Character   Overview   Appearances   Actor    
Dr. Helen Magnus
Helen Magnus Sanctuary For None part 2
Full Name
Dr. Helen Magnus
Helen Bancroft [1]
Female   Female
Physically 35-years-old [2]
Chronologically 274-years-old [3]
(because of time travel)
Birth date
August 27th, 1850
Higher IQ (polymath)
  ●   Mother: 
  ●   Father: 
  ●   Spouse: 
(ex-fiancé) John Druitt
  ●   Daughter(s): 
  ●   Son(s): 
(non-biological) Henry Foss
  ●   Granddaughter: 
(non-biological) Alice Foss-Myers
Portrayed by
(Young Helen) Emily Tennant
First Appearance
  ●   Web Series: 
  ●   TV Series: 

Dr. Helen Magnus is an English born physician and scientist specializing in a variety of medicine and biological sciences. Over 274-years-old and 'blessed' with apparent eternal youth thanks to a Vampire Blood-based serum, she is the founder and elected leader of the Sanctuary Network.


Early Life

Helen Magnus was born in the middle of the 19th century [4] to Gregory Magnus and Patricia Heathering.[5] Her father was regarded as a controversial medical researcher of his time, and exposed his daughter to his profession when she was a child.[6] Louis Pasteur, a close friend of Gregory, was her godfather.[7]

Helen Magnus 19th century

Helen Magnus in the 19th century.

She was an intelligent young woman, unwilling to accept the limitations for women of her era. When Helen reached the age of ~25-years-old [8], after she had been repeatedly denied entrance into a London school, stopping her from being able to gain the degree she needed to become a practicing medical doctor, Gregory introduced her to the secrets she believed he was hiding from her beneath their house, bringing her into the world of Abnormals.

Years later, Helen was allowed the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford. While there, Helen was essentially isolated as she was the only female student at the school. Despite this, Helen was able to earn the respect and friendship of four fellow male students. All of them became dear and close friends of Helen's who held a greater respect for her than any other men (especially of that era), and it was with them that she formed The Five.

The Five

Sometime in the early / mid-1880's, Helen formed The Five, a group of extraordinary minds that included herself, James Watson, John Druitt, Nikola Tesla, and Nigel Griffin.[9] Like herself, the others could be considered geniuses ahead of their time, and in this group Helen and the others felt like they were a part of something more, and not outcasts because of their views of the world.

In the Spring of 1886, Helen was able to acquire a sample of pure, untainted Vampire Blood before the species was exterminated by the Church. Helen devised a serum from the Blood that was discovered to possess unique properties and the group's curiosity about humanity's potential to evolve led them to each take an injection of the Blood. Helen volunteered to go first, to make sure the serum was safe despite her friends' warnings that the side effects of the Blood were completely unknown. Helen survived the injection, though the awakening of her Longevity abnormality was quite painful. The other members then took an injection of the Blood and also gained their own unique abilities. It is unknown if the other members of The Five were aware of Abnormals beforehand.

Helen, for the most part, had to help the others adjust to their new found powers. Nikola Tesla's exposure to the Blood led to the awakening of dormant Vampire genes that had been passed on to him from an ancestor, and Helen had to develop a special medication for him to allow him to rein in his less desirable Vampire instincts such as the thirst for blood. James' enhanced intellect required him to have something to keep his mind occupied until he adjusted completely, lest his powers drive him mad.

Nigel Griffin's ability was his molecular structure became photo-sensitive, meaning he could turn invisible at will although it took him a while to get the hang of it.

The only member of The Five she was unable to help, to her great regret, was her lover and fiancé John Druitt, whose exposure to the Source Blood had the unforeseen side effect of driving him insane and led to the creation of the most notorious killer in history - Jack the Ripper. Helen tried one last time after the rest of The Five had given up on John to appeal to his better nature and to accept her help. However by this time John's insanity had all but consumed the man he once was and he tried to attack Helen, forcing her to defend herself and leading him to vanish from her life for a long time.

Though The Five would never admit it, Helen could be considered the group's de facto leader. This is mostly because she is able to keep them in line and keep them focused on the bigger picture. Each man respected her enough to know not to make her mad. In early-2009, James and John hinted to Will she may have been their leader when they jokingly asked him what it's like to follow the orders of a woman without having lived through the traditions of the 19th century.

