Underground is not your typical slavery show. If you have seen most slavery movies, the slaves are often seen as oppressed and broken-down individuals. They are portrayed as the victims with little fight left in them because their strong spirits have been beaten out of them. In this WGN series, you will see a whole new league of slaves who become their own heroes as they fight their way out of slavery! Underground, which has not premiered yet, is based on seven runaway slaves who take their fates into their own hands and make a 600-mile escape from a Georgia plantation.
Noah (Aldis Hodge)- “The Brain”
Noah, the leader and the most intelligent slave, is the brain of the operation. He is a blacksmith who was a highly sought-after worker back then, because he made the tools used in the field. Having a constant reminder of the hatred and cruelty of his masters from constant whippings as his motivation, he is a slave who is determined to risk his life to get out of that hell.
Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell)- “The House Slave”
Rosalee is a sweet and well-mannered house slave that dreams about life outside the plantation and decides to run away with Noah. You would think house slaves are weak and helpless, but not Miss Rosalee. She finds inner strength and courage that stirs up the fire in her heart to break free. She knows it is a better life and she is willing to do whatever it takes to find it.
Zeke (Theodus Crane)- “The Hulk”
Zeke is a 300-pound giant who looks like he could pulverize anyone who tried to take him back to the cotton fields! He has a volatile temper, which makes him dangerous and not afraid to hurt anyone who stands in his path towards freedom. He holds painful secret that is as big as him. Maybe that’s why he’s so angry all the time.
Moses (Mykelti Williamson) - “The One-Eyed Bandit”
Moses lives up to his Biblical name because he’s a preacher who escapes the plantation. He encourages them when they feel like they have no hope left and inspires them to keep going when they want to give up. Despite his strong faith in God, he still worries about risking his and his family’s lives for a taste of that sweet freedom.
Henry (Renwick Scott)- “The Golden Boy”
Henry is a teenage slave with a heart of gold. He idolizes Noah and wants to be just like him. His loyalty to him is unshakeable. He is stubborn and rebellious, but he makes sure to listen to the older slaves as he makes the journey with them.
Pearly Mae (Adina Porter)- “The Voice of an Angel”
Pearly Mae is a strong mother and wife that sings the songs that brings the runners to freedom. Her songs give them clues to let them know if it’s too dangerous to run because of hunters nearby or if the coast is clear. The slaves communicate through song so their masters don’t know they are making plans to escape. It’s their secret language that helps them escape.
Sam (Johnny Ray Gill)- “The Builder”
Sam is Rosalee’s half brother who longs for freedom so he can become a carpenter and “build” a better future for himself. Sam is a tough and determined young man who wants to do everything he can to break his chains and become the man he has always dreamed about.
New Twist on an Old Story
In most slavery shows, white people are only seen as the antagonists or the oppressors. In the show Underground, there are white people called abolitionists who help the slaves and fight with them. They risk their livelihood and their lives to make sure the slaves escape safely and undetected. Husband and wife John Hawkes (Mark Blucass) and Elizabeth Hawkes (Jessica de Gouw) are two of them and they are willing to break the law to do the right thing and battle against the evil of slavery. August Pullman (Christopher Meloni) is a secretive white man with blurred morals who help the slaves find their way North. With all of these amazing characters, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the first season! Here's a sneak peek of what the first season will look like!
Underground is action packed thriller with surprising plot twists! The Underground Railroad started with Harriet Tubman, but this TV series takes it to a whole different level! It is amazing how the slaves were able to navigate their way North by reading the stars and using signs on trees. The show gives us an exciting and new perspective on the world of slavery and takes us on a wild ride to freedom. Watch Underground, which premieres on March 9th at 9 pm Central!