This is the episode I’ve been looking forward to the most, we go back to Witch Trials and meet King James in his hunt to bring down Satan. With the wonderful Alan Cumming and Siobhan Finneran guest starring I have high expectations.
Whilst the Doctor now being a female has been mentioned a few times there hasn’t been that many times that it has really been a plot point in the episodes but in this one it became a really interesting plot point.
I really liked the different dynamics having a female Doctor in a point of time like this gave us, instead of being allowed to snoop around and do her thing she was laughed at by the King and proclaimed a witch for the very things that every single reincarnation of the Doctor does. She was still able to save the day but the every day things that the Doctor usually does became extremely dangerous for her in this episode.
Jodie Whittaker played it perfectly, not getting angry or upset by the accusations but exasperated in the face of the unjust way she’s treated just for changing sex in her last regeneration. Her interactions with Becka and King James were kind not full of annoyance or anger just trying to talk sense into scared people. A much more level head then some of her previous regeneration’s in a much more dangerous predicament then some that saw them lose their tempers. She had something she had to solve and was faced with people she wanted to save no matter what it was they were doing to her and she faced them with calm and understanding even though they might not deserve it.
If I look at the story it wasn’t the most exciting of stories that could be told in times of apparent witches and witch trials. A alien species locked in a underground prison who were freed and were looking to take over, the takeover being quickly ended by the Doctor when she figures out what happened.
It really was the characters in this one that made it so good and maybe I’m just biased because I love Alan Cumming and Siobhan Finneran so much but they made the episode for me.
Honestly I can’t believe how much I loved Alan Cumming as King James. I knew I was going to love his character no matter what but he was just so overly camp, hiding a pain that he didn’t really want anyone to see and charging into dangerous situations for silly reasons. Everything about him was hilarious but also so fascinating. I loved his bond with Ryan and the fact that they could have a bit of a laugh with each other. He seriously was such a fun character. Siobhan Finneran was the polar opposite, her character Becka hid a horrible truth and whilst at times you might have hand waved away her attitude as being of the times and honestly doing her best to protect her village in a time when people believed in witches and really believed them to be a threat in the end she ended up being as horrible as she came across.
I mean nothing would have happened if Becka hadn’t tired to cut down a tree purely because it was getting in the way of her view.
Really loving all the historic episodes, all of them so far have had really different feels to them and this was much more the old fashioned fun, camp romp with historical characters. It was a great episode and like the last one didn’t try and force any character development between the companions giving them time to have little moments with the guest characters and each other without needing to be reminded that Ryan doesn’t really except Graham yet.
This series really looks to be one of the best since Doctor Who returned.