Leader of Sanctuary

For over 120 years [10] (ultimately giving 5 lifetimes to her work resulting from time travel [11]), Helen has run the Sanctuary Network, where she tracks, protects and learns from the extraordinary and / or paranormal creatures that inhabit our world. She serves both as House Head of the Old City Sanctuary, and as elected Head of the entire Global Network.[12]

Helen personally knew many great figures of history, including H. G. Wells, and Jules Verne, as well as U.S. presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and at least one of The Beatles. She was aboard the Titanic when it hit an iceberg and sank in 1912 [13], and was in the room when the Nazis surrendered at the end of World War II, mainly because Eisenhower refused to be in the same room as Alfred Jodl. There are also pictures of her with Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Mahātmā Ghandi, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..[14]

Return of Druitt

Helen and John

John and Helen in her study.

In early-2008 while working on a case involving the Abnormal boy Alexei, Helen was confronted with her former fiancé and father of her daughter John Druitt. He had managed to infiltrate the Old City Sanctuary by pretending to be unconscious in order to get to Helen.

While John, like the rest of The Five, had gained some form of Longevity, he had recently relapsed with a disease that his own Source-Blood-altered physiology couldn't handle. Only Helen's pure Longevity-causing blood could cure him, as it had in the past.

Helen however did not want to cure him in the beginning because she believed it would only prolong his suffering with his insanity and tried to offer him help first; not liking that John had teleported Ashley away from her and into the SHU with a dangerous Giant Lizard Creature in hopes of getting her to comply. This was a perfect example of how deranged John had become if he was putting his own daughter in harms way. John became enraged when Helen revealed that she never told Ashley the truth about who her father was; letting her believe he was dead.

In the end, Helen appeared to relent and fetched a pure sample of her blood for John to inject. Satisfied, John took the injection but moments later John's power began to turn on him. Helen had poisoned him, although she obviously felt sorry for her action. But John was not going to go quietly as he looked her in the eye and said "The Five... the others... will come" before teleporting away with the belief that his old comrades would avenge him. Helen however thought he wouldn't survive for very much longer and would die. It wasn't until later on in Rome that she learned he wasn't dead as she had initially expected.

Pursuing Adam Worth in 1898

Helen in 1898

Helen Magnus in 1898 London.

In early-2011, Helen Magnus follows Adam Worth back in time through his time portal and pursues him throughout London in 1898 to stop him from curing his daughter Imogene, who is naturally meant to die in the timeline from a rare form of Leukemia. During her pursuit, Helen tries her best to avoid encountering her past self and is ultimately successful, albeit coming extremely close to getting caught by Past-Helen a few times. Despite this however, Magnus ends up completely failing to stop herself from also encountering Past-James Watson, who quickly discovers that she is from the future and promises to keep quiet for the sake of preserving the timeline. When Future-Adam tries to kill Future-Helen after she tracks him down to his small lab, he accidentally kills Imogene instead, restoring the natural order of the timeline. After killing Future-Worth from early-2011, to avoid herself inadvertently changing the timeline by her mere presence in the past with her sheer knowledge of future historical events, Magnus accepts the advice she was given from Past-James and ends up supposedly taking a long "vacation" in a known secluded part of the world; hiding on a mountain top in Nepal for the next 113 years before she can resurface and rejoin the timeline to help Will in the present dealing with the mass amounts of Hollow Earth Abnormals invading the surface from the three caldera sites.


Helen Magnus in early-2012.

It is revealed later however that Helen had instead been secretly working with several important figures of the 20th century, including Albert Einstein and Buckminster Fuller amongst others, in order to build a new Underground Sanctuary.[1]

Personal Life

It is revealed that Helen is very wealthy and goes to a villa she owns on Capri, near Naples, every 7 years for a long weekend.[13]


Helen has a known affinity for aviation, so much so that she owns a private fleet of several helicopters [13] and planes [15] [11] [16]. She is seen in a photograph to have, at the very least, met historical flight figure Amelia Earhart. In Helen's entire flight career for the last hundred years or so she has only ever been in three crashes; one of which she was a passenger. All three accidents however were not the direct result of pilot error, but that of Abnormal interference beyond her control.[15] [13] [17]

(According to Amanda Tapping, Helen plays the piano, though she is unsure of when Helen may find enough down time to play the instrument as a way to relax.) [18]


Aside from primarily being an M.D., she also holds a Doctoral degree (D) in Teratology (T), Cryptozoology (C), Xenobiology (X), and Biology (B) according to the letters printed on her Sanctuary business card.[19] [20]

Graduate school and medical board certification / licensing wasn't easy to come by for Helen as she had to constantly fight against the social era she lived in and the stigma of her father working on "outlandish case studies".

