Why doesn't Salem talk in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'?

27 October 2018, 18:01

Sabrina holding Salem on 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'
Picture: Netflix
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Salem the cat is a lot different on 'Chilling Adventures' than he was on 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch'. For starters, he can't speak and some viewers have taken issue with the change.

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is giving fans plenty of spooks and thrills. Kiernan Shipka is already earning high praise for her portrayal of the classic character. In this new iteration, we see plenty of familiar figures from Sabrina's long history. Aunt Hilda and Zelda are back and darker than ever. Salem is also there to lend a helping paw.

While the series as a whole is certainly different to the 90s ABC sitcom, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, fans are still wondering why Salem the cat doesn't speak.

Chilling adventures Sabrina
Picture: Netflix

Why doesn't Salem talk in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina?

Fans of the sitcom will know that Salem Saberhagen was a constant source of prolific one-liners and quips. In a show full of laughs and gags, Salem was an extra helping of humour.

In the sitcom, Salem was voiced by Nick Bakey, who added the perfect amount of spice to the character. Though many are enjoying the series, some are asking why the beloved feline doesn't speak in Chilling Adventures.

In Chilling Adventures a lot has changed. The comic relief is a lot less overt and the cat who plays Salem is actually a real cat for all of the scenes. The sitcom version, however, was an animatronic puppet most of the time and a real cat during scenes where he was shown moving across the screen.

Then there is the issue of Salem's backstory. In the 90s sitcom, Salem was a disgraced warlock sentenced to the punishment of becoming a cat in order to atone for his foiled plans for world domination.

In Chilling Adventures Salem is a goblin who comes to Sabrina as her familiar.

Simply put, the tone of a talking cat may not have suited Chilling Adventures. There is something inherently silly about talking animals, no matter how much we personally stan talking Salem.

via ABC/WB

In an interview with Collider, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa mused about the possibility of making Salem talk down the line. "It felt like we really wanted to be different, tonally, so we thought, at least at first, that Salem shouldn’t do a lot of talking," he explained.

"Now, that doesn’t mean that he’s never gonna talk. That doesn’t mean we’re not gonna see him in his goblin form again. He does talk a little bit in his goblin form. For the moment, there’s a psychic connection between him and Sabrina."

Fair enough!

For now, it looks like Salem will remain silent but we're taking a cue from RAS' book and never saying never.

What do you guys think? Do you want to see the new Salem drop a sarcastic one liner in the next season?