With their third season going strong and a fourth upcoming, Charmed has proved itself as more than just a reboot of the 1998 WB series. Following the story of three sisters who are the most powerful witches in the magical world known as The Charmed Ones, Charmed Season 3 sees the sisters facing up against systematic issues in the real world as well as supernatural ones in the magical world.
For WonderCon this year, executive producer and co-showrunner Liz Kruger had an in-depth panel with Melonie Diaz (“Mel Vera”), Madeleine Mantock (“Macy Vaughn”), Sarah Jeffery (“Maggie Vera”), and Rupert Evans (“Harry Greenwood”) to talk about this current third season.
For the sisters, Season 3 is about more than just facing off against a new mysterious supernatural evil, but also about fighting systems of oppression with the tagline for the season being “The Power of Three against the powers that be.” For Madeleine Mantok’s Macy, who inherited the Safe Space from Julian Shea (Eric Balfour) after his death, she has to face off against the corporate life and the responsibilities associated with it. “Macy’s fight against the powers that be is very much in corporate sense. [What is it] to be a young black woman in a boardroom and dealing with people who have biases and prejudices that they might not even be aware of and what that means kind of day to day.”
Sarah Jeffery’s Maggie has been struggling through the last season and now into Season 3 with her panic attacks and her mental health, but this season we get Maggie going back to school. “She’s facing a lot of men talking over her and gender bias and fighting to be heard, which I think is something most women can relate to, and obviously I can pull from my personal experience. She’s really just striving to be heard and and seen and change things for the better.” Kruger added that her own experiences of being talked over or infantilized by men — in one scene, Maggie’s professor calls her kiddo — were reflected in the scenes and she’s glad that the show has given a chance to explore the issues.
Melonie Diaz’ Mel is also back in school, but now as a teacher. She’s always been passionate about women’s studies and this season sees her teaching about gender in her classroom. “I think it’s the perfect vocation for her. She really, really is enthusiastic about her students and teaching them. However, there is a bureaucracy problem, where she feels like she wants to teach a certain book, and the dean doesn’t want her to teach that book for whatever reason, and she has to stand up to the dean.”
Melonie explained that for Mel the powers that be are the old rules and the system that holds up academia. “Mel’s trying to recreate the system by introducing new books. It’s really cool for her to like go up against this new system, and it’s also really hard because they test her in a way. She’s like, ‘Am I going to do this? Am I going to be the one that’s going to ripple the waters?’ But, she is brave enough to do that.”
With production stopping last year due to the pandemic, some things have changed since work has started up again. The cast listed out the extensive measures that they go through to protect the people working on the set, including doubling up on protection and testing procedure. But the season has also incorporated the pandemic thematically into the show. After saving the magical world, The Charmed Ones have developed an allergy against magical creatures.
“The allergy was a really neat way to incorporate the COVID of it all,” says Jeffery. Although medical procedurals are addressing the pandemic straight on, the magical allergy can be a powerful metaphor for the isolation and separation people feel. “We really tried to do the allergy, because we wanted to touch on what people are feeling,” Kruger adds. “Without it being the thing that we’re living through day-to-day, because nobody wants to watch that. We are living through it.”
The cast tease more about the season (including Maggie being inhabited by three ghosts) and talk about their secret talents in the panel. Check out the video below for their full WonderCon panel!
Watch Charmed Season 3 on Sundays on The CW.