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The Witching Hour

The co-writer of White Witch of Devil’s End, a new DVD sequel to the 1971 classic The Dæmons, explains how the ambitious project came about.

There’s something indefinable about the 1971 Jon Pertwee adventure The Dæmons, which pits the Third Doctor, Jo Grant and UNIT against the Master and an alien superpower called Azal. The heady blend of magic and science which infuses the story, together with a giant devil-like adversary and a scampering stone gargoyle called Bok, occupies a cherished place in Doctor Who’s history.

Among the characters in the village of Devil’s End, where the story is set, one remains particularly memorable – Olive Hawthorne, the local white witch. As brought to life by actress Damaris Hayman, Olive was a feisty and likable character that audiences found hugely appealing. “It was a cracking good part,” says Damaris today. “They had to work it out, to keep the story in the Doctor Who format – giving it a science element rather than it all being really magic.

Olive Hawthorne (Damaris Hayman) reaches for protection from the Reverend Magister (Roger Delgado) in Episode One of The Dæmons (1971).

“I’d always been interested in the supernatural and witchcraft,” she continues. “As a child I lived in Lancashire, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, and my father’s first wife’s family lived not very far from us. They had a house which was built on the site where the Pendle witches used to meet. When the house was originally built they included an iron cross in it, but Grandfather Hartley said, ‘Oh nonsense.’ He took it out and sold it to a museum. Things went disastrously wrong for the family from that moment on. His sons were killed in the war, his daughter – who was my father’s first wife – died young. He lost a leg. Just one thing after another.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

THE TENTH DOCTOR AND ROSE ARE BACK! ISSUE 518 OF DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE CHATS EXCLUSIVELY TO DAVID TENNANT AND BILLIE PIPER Over a decade on from their time together in the TARDIS, David Tennant and Billie Piper are back for a series of Doctor Who audio adventures featuring the Tenth Doctor and Rose... “An audio recording’s very different to filming a bit of TV – but the vibe is the same, and the characters are the same.” (David Tennant) “It’s like when you hang out with an old friend who you haven’t seen for years, and then loads of stuff has happened between you, but it’s sort of just like you’re immediately there again. I love it.” (Billie Piper) ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE… MATT LUCAS We talk to Matt Lucas about his new autobiography, which he wrote while playing Nardole in the latest series of Doctor Who. CAMILLE CODURI Camille Coduri, who played Jackie Tyler, tells us what it’s like to be reunited with David Tennant and Billie Piper for more Doctor Who audio adventures. SYLVESTER McCOY In the second part of our interview, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy reflects on Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary and looks forward to the show’s future. WHITE WITCH OF DEVIL’S END We meet the people behind a DVD sequel to the classic 1971 story The Dæmons. BOX OF DELIGHTS An interview with Paul Foden, the fan whose home-made TARDIS recently appeared on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces: Shed of the Year. MATILDUS A brand-new comic strip adventure for the Doctor and Bill in Matildus, written and illustrated by Scott Gray. THE TIME TEAM The Time Team continues its mission to watch every episode of Doctor Who with 2011’s The Rebel Flesh. PLUS... Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher’s column, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!