Doctor Who Companion Profile: Jamie McCrimmon

Frazer Hines as Doctor Who Companion Jamie McCrimmon

Frazer Hines as Doctor Who Companion Jamie McCrimmon

Jamie McCrimmon

Portrayed by: Frazer Hines

Doctor(s): Second Doctor

Tenure: 20 stories (116 episodes), from The Highlanders (Dec, 1966) to The War Games (June, 1969)

Background: Jamie is a Scottish highlander, a piper for Clan McLaren, who meets the Doctor, Ben, and Polly in the aftermath of a battle with the English. He decides to join them in the TARDIS after their adventure, remaining vocal about and extremely proud of his heritage throughout his journeys with the Doctor.

Family/Friends: We meet some of Jamie’s compatriots in battle in his first story, The Highlanders, but they’re rarely if ever mentioned afterwards.

Personality: Jamie is a fun-loving, lighthearted young man with an eye for adventure who embraces life aboard the TARDIS. He is generally carefree, but he’s extremely protective of the Doctor and particularly his fellow TARDIS teammates Victoria and Zoe. Much like Steven, to whom he is a clear successor, Jamie will confront the Doctor if he doesn’t agree with his decisions and he absolutely demands the Doctor’s respect. The two share a close bond and Jamie is the longest-running Companion in the entire series’ run. Their relationship is notable for its playful tone and the very equal rapport they share. This would arguably not be repeated until Sarah Jane, perhaps Romana, and Donna. Despite coming from the 18th Century, Jamie adapts quickly to whatever situation he finds himself in, and though he may not be an intellectual marvel, he is honest, courageous, and steadfastly loyal, only leaving the Doctor when forced to do so by the Time Lords.

Special Skills: Fighting ability (Jamie fills the Male Action Hero role ably), deadpan comedy

Best Story: The Web of Fear, wherein Jamie foils the Doctor’s plans by saving the day and we first meet the Brig, The Invasion and The Seeds of Death are both solid stories featuring recurring, now classic villains, the Cybermen and the Ice Warriors.

Worst Story: The Space Pirates is definitely one of the weakest stories from this time, despite its promising genesis as a Doctor Who spin on the space western.

Highlights of tenure: Bunging rocks at the Yeti in The Abominable Snowmen, reading the Doctor the riot act in The Evil of the Daleks

Lowlights of tenure: Little springs to mind. Maybe the one-episode recasting in The Mind Robber, but that was a reality of the shooting schedule. Fury from the Deep and its parasitic, scream-averse seaweed is also a contender, but its delicious self-awareness is almost enough to make up for the rest of the story’s flaws.

Memorable quotes:

– [after tying up the Cyberman Controller, shortly before he escapes] “Oh, the King of the Beasties himself couldnae get out of that one.”  Tomb of the Cybermen

– “No, Doctor. Look, I’m telling you this. You and me — we’re finished. You’re just too callous for me. Anything goes by the board, anything at all. … Look, Doctor, just whose side are you on?”  The Evil of the Daleks

– “Creag an Tuirc”- the rallying cry of the Clan McLaren, this is something Jamie says from time to time, including as his final words in The War Games

Other notes: The Tenth Doctor references Jamie in “Tooth and Claw”, taking his name when he’s mistaken for a Scottish traveler. Though his initial run on the series ends with The War Games, Jamie returns briefly in The Five Doctors and for the duration of The Two Doctors, a rarity in the classic series.

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