The Witchfinders – Doctor Who Series 11 Episode 8 – The DVDfever Review

The Witchfinders

The Witchfinders, is the eighth episode of Doctor Who Series 11, and it finds the Scooby Doo gang back in the times of King James I (Alan Cumming).

The words “Mr Savage demands your presence” stops a happy party with apple bobbing, and starts giving a vibe more creepy than Harvey Weinstein.

A woman is about to be tossed off… into the lake, as she’s accused of being a witch. However, as The Doctor tells us no-one can interfere in anything, she then does the exact opposite and jumps in to interfere anyway. That said, she still didn’t manage to save the old woman, even though she’d only been in the water a few seconds.

Set in the early 17th Century, certain people – who believed in witches – were quite mad, just like those people, today, who believe in so-called man-made global warming.

There’s some weird tenatacle-based thing sprouting out of the ground for this week’s ‘Monster of the Week’, but a sample of the mud will solve that… maybe… or not, as all the dead alleged witches come back like zombies.


The Witchfinders – Trailer – Doctor Who



You can’t beat a bit of Cumming – especially with his ‘pricker’ (“A true witch will not bleed if a mark is pricked”), and whilst a lot of people may only have seen Siobhan Finneran – as Becka Savage (what happened to ‘Mr Savage’?) – waste her time in ITV’s Benidorm, whereas she was bloody amazing in the recent low-budget Brit flick, Apostasy.

However, the story was another let-down as The Doctor had to waste time with justifying that she’s a woman, and despite the predicament in which she found herself, with just 15 minutes to go, you knew there’d be no way she’d be in danger.

A reference to Houdini, from the Doctor, was amusing, as was a Pulp Fiction reference, but again, a throwaway to an intergalactic war we’d never seen (The Milk Wars on Keston Five), and overuse of the sonic screwdriver really didn’t help matters.

And just as it started to get interesting, with around 15 minutes to go, it was all done and dusted way too quickly.

Plus, who designed the Morax costume? She looked like she was based on Veronica Moser! (Do NOT Google her name from work!)

Next time: A cottage in Norway in winter, a chimney with no smoke, and The Doctor appears to be encased in honey.

The Witchfinders is available on the BBC iPlayer.

You can also pre-order it on Blu-ray, Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook and DVD.

Individual episodes can be bought in HD and SD here.


Score: 4/10

Director: Sallie Aprahamian
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Joy Wilkinson
Executive Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens
Music: Segun Akinola

Cast:
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
King James I: Alan Cumming
Becka Savage: Siobhan Finneran
Willa Twiston: Tilly Steele
Old Mother Twiston: Tricia Kelly
Smithy: Arthur Kay
Stavros: Stavros Demetraki


Previously on DVDfever:

November 18th:

The Witchfinders, is the eighth episode of Doctor Who Series 11, and has a crazy-brief trailer which, at least shows us that Alan Cumming is playing King James I. Can’t beat a bit of Cumming!

Synopsis: The Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz arrive in 17th-century Lancashire and become embroiled in a witch tria run by the local landowner. As fear stalks the land, the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the witch hunt. But is there something even more dangerous at work? Can the Doctor and friends keep the people of Bilehurst Cragg safe from all the forces that are massing in the land?

Again, we have a different writer than Chris Chibnall, and it’s Joy Wilkinson, who hasn’t written for Doctor Who before, but is also writing episode 9, It Takes You Away.

The episode is directed by Sallie Aprahamian, who directed episode 4, Arachnids In The UK.

The Witchfinders is broadcast at 6.30pm on BBC1 next Sunday.

Read our review for Kerblam.

Director: Sallie Aprahamian
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Joy Wilkinson
Executive Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens
Music: Segun Akinola

Cast:
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
King James I: Alan Cumming
Becka Savage: Siobhan Finneran
Willa Twiston: Tilly Steele
Old Mother Twiston: Tricia Kelly
Smithy: Arthur Kay
Stavros: Stavros Demetraki

Check out the brand new trailer below along with a look at what police officer Yasmin Khan has on file about the Thijarians from episode six.



Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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