James VI of Scotland, later James I of the United Kingdom, succeeded Elizabeth I in 1603 and continued her Protestant reforms. (PROSE: The Dying Days, Birthright)

Biography Edit

Before becoming king of England, James was king of Scotland. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

Succeeding Elizabeth I as king of England, (PROSE: Birthright) James was crowned in July 1603. Sir John Lethbridge was present at the coronation. He spent weeks afterwards describing the spectacle to his children Peter and Mary. Mary would later marry James' advisor, William. (PROSE: The Soothsayer) James' succession united the kingdoms of Scotland and England, forming the United Kingdom. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

According to the Eighth Doctor, his accent was so thick, members of his new English court required a translator. A close advisor to the new king was William Lethbridge-Stewart, an ancestor of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. (PROSE: The Dying Days, Birthright)

Over his reign, James granted Royal Charters for various organisations such as universities. One of those universities included the institution that later became St Luke's University. (PROSE: Girl Power!)

An influential version of the Bible was ordered by him, and eventually bore his name. The First Doctor and Vicki Pallister once passed by the room where the translators were busy working on what would become the King James Bible. According to Barbara Wright, James' rule was characterised by relative religious tolerance. Though a staunch Protestant, he discouraged persecution of Catholics. Barbara claimed that he realised that "to govern well it made sense to unify people rather than drive them apart."

For a brief time, the TARDIS came into James' possession, but he was mostly annoyed by it, calling it a "wooden puzzle box" because he and his courtiers could not gain entrance to it. In the end, he entreated the Doctor to perform an exorcism upon it, just to ensure it was not possessed of evil spirits. The Doctor agreed, and performed an elaborate ceremony at the Guildhall in London. During the middle of this ceremony, eagerly attended by James, the Doctor and his three companions entered the TARDIS and dematerialised. (PROSE: The Plotters)

On 5 November 1605, Guy Fawkes and other Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill James and his sons, Henry and Charles, installing his daughter Elizabeth as a puppet queen, in what was known as the Gunpowder Plot. The attempt was thwarted by James's men (GAME: The Gunpowder Plot) and Fawkes's failure was celebrated every year as Bonfire Night. (PROSE: The Night After Hallowe'en)

In 1609, James attended one of William Shakespeare's plays at the Globe Theatre. Shakespeare, having returned from Venice, attempted to inform James about wild alien technologies he had discovered. The First Doctor and Vicki, however, distracted the King by performing the play on the stage while Shakespeare was stopped. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)

At some point in the during his rule, James visited Bilehurst Cragg to witness the witch hunts lead by Becka Savage. There, he met the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions, Ryan Sinclair, Graham O'Brien and Yasmin Khan. He immediately took a liking to Ryan, finding himself attracted to the "Nubian prince", and granted him a pendant to ward off evils. He was suspicious of the Doctor. After one of his men was killed by the Morax, he began to believe she was actually a witch and, at Savage's suggestions, had her tried by drowning. However, she escaped her bindings and revealed Becca's possession, who kidnapped James to be possessed by their king. Saved by the Doctor, her companions and Willa Twiston, he killed Savage and the Morax Queen inside her by lighting it on fire; an action that angered the Doctor. Before they left, he asked for Ryan to accompany him back to London and become his personal guard, though he was politely refused and given back his pendant. (TV: The Witchfinders)

Upon his death in 1625, he was succeeded by his son Charles I, who ruled England, Ireland and Scotland until his execution on 30 January 1649. (PROSE: The Roundheads) More than sixty years after James I's death, his grandson James II was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution in November 1688. (AUDIO: The Glorious Revolution)

In the late 2010s, the Twelfth Doctor thwarted a plot by Missy to prevent the reign of James I so he would not have created the charter for St Luke's University, thereby preventing her imprisonment in the Vault. (PROSE: Girl Power!)

Behind the scenes Edit

  • In the real world, there's some question as to whether the title James I of the United Kingdom would be appropriate, since the United Kingdom was not technically formed until 1707, almost 82 years after James' death. He is most often styled, James I of England and James VI of Scotland. However, the Eighth Doctor specifically calls him James I of the United Kingdom in The Dying Days. However, due to it being the Doctor calling him that, because he has access to all time/space knowledge, the usage of the title is vague.
  • James I's obvious attraction to Ryan Sinclair in The Witchfinders is based in real-world scholarly speculation that King James was attracted to men, as either gay or bisexual. In particular, he's generally understood to have been in an intimate relationship with George Villiers.[1] Historians Bucholz and Key noted that, in the debate about King James' sexuality, it is certainly clear that he "preferred the company of handsome young men".[2][3]
  • According to The Brilliant Book 2012, a book that contains non-narrative based information, James encountered the Eleventh Doctor's companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams, on their honeymoon in 1605. Because the Tenth Doctor had taken the virginity of his cousin and predecessor Elizabeth I, he tried to have them arrested and thrown in the Tower of London after Rory told him of their friendship with the Doctor.
  • True to his depiction in The Witchfinders (albeit somewhat exaggerated), James I expressed a strong interest in the paranormal and supernatural, having written a dissertation on the subject that later became a book titled Daemonologie in 1597, six years before he became King of England.
  • He was portrayed by Alfred Lynch in Churchill's People, Bill Paterson in Life of Shakespeare, Hugh Ross in God's Frontiersmen, Jonathan Pryce in The New World and Derek Riddell in Gunpowder.

Footnotes Edit

  1. Filled with 'a number of male lovelies': the surprising court of King James VI and I. BBC Scotland (27 September 2017). Retrieved on 27 November 2018.
  2. Jeffery, Morgan (25 November 2018). Doctor Who series 11, episode 8: Will Alan Cumming's King James I return? And 7 more HUGE questions. Digital Spy. Retrieved on 27 November 2018.
  3. Bucholz, R. and Key, N. (2013). Early Modern England 1485-1714: A Narrative History. Chicester: Wiley.
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