The influence of Gregory's connections and reputation initially helped allow her to gain massive amounts of medical and scientific knowledge (something that was odd for a woman of that time period). That however wasn't enough for her to gain entrance into the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Though Helen had passed the entrance exam three separate times with outstanding marks higher than anyone else each time, the Board repeatedly denied her entrance; Helen only tolerated taking the exam 3 times as getting into the London school was something she absolutely needed to do in order to gain a degree to legally practice medicine anywhere in Europe. Severely frustrated, she went and sought council with her father about her situation, adamantly refusing to take the exam for a fourth time. Gregory noted that she knew more about the subject matter than the professors writing the tests, and saw this constant denial for his daughter to have a career as a medical professional as a way for the Board to punish him for his fringe work rather than it being a grievance against her specifically. At her insistent plea to get some standing in the medical and scientific community, Gregory officially brought Helen into his world of studying Abnormals.[21]

At the University of Oxford in the late-1800's, she was one of the first woman to ever attend the institution, however, it was initially under the pretense that she could only audit / orate classes as no women were allowed to enroll at the time; a rule she railed against with a vengeance.[22] It wasn't until the year 1921 (as seen in the opening title sequence) that she was able to officially graduate with her M.D. certificate.

During Helen's time reliving the past, to build credit to the name 'Helen Bancroft', she went through graduate school again.[1] By the year 1916, she had:

  • Graduated from the University of London with a Doctor in Science degree in Medical Science; becoming a visiting professor there.
  • Gained a PhD in Global Health from the University of Lahore in Pakistan; becoming the professor of Global Health at Lahore, its Executive Director of Health Science, and their Director of Medical Fellowship.
  • Became an honorary professor at the University of Queensland in Australia.

During the summer semester of 1948, she taught a Fellowship course at Black Mountain College in North Carolina to share an office with Buckminster Fuller.


The injection of the Source Blood serum occurred in the Spring of 1886, making Helen's physical age that of essentially being 35-years-old for the rest of her seemingly eternal life.[22]

Helen is known to be 157 in Episode 1x01 - "Sanctuary For All, Part I" through Episode 1x07 - "The Five".
Helen is 158 in Episode 2x08 - "Next Tuesday".
Helen says she is 159 in Episode 3x08 - "For King and Country".

Due to Helen leaving from the year 2011 at the age of 160 (roughly more than half a year before her 161st birthday that year) to travel back through time to the year 1898 (forcing her to relive 113 years of her life), it means that she is 273-years-old when she eventually returns back to the same point in time in the year 2011 when she rejoins the Sanctuary at the end of Episode 4x02 - "Uprising" a few hours after her 160-year-old self went through the portal.

Off-screen, Helen turned 274-years-old at some point during Season 4 before the two-part episode series finale (early-2012) as her age is mentioned by Abby Corrigan in a deleted scene.[1]

To help clarify, for current and future birthdays on August 27th, she will now turn i.e.:

274 in 2011 instead of 161
275 in 2012 instead of 162
276 in 2013 instead of 163
277 in 2014 instead of 164
278 in 2015 instead of 165
279 in 2016 instead of 166
280 in 2017 instead of 167
281 in 2018 instead of 168
282 in 2019 instead of 169
283 in 2020 instead of 170

Character and Traits

Helen Magnus is bold and straightforward, brave and no-nonsense, yet she remains proudly true to her formal Victorian English sensibilities. Stemming from her British roots, she is a person who prefers to stay busy and can only tolerate a "long weekend doing nothing" once every seven years.[13]

Helen's past is long and colorful, as one would expect from a life lasting 274 years. However, she proves that living forever is not the best of things and finds it hard at times, calling longevity a curse [23] and admits that "dinner parties are hell" [7] as she can't relate to anyone. She has had to bury countless friends, colleagues, and lovers, making her somewhat reluctant to let new people into her heart as she's learned to not get too close to people anymore over the course of the last century. On more than one occasion, Helen has searched for a way to try to reverse the effects of the Source Blood as she is so often tired of outliving the one's that she loves.[24]

