‘Doctor Who’ 11×08 Review: “The Witchfinders”

Doctor Who‘s “The Witchfinders” proved once again that fear is a powerful motivator and tool in the hands of those with an agenda. It takes bravery, the ability to listen even when you’re scared, and the guiding hand of someone like the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham to set things right.

This episode also saw the Doctor having to deal with the continued doubts when it comes to her abilities now that she’s a woman. Sure, she’s been doubted before when she was a bloke, but not like this. Being a woman changes things and I’m glad that Doctor Who is taking the time to address that.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into Doctor Who‘s “The Witchfinders”!

Fear is a Powerful Thing


Fear is a dangerous thing. It turns family and friends against each other. It preys on ones insecurities and worries, and makes us question what we know. It turns us all about. And the moment that someone grabs a hold of that fear and uses it for their own purposes, well, that’s when you’re truly fucked.

I can’t help see our world today, reflected in this episode. And before anyone says that bringing politics into something like Doctor Who is boring and unwarranted, it’s like you’ve never watched an actual episode of this show. The real world implications of what is happening to the people watching Doctor Who, has always made it into the stories and adventures the Doctor goes on.

So suck it up, or piss off.

Like I was saying, real world implications. I look at what happened in “The Witchfinders” and I see scared people that would rather point fingers and take up the first possible explanation for what is happening instead of doing a bit of research of their own. I see people giving up, giving in, and joining a mad rush of hate and fear.

I see what’s happening right now across the U.S. southern border with Mexico, in this episode. Right now, fear is being used to shake our certainty and security. We are being told that these are murders, rapists, and terrorists trying to get into our country instead of the reality that these are poor, scared, and homeless people who just want a better life.

It’s thanks to shows like Doctor Who that we get a little perspective on the world around us. We shouldn’t let fear stop us from trying to understand that mothers and fathers are just trying to protect their children from death, poverty, and a life of continued struggling. Fear, especially fear from the orange in the White House, stops us from learning about the world around us, how we can help it, and who shares space on this place known as Earth.

Fear isn’t going to stop me. Fear didn’t stop the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, or Graham. Will you let fear stop you? Will you let fear stop others? Or will you be like the Doctor and his fam and stand up for what’s right? I pray and hope that it’s the latter of the two.

The Doctor Learning What It Means to Be a Woman


You would think that an alien like the Doctor would have learned everything in this world and have nothing truly surprise her. But then you experience episodes like “The Witchfinders” and you’re reminded that this Doctor is a woman and maybe she’s never experienced this kind of doubt at her abilities just because she looks like a female.

It’s proof that the Doctor continues learning, no matter what regeneration she’s in, and that being a woman is not something that will be overlooked. The Doctor’s main struggles of saving the world are here and not going anywhere. But she’s now got a new set of struggles that she’s never experienced before and that male viewers have never even thought about, experienced, or seen their Doctor go through.

That’s where I feel a bit of hesitation when it comes to male viewers and their acceptance of Jodie Whittaker being the Doctor. They have lived in a world where the greatest champion of the universe has looked like them. Now that she’s a woman, and she’s going through struggles that we understand as ladies, it throws male viewers off. They can’t even fathom the Doctor having her abilities questioned. And instead of going, “That is proper fucked up. The Doctor is capable AF,” I’ve seen male viewers brush Jodie Whittakers’s Doctor off like she didn’t matter because she wasn’t like them and they couldn’t relate.

What a thought, what a fucking privilege to have, that men get pissed off and claim to never watch this show again, because it’s showing an experience other than their own. The male experience, view, and journey when it comes to the Doctor has been around for decades. As female viewers we’ve had to sit down and just take it, understand, and cheer on our Doctor no matter if he/she was a man or woman.

Now it’s your turn, male viewers. Suck it up, sit down, and learn something new about the kind of media that we as women have had to just “take” because it was the only thing available to us.

The world is changing and the future is most certainly female.

Random Thoughts from “The Witchfinders”:

  1. Doctor Who really has upped it’s creepy factor this season. Last week it was the Kerblam! Man and now reanimated suspected witches? Oh hell no. Too creepy and definitely what some people will dress up as for San Diego Comic Con 2018.
  2. Research spiral on the homosexual tendencies of King James I legit happened on my part. It was worth it and you should look it up too!
  3. Is that really how they tested if you were a witch? Strapped you to a tree and dunked you in the river? I always just imagined they chucked you in the water and sent someone after you when time was up. This makes way more sense.
  4. Having festivities on the same day that they were going to kill a witch, was meant to turn these deaths into a spectacle. It made it normal, like something that people shouldn’t question because they were being awarded with apples and a festival. It’s sick and all sorts of messed up.

Favorite Moment from “The Witchfinders”:



Check out the trailer for next week’s Doctor Who titled “It Takes You Away”:

Doctor Who airs Sundays at 8/7c on BBC America.

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