Thursday, June 28, 2007


Here's what Wikipedia has to say about a former companion of the Doctor on 'Doctor Who':

James Robert McCrimmon, or simply Jamie, is a fictional character played by Frazer Hines in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A piper of the Clan McLaren who lived in 18th century Scotland, he was a companion of the Second Doctor and a regular in the programme from 1966 to 1969. (The spelling of the surname varies throughout the scripts. Other spellings include Macrimmon and McCrimmond.)

(The MacCrimmons were a genuine piping family, supposedly founded by Iain Odhar MacCrimmon, however they were pipers to the Clan MacLeod. The MacCrimmons' own tartan is actually yellow, although Jamie always wears a red kilt in the series.)

Jamie first appears in The Highlanders, encountering the Doctor, Ben and Polly in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden in 1746. At the end of the story, Polly suggests that the Doctor take Jamie along with them. Jamie continues to travel with the Doctor even after Ben and Polly leave the TARDIS at the end of The Faceless Ones. He appears in all but the very first Second Doctor serial, The Power of the Daleks, and in more episodes than any other companion, although Tegan Jovanka served with the Doctor for the longest in terms of years on the series.

It's pozz'ble, jes' pozz'ble, that Jamie knew members of the Clan MacLeod, including Duncan and Conor. And the presence of the TARDIS during the battle might have triggered the immortality quirk in the DNA of both of them, rather than just in Conor. (The odds of two members of the same family being reborn as an immortal seem nearly impossible.)

If so, it's an unofficial link between the 'Doctor Who' and 'The Highlander', although as a tele-historical link, the Battle of Culloden serves well enough.

During his travels with the Doctor, it's a good thing they never encountered a comic book artist by the name of Bob McKay ('Bob!'). The Clan McKay would be considered enemies to the MacCrimmons and MacLeods as they sided with the Crown before the Battle, betraying their Scottish heritage. Despite the passage of centuries, and Bob McKay's lack of any real link to his own heritage, it would have all been fresh in Jamie's mind and the Doctor might not have been readily available to keep the young warrior in line.

I've mentioned several times in the past few weeks that it's impossible to reconcile all the various media publications about 'Doctor Who' into one comprehensive 'canon'. So Toobworld can only concern itself really with the TV/online adventures of the Doctor and must ignore the books, comic strips, and audio plays. (As for the two Peter Cushing movies, we see those as movies made to splain away any public relations questions about the Doctor's appearances on Earth - perhaps they were funded by UNIT?)

So the following entry from the TARDIS wikia isn't of concern to this televisiologist:

When the Sixth Doctor next met him, Jamie lived as an elderly pariah in his village. Jamie had managed (using tricks the Doctor had taught him and because the Time Lords had a less than perfect understanding of the Human mind) to retain memories of his travels. After he told others about them, the locals believed that his wartime experiences had driven him slightly mad. Jamie vindicated himself by vanishing in the TARDIS before the whole village and then helped the Doctor, Peri and Frobisher fight the Cybermen on Marinus. Jamie died defeating them. (DWM: The World Shapers)

That may have happened in the same world in which the original stories of 'Blink' and 'Human Nature' take place, but it has no bearing on the TV version of Jamie MacCrimmon... unless, of course, RTD - while still in control of the franchise - decided to utilize the tale in the TV series.

But until then, the ultimate fate of Jamie MacCrimmon is unknown. (At the very least, I'd like to think he escaped the butchery that awaited most of the wounded and the prisoners after their loss at Culloden.)

Here's hoping that one day we will see him return to the show for a guest shot, as Sarah Jane Smith has done. And why not? Frazer Hines is still among us; the Doctor can always go back to the Scotland at the turn of the Century (1800) and reunite with his kilt-wearin' Companion.

Who knows? Maybe Jamie travelled with Charles Edward Stuart to live out his days in Rome, or crossed the sea to find a new life in the Americas!

Toby OB

"Let's get out of here.
I feel as if something evil is lurking down there
Jamie MacCrimmon
'Doctor Who'

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