The Witchfinders

There was far more to the dark recesses of religious fanaticism and patriarchal atrocities than what we normally associate with Salem, Massachusetts. When the Doctor stands — quite literally — at the water’s edge of one of these shameful points in history, there’s no question that any policy of non-interference will get quickly tossed aside. Into the mud, as it were.

This week, we get another invaluable history lesson from Team TARDIS in the eighth installment of Series 11, “The Witchfinders”. Alan Cumming guest stars in the role of King James I, but despite his ability to portray some of the most compelling villains on stage and screen, the true adversary is far below the king. Somewhere around foot level. We discuss the historical accuracy and present social significance of this story, and how it fits into the series’ thematic tableau to date.

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