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Doctor Who: The Witchfinders

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‘ I am an expert on witchcraft, Doctor, but I wish to learn more. Before you die, I want answers.’ The TARDIS lands in the Lancashire village of Bilehurst Cragg in the 17th century, and the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz soon become embroiled in a witch trial run by the local landowner. Fear stalks the land, and the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the w ‘ I am an expert on witchcraft, Doctor, but I wish to learn more. Before you die, I want answers.’ The TARDIS lands in the Lancashire village of Bilehurst Cragg in the 17th century, and the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz soon become embroiled in a witch trial run by the local landowner. Fear stalks the land, and the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the witch hunt. But the Doctor soon realises there is something more sinister than paranoia and superstition at work. Tendrils of living mud stir in the ground and the dead lurch back to horrifying life as an evil alien presence begins to revive. The Doctor and her friends must save not only the people of Bilehurst Cragg from the wakening forces, but the entire world


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‘ I am an expert on witchcraft, Doctor, but I wish to learn more. Before you die, I want answers.’ The TARDIS lands in the Lancashire village of Bilehurst Cragg in the 17th century, and the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz soon become embroiled in a witch trial run by the local landowner. Fear stalks the land, and the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the w ‘ I am an expert on witchcraft, Doctor, but I wish to learn more. Before you die, I want answers.’ The TARDIS lands in the Lancashire village of Bilehurst Cragg in the 17th century, and the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz soon become embroiled in a witch trial run by the local landowner. Fear stalks the land, and the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the witch hunt. But the Doctor soon realises there is something more sinister than paranoia and superstition at work. Tendrils of living mud stir in the ground and the dead lurch back to horrifying life as an evil alien presence begins to revive. The Doctor and her friends must save not only the people of Bilehurst Cragg from the wakening forces, but the entire world

30 review for Doctor Who: The Witchfinders

  1. 5 out of 5

    Book collector

    Joy Wilkinson's adaptation of her own script is wonderful. I'm an old who fan. My earliest memory of who goes back to brief scenes of the green death (1973) when I was three years old. By 1975 I was hooked. By 1977 I was devouring the target doctor who books. Then who ended in 1989, the target range effectively ended in 1991, the show returned briefly in 1996 and then fully in 2005. When Jodie Whittaker's doctor arrived it felt like a breath of fresh air. I fell in love with her doctor instantly Joy Wilkinson's adaptation of her own script is wonderful. I'm an old who fan. My earliest memory of who goes back to brief scenes of the green death (1973) when I was three years old. By 1975 I was hooked. By 1977 I was devouring the target doctor who books. Then who ended in 1989, the target range effectively ended in 1991, the show returned briefly in 1996 and then fully in 2005. When Jodie Whittaker's doctor arrived it felt like a breath of fresh air. I fell in love with her doctor instantly and have enjoyed her time on the show ever since. Like many fans I'm disgusted by the behaviour of the vocal haters on the internet. As far as this old fan is concerned doctor who continues to be brilliant and no amount of mysyognist ranting will persuade me otherwise. Right. Back to the book. The Witchfinders is a favourite story of mine. This version is brilliant. There are a few new scenes, excellent characterisation and all wrapped up in a well written novel that turns a good TV story into a great read. Wilkinson captures team TARDIS perfectly and the characters she created leap off the page. The extra character material in the robert shearman book (dalek) didn't add to that novel, here it does. It flows throughout the book making it seem more natural than in dalek. This is a great book and one I'll read again many times. These new target books are a welcome addition to a treasured book range. Let's hope we get more soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Robert Collins

    This has different being and completely different ending with little crumbs of extra information in the story. James I was into hunting witches in 1600s after the gunpowder plot. He got it hard and killed lot of females. This Doctor Who is set in 1612 when he is going to hang a blonde haired Loud mouth witch who has arrived in blue box. Duck the Witch. DUCK THE WITCH DUCK THE..... DOCTOR

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    In an attempt to visit the coronation of Elizabeth I, the Doctor and her Companions land in Bilehurst Cragg in the reign of James I. Bilehurst Cragg is near the village of Pendle, famous for its witchcraft trials. Meeting the king, the Doctor is soon accused of witchcraft and must fight for her life. Wilkinson's adaption of her script is good, with some extra details which would have been impractical to film. In an attempt to visit the coronation of Elizabeth I, the Doctor and her Companions land in Bilehurst Cragg in the reign of James I. Bilehurst Cragg is near the village of Pendle, famous for its witchcraft trials. Meeting the king, the Doctor is soon accused of witchcraft and must fight for her life. Wilkinson's adaption of her script is good, with some extra details which would have been impractical to film.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Viola

