Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale is the show you need to be watching right now. The limited series is based on the novel Sanctuary: A Novel of Suspense, Witchcraft, and Small Town Secrets by V.V. James and stars Elaine Cassidy (Sarah) and Amy De Bhrun (Abigail) as two best friends whose lives take a drastic turn after Abigail’s son dies in a tragic accident. When new details come to light, it turns the idyllic town of Sanctuary upside down.
It might sound like any other crime drama out there, but there’s a twist: in this world, witches are real and they live out in the open. They practice magic to help the people around them, like therapy with a little something extra. In the community of Sanctuary, Sarah Fenn is the resident witch. The gift didn’t pass down to her daughter, Harper (Hazel Doupe), which is a source of tension between the mother and the teen.
Sanctuary is a close-knit community and most of the residents have relied on Sarah’s gifts for help with their problems. When one of the teens at the party accuses Harper of using magic to kill Abigail’s son, deely-held prejudices come to light.
Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale is beautifully crafted, with tension that keeps building in each episode. Abigail’s progression from best friend to vile villain is something to see; in an age where deep-seated prejudice is rampant in real life, her behavior is a cautionary tale of what happens when hatred blinds a person’s judgment and pushes them over the edge.
The beautiful thing about this series is that it highlights some of the darkest facets of the human experience using witches and their magic as a metaphor for disenfranchised people. The messaging is powerful, and it’s particularly relevant in today’s increasingly divided world.
The limited series features seven tightly-written episodes with a cast that delivers inspired and unforgettable performances. I have had the pleasure of seeing all seven episodes and can attest that the finale hits hard and wraps up the entire story in a most satisfying way.
Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale is the kind of show that haunts you long after it’s over. I watch a lot of new shows as part of my job, and I have to say that there’s something incredibly special about this series and I hope that more people take the time to watch it.
New episodes of Sanctuary: A Witch’s Tale premiere every Thursday on AMC Plus and Sundance Now.