Altered Physiology

Presumably due to the affects of the Source Blood giving her a unique blood chemistry, besides having Longevity, Helen seems to require a lot less of certain things than a normal human being does to still be able to properly function. This includes:

  • Sleep - She frequently stays up very late at night [25], saying that she rarely sleeps unless her patients do too.[26]
  • Warmth - She is seen to be able to tolerate being in cold temperatures better (air and water).[27] [15] [7] [13] [28]
  • Food - Occasionally, when stressed or very busy working on a demanding issue, Helen is seen to intentionally forgo / accidentally forget to eat regular meals; eating very little to nothing at all for an extended period of time lasting for several days up to a week. She survives mostly off of a cup of tea here and there.[29] [30]

Other physical traits Helen has gained from the remnants of Source Blood that still lingers in her system include:

  • Increased Strength - She is able to easily hold her own against regular humans, even when outnumbered more than 2 to 1; often overpowering them and rendering them unconscious in a few seconds.[16] She can also stand against those with abnormalities, though she does sometimes struggle in a 1v1, usually getting knocked around a bit before eventually figuring out how to 'win' against her opponent.[31] [32] [33] [1] (Note: Her knowledge of anatomy and physiology as well as her level of fight training are a major component in her encounters as most of the regular humans she faces are either caught unaware and or are also lacking in proper self-defense techniques.) [34] [17] [35] [36] [37]
  • Enhanced Health and Well-being:
    • Increased Healing Factor - While nowhere near as instant as a vampire, she is seen to recover from injuries / physical trauma at a faster rate compared to regular humans, notably with very minimal to no visible scarring left behind on her skin afterward once a flesh wound has healed.[38] [37] [39] Noteworthy afflictions she has rebounded from include 3 separate traumas to the brain [7] [40] [36] and organ failure caused by severe radiation poisoning. [31] [41] [35] [42] [43]
    • Adaptive Metabolic System - Not only does it slow to allow her to eat less at times, but it also speeds up to allow her the ability to stave off the effects of being exposed to certain compounds / ailments to a greater degree and for a lot longer than a normal human; giving her a higher tolerance level before eventually succumbing albeit to lesser overall effects.[39]
    • Heightened Immunity - Seems to have an incredible resistance to viral (and assumedly also bacterial) pathogens.[22] [44]


1x13 The group looking at the Key map

Helen and Watson decipher Gregory's key map that's written in Latin.

Helen is fluent in Latin [44], being that she is a medical doctor / scientist and it's her father's favorite language. She speaks a vast number of languages, including:

Helen is also able to understand: 

  • Arabic [48] [46]
  • Hindi [49] (has knowledge of its ancient Urdu dialect) [46]
  • German and can identify its Bavarian dialect(s) [47]

She is also good at reading and translating other ancient and rare languages, such as: 

Weapons and Fighting

On more than one occasion she is shown to be skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

3x08 Helen after shooting Adam in the shoulder

Helen warning Adam to stay down after having just shot him in the shoulder.

Helen is abundantly seen to be very comfortable in holding and being adept at using a wide variety of weaponry, including but not limited to:

  • Pistols:
  • Rifle(s) [31] [41]
  • RPG launcher [17]
  • Knives:
  • Multitude of improvised melee weapons:
  • Tranquilizer guns:
    • Semi-automatic pistols firing tranq bullets [25] [34]
    • Airsoft rifle firing tranq darts [32])
  • Two types of Praxian energy weapons:
  • All sorts of tech gizmos that Henry whips up in his weapons lab. 
  • She was able to create a bomb / explosion out of lit stores of jet fuel.[37]
  • Used the automated assist mechanism to kill intruders.[1]

With a brief glance, Magnus can specify weapons, such as Starstreak missiles.[53]


2x13 Magnus and Henry prepping to fire the sonic weapon

Helen and Henry attempting to disable Big Bertha from a helicopter.

Helen possesses is the ability to operate almost any type of vehicle; she is able to drive/fly/pilot: 


She is technologically savvy: 

  • Able to use and repair a range of analogue and digital devices.
  • Familiar with the Sanctuary's computer system.[51]
  • Can perform piggy-backed hacks.[57]
  • Can get severely damaged and parted computer systems to operate again powered with car batteries.[24]
  • Able to boost a crashed helicopter's radio distress signal using the inside walls of the borehole of an abandoned oil rig.[13]
  • Can send a long-wave transmission out of old disused radios attached to solar panels.[53]
  • Can quickly figure out the UI of both Praxian [50] [43] [51] and Vampire technologies.[33]
3x18 Magnus working on the time node

Helen replicating Adam Worth's Time Node out of scraped parts from old household appliances.

