Jamie Mccrimmon as in The Tomb of the Cybermen
Played by: Frazer Hines
Tenure 17 December 1966–21 June 1969
First appearance The Highlanders (regular)
Last appearance The Five Doctors (guest)
Last appearance The Two Doctors (guest)
Number of series 3
Appearances 22 stories
click on images to enlarge
Biography thanks to TARDIS Wikia
James Robert “Jamie” McCrimmon was a Highland Scotfrom the mid-18th century who travelled with the Second Doctor, Polly, Ben, Victoria and Zoe. He also had a couple of adventures with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (The Web of Fear, The Invasion) as well as the Sixth Doctor and Peri (The Two Doctors, The World Shapers).
Jamie travelled in the TARDIS for most of the Doctor’s second incarnation. His journeys through time and space began not long after the Doctor’s first regeneration (The Tenth Planet) and continued until the Time Lords sentenced the Doctor to exile on Earth. Jamie was returned to 18th century Scotland by the Time Lords, with the memory of all but his first adventure with the Doctor erased. (The War Games)
Whether the Time Lords’ memory removal actually held was not well understood. It was posited that he travelled alone with the Second Doctor (Invasion of the Quarks) and that he did so when he was clearly middle-aged (The Two Doctors) — neither of which happened prior to his Time Lord-enforced return to Scotland. By 1788, the second mindwipe was still intact and he then chose to forget again in possibly a third mindwipe. (The Glorious Revolution) Another account held that as an old man he had overcome the mindwipe, as the Time Lords held an imperfect understanding of the human mind. This was prior to having an adventure with the Sixth Doctor in which he gave his life saving the Universe from Cybermen. (The World Shapers)
Jamie was born in 1724 to Donald McCrimmon. (Shadow of Death)
Jamie learned to play the chanter at his father’s knee from an early age and became a talented piper like his father and grandfather before him. (The Highlanders) He grew up with his father and brothers, and they did some farming. He idolised Scottish heroes such as William Wallace. (On a Pedestal)
Jamie and his father used to go grouse hunting in the Highlands. (The Nameless City)
Jamie, then 22 years old (Shadow of Death), first met the Second Doctor in the aftermath of the English defeat of the Jacobite Rebellion at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746, when he was a piper for the Clan McLaren. Jamie and his fellow Highlanders faced being hung, butchered by the Duke of Cumberland or sold into unsurvivable seven-year servitude on the plantations in the West Indies. After escaping the gallows, an unsure Jamie was urged to follow the Doctor, Ben and Polly into the mysterious TARDIS. (The Highlanders)
Separated from the Doctor in 71 BC, Jamie, Polly and Ben found themselves in the company of Spartacus in Bruttium. Jamie, having early on blocked Polly’s view of corpses in a torched villa, reacted with weariness to the cause to free slaves from the Roman Empire (a cause which similarly ended in defeat with the rebels being crucified by Pompey). Surprisingly, he simply wanted to get back to the TARDIS. However, he helped against Crassus and protected his fellow companions. (The Slave War)
Jamie tried to understand his new experiences in terms of his life in 1746. When he encountered a Cyberman whilst on his sick bed on the Moonbase, he believed that it was his clan’s legend of the Phantom Piper and he was dying. (The Moonbase) This natural acceptance and a desire to rationalise things helped Jamie grasp the worlds he saw aeroplanes at Gatwick Airport were “flying beasties” to him. He was fascinated by them and by the airport and stole a ticket from Samantha Briggs so he could take a flight. Unfortunately, having never experienced anything like it, he got airsick. A Chameleon, who spoke with an English rather than Scots accent, assumed Jamie’s form during this adventure. (The Faceless Ones)
Shortly after, in an adventure involving the Daleks and their quest for the human Factor, the Doctor’s manipulation of those around him caused Jamie to decide to have nothing more to do with him; he thought the Doctor was working with the Daleks to save his own skin. However, it was really manipulation by the Doctor to anger Jamie so that he’d stop at nothing to rescue the young Victoria from her captivity by the Daleks. When the humanised Daleks and regular Daleks had destroyed each other, and with her father, a Dalek collaborator, having sacrificed himself to save the Doctor, the Doctor and Jamie “adopted” the orphaned Victoria. (The Evil of the Daleks)
Jamie attempted to infiltrate the corrupt Salamander’s government. (The Enemy of the World)
Jamie evidenced strong, unspoken feelings for Victoria, which often showed themselves in his teasing her about her new, more revealing clothes. (The Ice Warriors) While undercover in Salamander’s guard, Jamie and Victoria posed as boyfriend and girlfriend. (The Enemy of the World) He showed bursts of bravery and bravado directed at anyone who would harm her. When thinking something had happened to the unconscious Victoria, he worriedly exclaimed that he’d never forgive himself if anything happened to her. He got angry when he thought she had tricked him and had heard his emotional outburst. Jamie was upset when Victoria stated her intention to stay with the Harrises and tried to get her to change her mind and stay with the Doctor and him. Although he never admitted his feelings for her, during their goodbye, he left her with a kiss. When the Doctor and Jamie left in the TARDIS, he watched Victoria waving goodbye on the scanner and said he couldn’t care less where they went. (Fury from the Deep)
