During the Siren panel this weekend at Wondercon, showrunner Emily Whitesell, writer/creator Eric Wald, and cast members discussed the show at length making sure the audience understood that this is not your average mermaid story and will be tackling important world issues we’re dealing with today.
In Greek Mythology, Siren’s were treacherous, bird-like creatures who lured sailors to their death. Mermaids are half human, half fish and are sometimes linked to floods, storms, shipwrecks, and drownings. Put them together and you get Siren. Siren is based in the coastal town of Bristol Cove, which is known for its local legend of once being home to mermaids. One day, a mysterious girl appears and turns this tiny fishing town on its head.
We learn that the mermaids are coming to the surface, not out of malice, but because the seabeds are being stripped of their food and they’re having to look elsewhere. The show will tackle themes of global warming and other environmental issues, as well as world views about interacting with strangers and those not quite like you, and having to learn to get along with “others.”
Ian Verdun plays Xander, a local fisherman who is focused on basic everyday survival to support his family.
When you are focused on feeding your family and supporting those around you…you tend to have a more tunnel vision perspective; you don’t think about the big picture because you don’t have the luxury…[Humans and mermaids] it’s two perspectives, everyone’s coming from the same place: Mermaid – we need to survive; Xander – We need to survive.
Not only is Siren taking on the environment, they’re also hoping to erase the stigma surrounding sexuality. Ryn is pure, she’s non-binary; she sees souls, not gender. There’s no box for mermaids the way there is for humans. However, having no notion about how humans interact with each other, we will see Ryn go through trial and error awkwardness while trying to find a connection.
Siren will premiere on International Mermaid Day, Thursday, March 29th at 8pm on Freeform. Will you be tuning in? I know I will!