One of Helen's most impressive talents is the ability to recreate tech devices after only seeing and handling them for a brief period of time: she was able to have Henry recreate the stunner weapon she encountered in the Guardian's alternate timeline.[24] When Helen and Will were trapped in Carentan, she was able to successfully recreate a jerry-rigged version of Adam Worth's Time Nodes to nullify the Time Dilation Field even though she never actually physically spent time working on one of Adam's nodes (Henry and Nikola did; whom the audience can infer relayed their findings to her).


3x19 Magnus and her paintings put together

Helen looks at the "complete pattern" of her paintings after Will assembles them together.

In an implanted perfect dream world, Helen is an at-home freelance painter who doesn't show her work publicly at art galleries, but instead prefers to sell her work privately to buyers through her agent.[36]



Magnus and Druitt in a rare moment of peace.

John Druitt
Helen was briefly engaged to John, her lover and first patient. She had a daughter with him, Ashley, who was originally conceived in late-1888. She froze the embryo for almost a century before loneliness and the thought that John was gone for good allowed her to carry her to term. It is implied on more than one occasion that John is the only man Helen has ever truly loved. His activities as "Jack the Ripper" and his betrayal of her trust caused her terrible pain. Through it all, she still harbors obvious feelings for him (though cautiously guarded) and chose him as the only man whose child she was willing to have.
Ashley Magnus
Helen loved her daughter with all her heart, and was very protective of her. Even though Helen needed Ashley to fulfill a vital and dangerous role within the Sanctuary Network for Helen's work, Helen candidly admitted to Ashley that she can't bear to see her hurt. This had previously led Helen to keep certain details from Ashley, such as the identity of her father. Ashley's 'death' was possibly the most terrible pain that has ever happened to Helen, rivaled only by John Druitt's betrayal, even making her try to find a way to end the eternity of her life.
Dr. Will Zimmerman
After saving his life when he was an 8-year-old boy, Helen had kept a long-distance watch over Will into adulthood. She anonymously funded his scholarship to Harvard University, and has now become his mentor. Even though he irritates her at times, she grooms him as her replacement should her eternal life come to an unexpected end.
Henry Foss
Helen took charge of Henry when she found him as an orphan boy on the Moors. Realizing he was a Werewolf, she helped him suppress his Abnormal nature until he was ready to embrace it as an adult. Since raising him like a son alongside her daughter Ashley, Helen was very visibly upset when she thought she had lost him to a creature through a dimensional rift (seemingly as if she just lost a second child); she was seen not wanting to physically let go of Henry once Nikola had finally returned him to her.[58] Helen was also seen to act like a knowing parent to Henry when she assigned Kate Freelander to make sure he didn't get distracted by technological things while down in Praxis.[43] Helen is seen to off-and-on tease Henry, preying on his gullibility to easily believe her word about historical events and places, such as the real location of Area 51, about the true nature of The Pentagon [58], and Henry's continued outspoken hope for the existence of extra-terrestrial aliens. When Henry starts to recount a wild dream he had involving his girlfriend Erika Myers dressed as Princess Leia and him using his lightsaber (his wording easily inferable to be a possible sexual fantasy), Helen lets out a shocked gasp and stops him before he could say more.[51] This familial closeness between her and Henry grants Helen the role of being Henry's future daughter Alice's non-biological grandmother.
Bigfoot has been with Helen for the last third of her long life, and has become one of her most trusted companions.
Nikola Tesla
Helen's relationship to Tesla is very complex and at times has been difficult; although she acknowledges his genius and clearly enjoys their verbal sparring, his continuous amorous and sexual advances have gotten on her nerves for decades. But Helen really enjoys that relationship more then she is willing to admit. Like most others who knew him, she considered him "an obnoxious ass" back in their Oxford days, but she didn't, however, give up on him, helping him realize that his aspirations of ancient Vampire grandeur were doomed to fail. After the disappearance(s) of John Druitt their relationship develops; she comforts him when he is 'de-vamped' and even kisses him in the Main Lab during the Abnormal Insurgency invasion of the Old City Sanctuary. However, despite their differences, they both love each other deeply even though they both loath to admit it .
Dr. James Watson
Another member of The Five, Helen and James were very close partners. James helped Helen conduct research and run the original Sanctuary in London,[41] eventually being given the reigns to the UK Sanctuary when Helen left England for Old City to start a new Sanctuary there. Helen and James cared deeply for one another; being one another's trusted confidants.[52] In the early-1940's Druitt suspected out of jealousy that Helen and James had become a romantic couple, becoming filled with rage at the thought of his best friend sleeping with his ex-lover that he still has feelings for.[47] Potentially due to James' limited mobility later in life, Helen had been known to visit him in London every so often.[22] While a past brief sexual relationship between the two hasn't been confirmed to the audience, fans do otherwise consider James to be an Uncle / Godfather figure to Helen's daughter, Ashley.


