New Doctor Who Season 11 Photos Show Off Alan Cumming’s King James

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This weekend’s episode of Doctor Who season 11 features perhaps the most famous guest star of the run in the form of Alan Cumming – who once turned down the part of the Doctor himself, don’t you know? He’ll be playing the role of King James I in episode 8, titled “The Witchfinders,” and thanks to TV Line, we now have a fresh glimpse of him in character in the stills below, as well as one that teases what Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord will get up to in the upcoming installment.

Of course, “The Witchfinders” is also notable for being the first outing of the modern series of Who to be both written and directed by women – in this case, writer Joy Wilkinson and director Sallie Aprahamian. Plot details are scarce, but from what we’ve been told so far, the story will take the TARDIS to 17th century Lancashire – specifically, the village of Bilehurst Cragg – where a witch hunt’s brewing. Strange forces are at work in the town, to be sure, but we’re willing to bet that there’s a more sci-fi explanation than crones and cauldrons.

The episode will draw on James’ real-life obsession with witchcraft as well. In fact, he literally wrote the book on it in the form of Daemonologie, a study of the dark forces he believed to be plaguing his country. He did genuinely attend witch trials himself, too, so Doctor Who isn’t taking any historical liberties in that respect by dropping him into the action.

In one of the images above, the Doctor seems to be admonishing a couple of witch hunters while dripping wet. There’s two likely reasons for this. One is that she’s just dived into rescue a woman accused of being a witch from drowning. Or, maybe she was the woman accused of being a witch and survived. It’s probably the latter, given that the Doctor’s gadgets and knowledge of future times would look like magic to medieval folk.

Unless you were one of those lucky enough to catch the Amazon Prime leak of the episode earlier today, you’ll have to watch Doctor Who 9×08 “The Witchfinders” this Sunday, November 25th on BBC One/America.

Source: TV Line

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