The Witch Hunters
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…
- The Witch Hunters was the ninth BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel. It featured the First Doctor, Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. It was the first BBC Books novel to feature this line up of Doctor/companions, and the first novel overall since Virgin Publishing’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in 1995.
- Barbara is still upset about her failure to save the Aztecs in Mexico in the 15th century. (The Aztecs)
- The Doctor uses the alias “Doctor John Smith” twice: when asked his name by 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, (The Vampires of Venice) but now recalled it merely as a name of the lead signer of a 20th century band, namely John Smith and the Common Men, with whom Susan had been besotted. (An Unearthly Child)
- 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. (The Five Doctors)
- The Doctor has at least partially fixed the fast return switch. (The Edge of Destruction)
- Abigail Williams refers to Susan as “an unearthly child.” (An Unearthly Child)
- While searching for Susan in the forest outside Salem Village, the Doctor tells Barbara that he is “not a mountain goat.” (The Time Meddler)
- The older Doctor uses the alias “Benjamin Jackson.” (The War Machines)
- Abigail Williams accurately predicts that Susan will marry a “fighting man.” (The Dalek Invasion of Earth: An Earthly Child)
- 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. (The Waters of Mars)