Of Helen's countless amounts of friends and lovers over the years, there are only a handful of known people with which Helen has had romances with, as well as interests in:

  • John Druitt - Helen's former fiancé, whom she loved with her entire being [15] while at Oxford, and biological father of her daughter Ashley.
  • Dr. James Watson - Close partner, trusted confidant, and potential lover.
  • Nikola Tesla - Longtime best friend [58] whom Helen has had several dates with. The two of them had a supposedly good time together while in Vienna during the Springtime of an unknown year.[51] (Amanda Tapping believes they may have been together at one point.)
  • Amelia Earhart - (Amanda Tapping says they were in some sort of relationship.) [59]
  • Dr. Charlotte Benoit - Brief one-time lover for a few days.[37]
  • Olaf Van Ausberg - Suggested past lover who invites Helen over for a relaxing weekend getaway, though she declined his offer due to emotional distress surrounding Ashley's upcoming birthday.[13]
  • Eric - It is unknown if Helen and Eric had any sort of relationship outside of a professional one, but she did exhibit a mix of sorrow and admiration for the man shortly after his death; enough to lead viewers to believe they were close on some level. Will had candidly asked her if he was reading into a personal relationship between her and Eric based on her quiet emotional reaction over his death. She brushed the inquiry off, covering with: "I don't want to see a sacrifice go to waste". However, her mournful looks, tone of voice, and her trying to reaffirm to Will with a following nod that it was only just 'that' suggests that she cared more about the man than just her simply being sad over losing him due to her having liked his positive personal view on Abnormals.[25]
  • An unnamed Romanian Lupus Wrangler - When Will first arrived at the Old City Sanctuary, Ashley recounted a time when she and her mother along with a bunch of nervous locals (one of which "who seriously looked like Adrien Brody [60]" caught her eye) had bagged and tagged a werewolf den during the summer of her 18th birthday (year 2002). When Ashley had gushed over the memory of the attractive man, Helen had tried to temper Ashley's unfiltered blathering to which Ashley responded by looking up at her, letting out: "You thought he was hot, too.".[20]

Background, Notes, and Trivia

  • Helen's birthday of August 27th is directly based off of Amanda Tapping's August 28th birthday, just moved slightly earlier to occur on the day before.

Hair Style and Color

Due to Amanda Tapping's prior acting role as lead character Samantha Carter in the massively popular Stargate Franchise, the premise for Sanctuary was to try to make Helen Magnus look completely different, to not be a Sam Carter 2.0 just with an English accent. While it did cause some fan disturbance, Amanda had decided to grow out her hair from her iconic short blonde pixie cut / bob. During the Web Series, she wore a raven colored black wig. During the reshoot and TV Series pick-up, she had actually dyed her hair dark brunette throughout the entire run of the show.

Sanctuary S1 D2 002 4
In Episode 1x05 - "Kush", when Helen call's Ashley's cellphone from the satellite phone after the crash, the contact photo on the screen is a beautiful shot of Helen smiling at the camera. In reality, the phone Emilie is using is actually owned by Martin Wood. BTS, Amanda had called his phone from hers, having the contact name on his phone simply changed from "Amanda" to say "Mom" instead. This photo was taken by Martin when they were sitting at a restaurant for dinner right after Amanda had dyed her hair dark for the series.[61]

Some real world parallels between both Amanda and Helen do exist, such as the decision for Helen to be a natural blonde who dyes her hair brunette later in life. It's unknown if Helen's daughter Ashley was always intended for the character to be cast as a blonde, confirming the heredity. Emilie Ullerup who plays Ashley (who won the role by beating out several other actresses due to her impressive ability to pick up fight choreography almost instantly) is a natural blonde herself, and thus, so is Ashley by default (Helen being a natural blonde may possibly be partially due to this fact to keep continuity).