While on the Wheel, which was being attacked by Cybermen and Cybermats, Jamie gave the Doctor his oft-used “John Smith” alias. At the conclusion of this adventure, Zoe Heriot joined the Doctor and Jamie. (The Wheel in Space) Jamie got along with her very well, despite her teasing him for his intelligence, even though Zoe came from a 21st century background very much unlike his own. In the Land of Fiction, Jamie temporarily changed into a different youth of the same age when the Doctor failed to put together his facial features correctly in a test. (The Mind Robber)
When Zoe and Isobel Watkins were abducted by Tobias Vaughn, the Doctor and Jamie investigated him and evaded Packer, whom Jamie tackled to the ground. Jamie was pleased to have been given a small radio and didn’t want the Doctor to break it when he suspected the gift. The Doctor and “the boy” were recognised by U.N.I.T.’s former Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, now promoted to Brigadier, from their meeting during the Yeti attack in the London Underground four years prior (though a shorter time from the Doctor and Jamie’s perspective). (The Web of Fear) Jamie’s leg was injured by a Cyberman’s grip while climbing out of the sewers where he and the girls had gone to photograph the Cyberman. After a stay in the hospital, Jamie left with the Doctor and Zoe to stunned surprise at the sight of the appearing and disappearing TARDIS. (The Invasion)
A RELUCTANT FAREWELL
When the Doctor asked the Time Lords to intercede to return the victims of the War Lords, Jamie desperately urged the Doctor to escape his sentencing in the TARDIS, but submitted when they could not, promising to never forget the Doctor. A tribunal of Time Lords told the Doctor that they would return Zoe and Jamie to their homes. They would also alter Zoe and Jamie’s memories, allowing them to only remember their first adventures with the Doctor, but not their travels with the Doctor in the TARDIS. The Doctor watched Jamie, now back in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden, come to the momentarily confused realisation of where he was. Jamie was fired at by a Redcoat, whom he then ran after with a sword, proudly yelling, “Creag an tuirc!” for the Clan McCrimmon. (The War Games)
The Doctor undertook a mission for the Time Lords and blackmailed them into having Jamie by his side. The Time Lords consented, altering Jamie’s memories to make him believe that he was still travelling with the Doctor and Victoria, who had in fact left the TARDIS to live out the rest of her life on Earth. (World Game)
Jamie accompanied the Doctor on a diplomatic mission to Space Station Chimera. Here, Jamie believed he saw the Doctor killed in a massacre by Sontarans. The Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown appeared, causing the now-feral Jamie, who had taken to living in crawl spaces, to attack Peri. Subsequently, Jamie helped to rescue “his” Doctor, who had not died and had been taken to Seville, Spain in 1985. Jamie spent much of his time evading and being captured by Shockeye, who planned to eat him. When this adventure had concluded, Jamie left with the Doctor in the TARDIS, intending to someday rejoin Victoria, whom he had been told was studying graphology. (The Two Doctors)
Jamie later experienced the events with a murderous songstress named Mindy Voyeur and the Doctor shunting Helicon Prime back into the Golden Section. (Helicon Prime)
He was temporarily left in 1967, where he began working at a Scottish radar station. He assisted the Doctor in battles against the ruthless Quarks (Invasion of the Quarks, Jungle of Doom), giant wasps (The Killer Wasps) and other creatures.
He was later deposited back in the Scottish Highlands, his memories altered once more by the Time Lords.
Jamie went on to marry Kirsty McLaren and they had “more bairns than there are days in the week”, with numerous grandchildren by 1788. In order to correct a mistake that was made in 1688, where Jamie tried to help King James II and ensure a victorious future for Scotland and Bonnie Prince Charlie, a visitor from the CIA came to help alter history back to its original course. However, Jamie chose to once again forget the memories of his adventures with the Doctor that were brought back, as he and Kirsty had a good life together. (The Glorious Revolution)
While out on the moors, Jamie appeared to have been struck by lightning on a bright, clear day. The men who found him noted that the heather around him had been dotted with flame and that his head had been smoking. Nurse Muir watched over him, with him only remembering her bandaging his head when he was first brought in seemingly days earlier. He began to remember travelling in the TARDIS with the Doctor, including the incident on Helicon Prime, and told the nurse of his adventure. The nurse was revealed to be Mindy Voir, who wanted the Fennus treasure from him, as he had the knotted pendant that was stolen by the Doctor. She began to sing with her deadly voice. As he began to unwind the knot, voices whispered to him from within it. Mindy became trapped inside the pendant when he finally undid the knot. When Jamie awoke, he knew his identity, but did not know how he came to be under the bed in the wrecked, burnt room. (Helicon Prime)
THE DEATH OF JAMIE
When the Sixth Doctor next met him, he had miscalculated and arrived forty years later than he had intended to. Jamie lived as an elderly pariah in his village and lamented that the Doctor shouldn’t have had to see him as an old man. Jamie had managed to retain memories of his travels using tricks the Doctor had taught him and because the Time Lords had a less-than-perfect understanding of the human mind.
