According to Deadline Hollywood, Freeform, the network formerly known as ABC Family, is developing an alternate history military fantasy called “Motherland.” The premise of the proposed series is that the witch community made a deal with the colonial government on the brink of the Salem Witch Trials. Don’t burn us at the stake and we’ll use our particular set of skills to defend the community against all threats.

Fast forward to the modern age and three young women report to boot camp at Fort Salem for training as magic using soldiers in preparation for deployment in the war on terror. Oh, and society is more female dominated than it is in real history due to the acceptance of women magic users.

The idea of a story that reimagines Hogwarts as a military school is breathtaking. The history may be a little bit fractured, depending how the story depicts the hard headed, hard hearted Puritans of late 17th Century America deciding that one really should suffer a witch to live. One way, one supposes, is that someone notes that the biblical text is a mistranslation. It really should read, thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live. Possibly the witches prove invaluable in fending off a sudden Indian attack or an invasion by the French.

The notion of witch soldiers smiting the Islamist terrorists is a beguiling one, especially if they worship the mother goddess. ISIS would have its heads collectively explode at being slaughtered by such a magic combat unit.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, this writer has a short novel out, entitled “Dark Hunt,” about a special unit consisting of a vampire, a werewolf, and a mage fighting Al Qaeda, available at Amazon for the Kindle – shameless plug.)

The idea, should it go to series, has every potential for fun and high adventure.

On the other hand, it also has the potential for cheesy camp and feminist agitprop that sank the female reboot of “Ghostbusters.” The difference will reside in the execution. Still, the concept is original enough that anyone should be eager to give the series at least a first look if and when it comes to the small screen.

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