Amanda (Helen) with Olivia (Ashley)
During the opening credits until Episode 2x04 - "Hero" when Ashley isn't featured anymore, viewers see a photo of Helen holding a very young Ashley attached to Ashley's personnel file. In reality, the photo is actually of Amanda with her daughter Olivia (who also did inherit her mother's bright blonde hair, just like Ashley had from Helen). For the show, there was initially an idea to try to cast a random young girl to play Helen's daughter for these images, but was ultimately deemed unnecessary extra work and not done, as Amanda herself had a young daughter who looked like a young Emilie.
S02 e0206 04 129046218711

Later in the series after Ashley's supposed death, such as seen in Episode 2x06 - "Fragments", on Helen's desk are several photos of Ashley (all real photos provided by Emilie herself, including the photo of her as a really small child with her hair tied up in pigtails).

It is unknown exactly when Helen had started to dye her hair brunette. In the series, Helen is seen to have been continuously her natural blonde self until at least 1908.[41]

Sanctuary S1 D2 002 8
  • early-1920's - In the photo of Helen with Albert Einstein, it's very hard to tell, but Helen may be sporting a short dark flapper bob underneath her hat.[62]
Sanctuary S2 D1 004 11
  • January 1st, 1933 - Helen is standing next to Amelia Earhart before Amelia participates in the National Air Races in Los Angeles. Due to the photo being taken in broad daylight as well as it being on a grey scale, it's difficult to say exactly, but Helen's hair does seem to be a 'light' shade (possibly ranging in color from dirty blonde, to red, or light brown).[63]
  • June 6th, 1944 - During her involvement of D-Day in WWII, Helen had dyed her hair a dark shade of red (Amanda had wore a red wig as tribute to her grandmother who colored her hair red during the war).[47]
Sanctuary Season 3 Disc 1 002 17
Sanctuary Season 4 Disc 1 002 31
  • late-1950's / early-1960's - Helen with her usual dark brunette color is seen in a photo standing next to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during what looks to be a march / outside gathering of some sort.
  • 1987 - Brunette hair based on the photo of Helen with a young Ashley around age ~3-years-old.[65]
  • early-2008 to early-2012 - Brunette.
  • Trip through time: Being that Nikola couldn't tell Past-Helen or Future-Helen apart in 1901 and 1902, Future-Helen must have adopted Past-Helen's blonde hair to impersonate herself.[1]
(Speculation / Fan Theory: To keep Helen Bancroft's identity separate from Helen Magnus, whatever hair color Magnus had, Future-Helen might have adopted the opposite for Bancroft in an effort to help not blow her cover. This could mean that Future-Helen was actually blonde for a very long time until fairly recently; until right before she rejoined her original timeline in early-2011 in which she would have finally begun to dye her hair brunette again. Alternatively, Future-Helen as Bancroft may have intentionally made sure to always copy the same hair color as Magnus in order to insure Magnus' natural history in case someone had accidentally recognized her and or as mentioned earlier, for Future-Helen to continue to be able to impersonate her Past-Self at any given point in time (avoiding a repeat incidence of Episode 4x01 - "Tempus" where both Past-Watson and Past-Druitt immediately noticed her change in hair color). It's hard to say for certain as to which scenario is the most plausible, as according to Abby and Will, there are apparently no historical photos whatsoever of Helen Bancroft in existence for them to reference in order to visually confirm her identify as actually having been Future-Helen.[1])

In Episode 2x09 - "Penance", Jimmy played by Michael Shanks (Amanda's long time co-star on Stargate SG-1) makes an in-joke saying "I love the hair" to which Helen thanks him for it. It's a reference to Amanda changing hairstyles between series (short blonde to long brunette). In-universe however, it makes zero sense as from character history, Helen has had her same long dark hair for well over the last 50+ years prior to then, easily since before whenever Jimmy was even born.

