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The Witchfinders was a novelisation based on the 2018 television episode The Witchfinders. It was written by the original writer Joy Wilkinson and released by Target Books on 11 March 2021.

Publisher's summary[]

'I am an expert on witchcraft, Doctor, but I wish to learn more. Before you die, I want answers.'

The TARDIS lands in the Lancashire village of Bilehurst Cragg in the 17th century, and the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz soon become embroiled in a witch trial run by the local landowner. Fear stalks the land, and the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the witch hunt.

But the Doctor soon realises there is something more sinister than paranoia and superstition at work. Tendrils of living mud stir in the ground and the dead lurch back to horrifying life as an evil alien presence begins to revive. The Doctor and her friends must save not only the people of Bilehurst Cragg from the wakening forces, but the entire world.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Dear Doctor
  2. And Justice for All
  3. A Celebration
  4. In the Water
  5. Enter the King
  6. In the Earth
  7. Find the Witch
  8. Dæmonologie
  9. A Golden Thread
  10. Digging in the Dirt
  11. Witchcraft!
  12. Guilt
  13. Failure
  14. Discoveries of Witches
  15. The Trials of a Time Lord
  16. Innocence
  17. What Lies Beneath
  18. Kill Them All
  19. In the Fire
  20. Exit the King
  21. In the Air
  22. No More Witch-Hunts?
  23. I Will Still Be With You

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The story begins by showing the Morax being imprisoned for their war crimes by a race of beings who resemble Cherubs. When the Morax Queen killed one of their number for talking back to her they were condemned to an even worse prison.
  • This is followed by an extra opening sequence of the Doctor and company arriving in the TARDIS and the Doctor trying to convince the others they are in a park in London.
  • The Doctor's (inaccurate) claim that the phrase "Love thy neighbour" originated in the New Testament is removed.
  • The Doctor makes several references to past adventures, such as her history with Elizabeth I.
  • Ryan queries King James using the witches from MacBeth to legitimise his claim to the throne.
  • Becka and Willa's backstories are given. Though she was apparently the granddaughter of Mother Twiston she was really the illegitimate daughter of a woman who lived nearby, who was ironically the first woman she killed for witchcraft, who had asked Mother Twiston to take care of her. She also apparently poisoned her husband to take control of the lands.
  • After the Morax's defeat, the Doctor tells James that if he doesn't stop the witch hunts she won't save him from Guy Fawkes, before explaining to Graham that she can't go back and save Grace.
  • The fate of Willa Twiston after the events of the televised story is revealed, including her incarceration during the later Pendle Hill witch trials of 1634. She is rescued at the hands of the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, and ends up as one of the Three Norns or Fates of mythology alongside Clara Oswald and Ashildr.
  • Before meeting the Doctor, Yaz had been taken to court due to numerous traffic offences and urinating in public.

Writing and publishing notes[]

to be added

Additional cover images[]

to be added


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 11 March 2021 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Sophie Aldred.

External links[]