a real world point of view
|The Witch Hunters|
|Companion(s):||Susan, Ian, Barbara|
|Main enemy:||Reverend Samuel Parris|
|Main setting:||Salem Village, Massachusetts|
11 to 16 January and 29 June to 19 July 1692 and 14 January 1693
Bristol, 9 November 1954
Earth, 8 September 1742
Danvers, Massachusetts, the late 20th century
|Release date:||March 1998|
|Format:||Paperback Book, 279 Pages|
|BBC Past Doctor Adventures|
|Eye of Heaven||The Hollow Men|
The Witch Hunters was the ninth BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel. It featured the First Doctor, Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. It was the first BBC Books novel to feature this line up of Doctor/companions, and the first novel overall since Virgin Publishing's PROSE: The Sorcerer's Apprentice in 1995.
Publisher's summary Edit
The Reverend Samuel Parris, Minister of Salem, follows three strangers in the forest beyond the village — a forest which is traditionally believed to be the source of much evil. He hears movement through the trees, steps forward and makes a terrible discovery. It is one which will change life in Salem forever.
The TARDIS arrives in Salem Village, Massachusetts, 1692. The Doctor wishes to effect repairs to his ship in peace and privacy, and so his companions — Ian, Barbara and Susan — decide to "live history" for a week or so. But the friendships they make are abruptly broken when the Doctor ushers them away, wary of being overtaken by the tragic events he knows will occur.
Upon learning the terrible truth of the Salem witch trials, Susan is desperate to return — at any price. Her actions lead the TARDIS crew into terrible jeopardy, and her latent telepathy threatens to help the tragedy escalate way out of control...
to be added
- First Doctor
- Susan Foreman
- Barbara Wright
- Ian Chesterton
- Rebecca Nurse
- John Proctor
- Elizabeth Proctor
- Reverend Samuel Parris
- While in Salem Village, Barbara and Susan pose as Ian's wife and daughter, Barbara and Susan Chesterton, in order to avoid suspicion. They claim to be from Boston.
- The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan attend a performance of The Crucible by Arthur Miller in Bristol on 9 November 1954.
- In 1954, Barbara was a student teacher in Cricklewood, London, living in a rented room. She briefly considers, although not seriously, getting on a train to London, finding her younger self and telling her what the next nine years have in store for her. Ian recalls that Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time.
- Susan does not share her grandfather's view that it is impossible to change history.
- Ian is not religious.
- Susan appears to have only one heart.
to be added
- Barbara is still upset about her failure to save the Aztecs. (TV: The Aztecs)
- The Doctor uses the alias "Doctor John Smith" twice: when asked his name by Rebecca Nurse (realising that a simple "Doctor" would not do), and when checking in at an inn. He had previously used the alias when living at 76 Totter's Lane, (TV: The Vampires of Venice) but now recalled it merely as a name of the lead signer of a 20th century band, namely John Smith and the Common Men, with whom Susan had been besotted. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
- The Doctor has at least partially fixed the fast return switch, previously broken in TV: The Edge of Destruction. Susan uses it to return to the same place, but approximately five months later. As a result, he decides to disable it permanently.
- Abigail Williams refers to Susan as "an unearthly child." (TV: An Unearthly Child)
- While searching for Susan in the forest outside Salem Village, the Doctor tells Barbara that he is "not a mountain goat." (TV: The Time Meddler)
- The Doctor is afraid of breaking the First Law of Time to the extent that he condemns Rebecca Nurse to death. This is a far cry from his later behaviour in TV: The Waters of Mars when he attempts to rewrite history by saving three people from certain death.
- The Doctor's fourth visit to Salem was granted to him by Rassilon, after the events of TV: The Five Doctors, to allow him to deal with unfinished business before his first incarnation ended.
- Abigail Williams accurately predicts that Susan will marry a "fighting man." (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, AUDIO: An Earthly Child)
- There are references to the Daleks, Skaro and the TARDIS' fault locator, (TV: The Daleks) Marinus and the Voord, (TV: The Keys of Marinus) the Sense Sphere, (TV: The Sensorites) and Ian and Barbara's experiences during the French Revolution in 1794. (TV: The Reign of Terror)
- The older Doctor uses the alias "Benjamin Jackson." (TV: The War Machines)
- The older Doctor recalls leaving Susan behind in the aftermath of the Dalek occupation of Earth in the 22nd century (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) and Ian and Barbara's subsequent departure from the TARDIS. (TV: The Chase)
- The Thief of Sherwood ends with the Doctor detecting a build up of space pressure. As this book's rear cover states it takes place between the television stories TV: The Reign of Terror and Planet of Giants, which have themes of changes in pressure in relation to the TARDIS, this is a logical placement.
- The Witch Hunters at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Witch Hunters at The Whoniverse