Media Gallery | Photos and Video

References, External Links, and Websites

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Episode 4x13 - "Sanctuary For None, Part II"
  2. Her longevity was activated in the Spring of 1886, halting her cells from continual aging.
  3. As of her birthday on August 27th, 2011
  4. Wagner, Curt (September 6, 2010). "Exclusive from inside 'Sanctuary': Helen Magnus turned 160 on Aug. 27". RedEye. Tribune Company. Retrieved on August 6, 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode 1x10 - "Warriors"
  6. "Sanctuary Cast, Dr. Helen Magnus". SyFy. Retrieved on August 6, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Episode 1x09 - "Requiem"
  8. Episode 0x06 - "Webisode 6" An adult Helen is upset that the Board had cut her father's membership from the institution. Gregory tells Helen that the Royal College had tried to rescind his membership for a decade now. In Webisode 5, a ~15-year-old Helen overhears two Victorian doctors tell Gregory that the Board had started to reach their limits with him.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Episode 1x07 - "The Five"
  10. Episode 3x12 - "Hangover"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Episode 4x03 - "Untouchable"
  12. Episode 3x02 - "Firewall"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Episode 2x08 - "Next Tuesday"
  14. A different person appears on a photo with Magnus in the opening credits of every season.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Episode 1x05 - "Kush"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Episode 4x10 - "Acolyte"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Episode 3x01 - "Kali, Part III"
  18. Amanda Tapping VIP Panel Armageddon Expo in Auckland 2011. Minute Mark:17:53-18:51.
  19. Episode 0x01 - "Webisode 1"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Episode 1x01 - "Sanctuary For All, Part I"
  21. Episode 0x06 - "Webisode 6"
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Episode 1x12 - "Revelations, Part I"
  23. Episode 0x07 - "Webisode 7"
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Episode 2x05 - "Pavor Nocturnus"
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Episode 1x06 - "Nubbins"
  26. Episode 1x03 - "Fata Morgana"
  27. 27.0 27.1 Episode 1x02 - "Sanctuary For All, Part II"
  28. 28.0 28.1 Episode 4x07 - "Icebreaker"
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Episode 2x03 - "Eulogy"
  30. { {ep-ref|4|08}}
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 31.6 Episode 3x07 - "Breach"
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Episode 3x14 - "Metamorphosis"
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 Episode 3x16 - "Awakening"
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Episode 2x10 - "Sleepers"
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Episode 3x09 - "Vigilante"
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 Episode 3x19 - "Out of The Blue"
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 Episode 4x04 - "Monsoon"
  38. Episode 2x02 - "End of Nights, Part II"
  39. 39.0 39.1 Episode 4x11 - "The Depths"
  40. Episode 2x07 - "Veritas"
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 41.5 Episode 3x08 - "For King and Country"
  42. Episode 3x10 - "The Hollow Men"
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 Episode 3x11 - "Pax Romana"
  44. 44.0 44.1 Episode 1x13 - "Revelations, Part II"
  45. Episode 2x11 - "Haunted"
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 Episode 2x12 - "Kali, Part I"
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 47.4 Episode 3x17 - "Normandy"
  48. Episode 2x01 - "End of Nights, Part I"
  49. 49.0 49.1 Episode 2x13 - "Kali, Part II"
  50. 50.0 50.1 Episode 3x06 - "Animus"
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 Episode 4x09 - "Chimera"
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 52.4 52.5 Episode 4x01 - "Tempus"
  53. 53.0 53.1 Episode 3x18 - "Carentan"
  54. Episode 2x09 - "Penance"
  55. 55.0 55.1 Episode 4x12 - "Sanctuary For None, Part I"
  56. Episode 1x04 - "Folding Man"
  57. Episode 4x02 - "Uprising"
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 Episode 4x05 - "Resistance"
  59. Photo in Season 2 Opening Credits
  60. Adrien Brody on The Internet Movie Database
  61. Mentioned during the commentary track for the episode.
  62. This is a mirrored photo, where Helen's face was photo-shopped in place of Albert's then-wife Elsa. The photo was taken sometime between October 1922 and March 1923 when they went on a 5-month trip to Asia and the Middle East
  63. Being that Helen was edited in, as the original photo does not have another person standing to the right of the propeller, a good wager would be that Helen's hair was brown as the show had to have Amanda pose for it in that outfit, not just photo-shopping out the real person's face with hers.
  64. An image of Helen from Episode 2x01 - "End of Nights, Part I" while Helen was searching for Ashley in Cairo, Egypt is superimposed on to the image.
  65. In the real world the photo was taken of Amanda and Olivia (born in early-2005) in ~2008 before the show aired in October 2008.
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