or people’s actions don’t quite make sense, and I did feel that some things were a bit rushed. But overall it delivered an interesting story well told. JIMHO & YMMV, but I’d recommend it.

Fun(?) fact ‘Fort Salem’ is the series British title, in the US it’s ‘Motherland: Fort Salem.’ Apparently to avoid confusion with the BBC sitcom ‘Motherland.’ And it’s still, at the time of writing, available of BBC3 iPlayer.
"I Want My Chirfugging Goose Back!"

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