After he told others about them, the locals believed his wartime experiences had driven him slightly mad. Jamie vindicated himself by vanishing in the TARDIS before the whole village sand then helped the Doctor, Peri and Frobisher fight the Cybermen on Marinus. He saved the universe using his sword to destroy the Worldshaper device; this let out a blast that aged him to death. (The World Shapers)
- Donald McCrimmon (ancestor, 13th century)
- Ewan McCrimmon (ancestor, 13th century)
- Paternal grandfather (piper)
- Donald McCrimmon (father, piper)
- Duncan (uncle)
- Old Granny McLaren (grandmother-in-law)
- Colin McLaren (father-in-law, Laird)
- Alexander McLaren (brother-in-law)
- Kirsty McLaren (wife)
- At least eight children and numerous grandchildren by 1788
- A female descendant c. 1815 who carried Jamie’s Vortex radiation, which trapped the Mozhtratta in the family chromosomes (C: The Chromosome Connection, Dead-line)
- Heather McCrimmon (descendant)
A version of Jamie appeared in a “hellscape” dream the Eleventh Doctor created while the mind parasite Mr Waites fed off the worst thing Doctor could imagine. In the dream, the Doctor worked in the Mediation Sector of the Department of Commonality. He turned away Jamie when he was to be sent to a work camp. The Doctor said it was above his authority. (John Smith and the Common Men)
BEHIND THE SCENES
- McCrimmon is the anglicised form of the Gaelic Mac Ruimein “son of Ruimen”, which is the Gaelic form of the Old Norse personal name Hroðmundr, composed of hród “fame” + mundr “protection”. This was the name of a famous family of pipers for the Clan MacLeod.
- Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines met in 1964 on the set of Smuggler’s Bay (also wiped by the BBC), during which Patrick recalled Frazer injuring his hand through a pane of glass and mentioned it to him when they reunited on The Highlanders. Patrick and Frazer were friends in real life and were known for indulging in innuendo and playing practical jokes, usually on their female co-stars, on set and during rehearsals.
- Jamie was never intended to become a companion, but the production liked the actor and rewrote the ending of The Highlanders to bring Jamie aboard the TARDIS (he originally departed aboard the Annabelle). Jamie’s original Highlander accent was deemed unsuitable (a bit monotone) for a continuing companion and was changed to a “television Scots” accent, although Frazer could do both.
- Frazer said he played the part as if he had fallen in love with Victoria, though no admittance of this was ever spoken on-screen.
- Hamish Wilson briefly replaced Frazer Hines during The Mind Robber.
- During the making of The Mind Robber, Frazer caught chicken pox from his nephew. Hamish Wilson, who looked very unlike him, filled in for him. The justification for this formed part of the plot of the story. A persistent myth (debunked by the episode notes) describes the latter actor as Frazer’s cousin. However, Frazer’s brother, Ian Hines, has a small role in the story as one of the Clockwork Soldiers.
- Jamie was to depart in a Season 6 story called The Laird of McCrimmon, which would have been set in 18th century Scotland and seen the return of the Great Intelligence and the Yeti. However, this was never made due to a dispute between the BBC and Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, the creators of the Intelligence and the Yeti, over the rights to the Quarks. Frazer’s agent wanted him to leave the show, but Patrick persuaded Frazer, who was reluctant to leave, that they would depart together.
- Jamie was the first (and for many years, only) television companion to appear in the comic strips.
- Jamie was the first established TV companion to be killed off in licensed spin-off media.
- Jamie would have had a cameo in The Three Doctors, except that Frazer had a prior work commitment onEmmerdale Farm. The show also prevented Frazer from having more than two days off to film his cameo in The Five Doctors. Had he been available, Jamie would have been the Second Doctor‘s designated companion instead of the Brigadier. It was seeing Patrick and Frazer reunite that inspired John Nathan-Turner to bring them back for The Two Doctors.
- American author Diana Gabaldon was inspired to create the Outlander series after watching an episode of Doctor Who on PBS. The episode in question was from The War Games. Gabaldon set her story in Scotland and included a highlander named Jamie Fraser as a main character. Despite rumors, the surname Fraser was not suggested by the name of the actor playing Jamie, Frazer Hines. It is a coincidence.
- Frazer Hines was recently visiting the TARDIS set with Peter Capaldi
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