The Witch Hunters was the ninth novel in the BBC Past Doctor Adventures series. It was written by Steve Lyons, released 2 March 1998 and featured the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Susan Foreman.
1998 BBC Books Edition
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...
2015 BBC Books Edition
With the Doctor wanting to repair the TARDIS in peace and quiet, Barbara, Ian and Susan decide to get some experience of living in the nearby village of Salem. But the Doctor knows about the horrors destined to engulf the village and determines that they should leave.
His friends are not impressed. His granddaughter Susan has her own ideas, and is desperate to return, whatever the cost. But perhaps the Doctor was right. Perhaps Susan's actions will lead them all into terrible danger and cause the tragedy that is already unfolding to escalate out of control.
to be added
- First Doctor
- Susan Foreman
- Barbara Wright
- Ian Chesterton
- Rebecca Nurse
- Francis Nurse
- John Proctor
- Elizabeth Proctor
- Reverend Samuel Parris
- Abigail Williams
- Mary Warren
- Ann Putnam Senior
- Ann Putnam Junior
- Thomas Putnam
- Mary Williams
- Cotton Mather
- Governor Phips
- While in Salem Village, Barbara and Susan pose as Ian's wife and daughter and claim to be from Boston.
- The Doctor 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. Ian recalls that Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time.
- Susan appears to have only one heart.
- The home video reconstruction segments of The Crusade, released one year after The Witch Hunters, make reference to the events of this story.
- The novel was reprinted as part of The History Collection in February 2015, with a new cover and introduction by Lyons.
- This story is set between The Reign of Terror and Planet of Giants, and after The Five Doctors for the future First Doctor.
- Barbara is still upset about her failure to save the Aztecs in Mexico in the 15th century. (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 singer 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. (TV: The Edge of Destruction)
- 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 when he attempts to rewrite history by saving three people from certain death. (TV: The Waters of Mars)
- The Doctor's fourth visit to Salem was granted to him by Rassilon to allow him to deal with unfinished business before his first incarnation ended. (TV: The Five Doctors)
- 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)
- Susan claims she has "attended religious ceremonies before, on several worlds", and at the best of them was "bolstered by the joy and love of the worshippers, even though she had not shared their faith." The Eleventh Doctor was familiar with the impressive religious ceremonies on Akhaten and told Clara Oswald that he had not visited the planet since his trip with Susan. (TV: The Rings of Akhaten)
- Susan's telepathic abilities gained from the Sensorites (TV: The Sensorites) continue to develop. This revelation was made to the TARDIS crew after they left the Sense Sphere and landed on the Endeavour, bound to discover Australia in 1770. (AUDIO: The Transit of Venus)
Additional cover images
- This novel was released as an audiobook on 7 January 2016 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by David Collings.
- Official The Witch Hunters page at Penguin Books
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Witch Hunters at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: The Witch Hunters