It’s hard to believe that we only have 3 episodes left of Doctor Who this season. Time has definitely gone fast (no pun intended) as the Thirteenth Doctor approaches the end of her first season with us, but even as we approach the season finale, the action is not showing any times of slowing down thankfully.
This week’s episode gave us one spectacular guest star (hello, Alan Cumming!) and a new spin on the witch hunts that plagued the 17th century. During the episode, The Doctor and her friends find themselves in the middle of a witch hunt in Lancashire thanks to the local land owner. Joining the hunt is none other than King James I, played by Cumming, which causes the problems to escalate very quickly.
Gather ’round and let us discuss “The Witchfinders.”
Double, Double, Toil And Trouble: The Doctor and her friends wind up somehow in 1612 Lancashire near Pendle Hill. Things immediately get a little crazy for them as they stumbled upon a nearby village to find an old woman accused of witchcraft being dunked. The Doctor tries to interfere to save her but fails. She attempts to prevent more trials by claiming herself as a Witchfinder General to the local landlord Becka Savage. Unfortunately for The Doctor, this backfires thanks to the sudden appearance of King James I, who complicate matters as he deems her as Graham’s assistant (RUDE).
One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others: Meanwhile, Yasmin finds an old woman being buried by her granddaughter Willa Twiston and saves her from a tendril made of mud like the total BAMF she is. After hearing of Yaz’s situation, and that Savage is Willa’s cousin, The Doctor quickly realizes the cause of the witch hunt is of alien origin as the recent victims are being reanimated by the alien entity (because that is not creepy at all).
She’s A Witch, Maybe?: While her companions follow the reanimated dead bodies, the Doctor ends up being accused of witchcraft while confronting Savage over her hiding something. The Doctor tries to reason with King James I before she is dunked but ends up escaping her bonds at the last second. The Doctor also manages to notice how Savage could not bear touching a tree used to dunk her…..hmmm….
Not Today, Satan: Once more confronted by the Doctor as the corpses arrive, Savage ultimately caves and tells The Doctor that she was infected by the alien entity while chopping down the tree on the Hill. Savage believed it to be the work of the devil and thought she could cure it through the witch trials, accusing Twiston as she knew of the infliction. The alien entity soon takes over Savage’s body, revealing herself as queen of the war criminal race known as the Morax.
The King’s Justice: As it turns out, Savage inadvertently damaged an alien prison system disguised as a tree that was to hold the Morax within, imprisoning them. The Doctor, upon learning the Morax intend to have their king possess James before taking over the Earth, uses parts of the makeshift tree prison to save King James I. By doing so, The Doctor also manages to reactivate the jail. While the other Morax are forced out of their host bodies, the queen puts up a fight as she refuses to leave Savage’s body. The Morax end up queenless as King James I kills them both.
Revisionist History: The following day, King James I declares to the Doctor that all records of the events will be erased (thus not making into the history books, because that would have been too awesome for words). The episode then comes to an end as King James I and Willa watch in surprise as the group leave in the TARDIS.
Check out the promo for next week’s episode below!
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