    An excellent novelization of a great story. Adds interesting background information and captures the characters and the mood of the televised episode.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    4.5/5 stars From what I remember of The Witchfinders, the episode was a fairly average historical romp that suffered from its villains being underdeveloped but was saved by an absolutely delightful performance by Alan Cumming. While the novelization is definitely missing Cumming's commitment to hamming it up at all times, it does largely improve upon my problems with the episode. On the surface, it's recognizably the same story. Wilkinson doesn't try to remix anything here or retell the plot in s 4.5/5 stars From what I remember of The Witchfinders, the episode was a fairly average historical romp that suffered from its villains being underdeveloped but was saved by an absolutely delightful performance by Alan Cumming. While the novelization is definitely missing Cumming's commitment to hamming it up at all times, it does largely improve upon my problems with the episode. On the surface, it's recognizably the same story. Wilkinson doesn't try to remix anything here or retell the plot in some new, gimmicky way. Instead, she simply takes her original plot and expands upon it. The TARDIS still turns up in early-1600s Lancashire, where the Doctor and her friends stumble across a village in the throes of a witch trial. If you've seen the episode, you'll know exactly how it plays out, and the novelization follows the episode fairly closely. The only real differences to the plot come in the form of a framing device, revolving around Willa, but to go into any real detail about that would venture into spoiler territory (and the book’s ending may be slightly divisive with fans). Needless to say, this isn't a novelization that changes the plot much, it just provides a lot of extra context. Most of that extra context comes in the form of much deeper, expanded backstories and motivations for the characters. Every single character in The Witchfinders benefits from the kind of internal characterization that a novel can provide. This greater exploration allows readers the chance to better understand these characters that weren't as well explored on screen. The Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham all get a bit more development, with Yaz being given the most depth in her conversations with Willa. Willa is fleshed out a lot more here than she was in the episode, with her backstory and connection to Becka better spelled out. Becka Savage's motivations are much clearer, with a good amount of backstory being given to her, making her utter devotion to the whole witch-hunting thing make a lot more sense. The Morax felt underdeveloped in the episode, so the book literally opens with a bit of backstory for the Morax, making their reveal, later on, feel more natural. Given the greater depth provided to the Morax, the novel doesn't feel quite as concerned with witches as the episode did, but the story's conclusion ends up being more satisfying as a result of the Morax's better development. Overall, Wilkinson really took the opportunity to give the characters of The Witchfinders more depth, and it’s a better story for it. All in all, The Witchfinders is worth reading if you left the episode feeling like the characters needed more development. I wish the episode, itself, could’ve incorporated some of the expanded backstories found in the novelization. Just ten more minutes could’ve made such a difference. As it is, The Witchfinders was a solid historical story on TV and it’s an even better historical story in prose. Wilkinson’s prose is easy to read, spending more time delving into characters than overexplaining the visual elements. I don’t think it’ll really make anyone who hated the TV story fall in love with it, but for those of us who just wanted a bit more context and expansion for the characters, this book hits the nail on the head. It’s a great read that takes a solid episode and makes it better. What more can you ask of a Doctor Who novelization?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Foxley

    My favourite development in 'Doctor Who' related publishing in recent years has been the revival of the Target novelisations line. In 'The Witchfinders', Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor joins the range, in Joy Wilkinson's adaptation of her own 2018 TV episode, which sees the TARDIS crew embroiled in witch trials near Pendle Hill in the 1600s. This has many of the building blocks of a classic 'Doctor Who' adventure - a notable historical setting, a prominent historical figure (in this case, K My favourite development in 'Doctor Who' related publishing in recent years has been the revival of the Target novelisations line. In 'The Witchfinders', Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor joins the range, in Joy Wilkinson's adaptation of her own 2018 TV episode, which sees the TARDIS crew embroiled in witch trials near Pendle Hill in the 1600s. This has many of the building blocks of a classic 'Doctor Who' adventure - a notable historical setting, a prominent historical figure (in this case, King James), a sinister alien menace laying in wait, and a dilemma about interfering in past events. Wilkinson has done a great job here, adapting her script to print very effectively, but also making the most of the format to add depth, and explore some of its ideas and characters in a way that wouldn’t have been possible on screen. For me, this is one of the strongest episodes of the Thirteenth Doctor’s era, and if anything the novelisation is even better. To say too much more would be to spoil it, but I really enjoyed the author taking the opportunity to do more with Becka and Willa, the latter in particular getting a lot of additional material. These aren't long books - perhaps a bit longer than most old Target books, but still under 200 pages - but it really is a joy to see the form revived in the 21st century, and done so well too. I'd very much recommend this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Helena Laosa

    The Witchfinders es uno de mis episodios preferidos de las S11, así que cuando se anunció esta novelización, decidí hacerme con ella. Y no me arrepiento; amplía de forma muy buena y con más detalles lo visto en el episodio y da algo más de profundidad y trasfondo a los personajes de Willa, Becka e incluso de los Morax, contextualizando más la historia. Además, también da algo más de información sobre el pasado de Yaz y mete unas pocas referencias a otros momentos de la serie. Personalmente, hay The Witchfinders es uno de mis episodios preferidos de las S11, así que cuando se anunció esta novelización, decidí hacerme con ella. Y no me arrepiento; amplía de forma muy buena y con más detalles lo visto en el episodio y da algo más de profundidad y trasfondo a los personajes de Willa, Becka e incluso de los Morax, contextualizando más la historia. Además, también da algo más de información sobre el pasado de Yaz y mete unas pocas referencias a otros momentos de la serie. Personalmente, hay una mención a un pasaje en concreto que eché de menos que no se mencionara en el episodio de TV, pero que en el libro sí aparece, así que genial (por no hacer spoiler, no diré cuál). Joy Wilkinson caracteriza muy bien a los personajes, captando sus voces y su diálogo interior perfectamente. Todas las escenas nuevas no hacen más que mejorar aún más lo visto en el episodio de TV. Profundiza también en un aspecto que la serie no ha hecho especial hincapié en TV, que son los problemas que encuentra la Doctora en esta regeneración en concreto, que en esta historia (y cualquiera que lleve al pasado, realmente) están muy presentes. Y el final es... interesante ;)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Higham

    Joy Wilkinson adds a lot to her tv episode here with rich character backstories and compelling world building.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    My review here: https://youtu.be/9iONsvzJubE My review here: https://youtu.be/9iONsvzJubE

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anya

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lucy-May

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karina Woods

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Cook

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terri

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ndrwjns

  16. 5 out of 5

    Darren Grainger

  17. 4 out of 5

    Martin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  19. 4 out of 5

    Catherine S

  20. 4 out of 5

    SiobhánG

  21. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Bracken

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chip

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mikey

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

  26. 5 out of 5

    Leona

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ally Bunny

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mark Dodyk

  30. 5 out of 5

    David C

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