Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale has been building buzz since it premiered on AMC+ and Sundance in early January.
As we approach the final episodes of Santctuary’s first season, fans are brimming with curiosity about what the future holds for the remarkably relatable coven at the center of this unique show.
The series’ blend of fantasy and realism is a risk that’s paid dividends, bringing a bracingly human element to a story in which ancient magic collides head-on with the modern world.
We had the chance to speak with three of the stars who have assisted showrunner Debbie Horsfield in pulling off the impressive balancing act (you might even call it a magic trick) that is Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale.
Check out our conversation with Amy De Bruhn, Stephanie Levi-John, and Hazel Doupe, followed by an exclusive clip from this week’s all-new episode.
TV Fanatic: Could you all speak about what attracted you to the show?
Amy De Bhrún: What attracted me to the show? Well, mainly that it was so centered around the female stories was just so inspiring to me.
And especially given my character and that she’s part of the kind of coven with Sarah Fenn and all of that kind of stuff.
It was just a really exciting idea that women suddenly were at the center of the TV show. It wasn’t just sort of one woman leading it.
It was this kind of crew of women. And it felt like, for once, it wasn’t women just being the wife of somebody.
They were these really complex characters, not just the Sarah Fenn character or Harper Fenn; it was even all our characters, like Maggie had her own thing going on, Abigail, and all the women in the coven.
So that was kind of a real attraction for me. I did love the witchy element as well, the supernatural world.
But I loved how it was weaved into the day-to-day as if it was just sort of that this was happening in this town as much as you would go and see someone for some kind of alternative therapy, that this was happening, and how that informs people.
And there was so much to it, so much to it.
And then, particularly with the Abigail character, her arc is so huge, and it’s so rare that you get to go on such a journey with a character like that because really it felt like just going on a complete, full circle journey.
So it was, as an actor, a huge, exciting challenge for me, particularly, to delve into all of these sides of this person and this friend and this mother, and yeah, I don’t want to give. I’m terrified I’m going to say something.
Hazel Doupe: Yeah, I feel like Amy just said everything there.
The fact that it was all centered around women and even the friendship that Harper has got with Izzy and her childhood with Izzy, Bea, and Dan, and how that develops, how I go back into the earlier years in my mind and almost develop that for myself.
And the three of us could as well, myself and Izzy and Bea, sorry. And yeah, I’m the same in that I was attracted to its witchy element and how it was woven into real life.
And when I read the script at first, I was like, oh, this is so interesting. This is just a widely accepted thing in this world.
So we’re dealing with the real world, but where everyone’s just a bit more liberal. And it was quite refreshing to have something set in such modern times with modern technology, iPhones, medicine, etc.
But to allow this sort of metaphysical approach to life to coexist. And I thought that was lovely. But obviously, as things develop, it is not so lovely anymore.
Stephanie Levi-John: I would say all of those things as well, but I think in terms of Maggie, I found it interesting that she had this career, and to become a DCI at her young age is kind of.
She’s an overachiever but also suffers from a lot of self-doubt, and there’s a lot of pushback and things like that.
And there were loads of aspects of that storyline running through that were very interesting to me because, as a person, I often feel like that.
And I can imagine a lot of the audience will probably feel the same way. So yeah.
Also, I’d never played a character like this before. I’d never played a detective, so in my head, I was like, oh, I’m going to be Sherlock Holmes-y.
And it’s like there’s so much more to it. Her human aspect is something that really drew me to the character, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing that as well.
TV Fanatic: This question’s for you, Stephanie, again. Maggie has a history with Sanctuary, and there seem to be plenty of unanswered questions at the end of episode one about why she left.
What can you tell me about how that will manifest as the season progresses?
Stephanie Levi-John: Oh, that’s a brilliant question. What can I tell you? What can I tell you without giving you spoilers is the question?
So Maggie had been there, I believe, six years previously, worked alongside Ted Bolt, had, by what we can sort of see in the first episode, was almost like a father-daughter-ish elder, and the sensei and the person who’s learning from them, kind of relationship.
All I can say is as the season progresses, it’s the breaking out of that. It is no longer being the apprentice and becoming her own entity.
And so you see that she’s constantly trying to prove herself and actually doing her job, which both have a lot of pushback to do in terms of the whole storyline. So you’re just going to have to watch and see.
TV Fanatic: This question’s for Amy. Abigail’s life changes the moment she learns of her son’s death.
It sends her on quite this journey throughout the season. What can you tell me about this arc as it progresses throughout the season?
Amy De Bhrún: I think everything that can change does change for Abigail.
And you see the effects that grief has on a mother who’s lost a young child. And I think that was just really exciting to explore. And yeah, she goes to very dark places.
Check out this exclusive clip from a new episode of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale.
As you can see, the sinister campaign to brand witchcraft as an instrument of evil continues to gain steam.
Sanctuary’s greatest power lies in its ability to take story elements that are usually relegated to the realm of high fantasy and recontextualize them as facts of everyday life.
Clearly, the show will be leaning into that juxtaposition as witchcraft comes into greater conflict with modern medical science.
How are you feeling about the town of Sanctuary and its residents as this one-of-a-kind show wraps up its debut season?
Hit the comments below to share your thoughts!
Tyler Johnson is an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic and the other Mediavine O&O sites. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and, of course, watching TV. You can Follow him on X and email him here at TV Fanatic.