The author of the “Outlander”
series of books, Diana Gabaldon
, has never been shy about the fact that her character Jamie Fraser was inspired by an old episode of “Doctor Who.”
The character she took a liking to in particular was second Doctor (Patrick Troughton
) companion Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines
). She had been looking for a time and place to set her book and when McCrimmon, from 18th century Scotland, made his first appearance on the show in a kilt, it stuck with Gabaldon.
“I thought that was kind of fetching, and I was still thinking about this the next day in church,” Gabaldon explained at the TCA winter press tour.
She borrowed the name Jamie from the character and Fraser from the actor to pay tribute to her inspiration, and the rest is history. Who is Jamie McCrimmon, though?
Many modern “Doctor Who” fans might not know much about the show’s early history. After all, there’s 50 years of material to sort through if you really want to see it all.
For starters, the character has appeared on more episodes of the series than you might think. All told, Hines played McCrimmon on 116 episodes of “Doctor Who,” ranking him second all-time for most companion appearances. That’s even more than Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen
), widely considered to be the Doctor’s most memorable companion.
McCrimmon joined the Doctor in the 1966 serial “The Highlanders,” which is missing. While there are photographs, audio recordings and selected video clips of the serial out there, it is not known if the full episodes still exist anywhere. When he came aboard the TARDIS, McCrimmon joined the Doctor’s other two companions at the time, Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Willis).
He stayed after both Ben and Polly left, and by the time his own adventures came to an end, he had been joined by another companion named Zoe Heriot (Wendy Oadbury). They both retired from the TARDIS in 1969, when the second Doctor regenerated, being sent back to their own time with no memory of their travels through time and space.
Hines would later reprise his role twice. First, he appeared in 1983’s “The Five Doctors,” a 20th anniversary special. He later played a role in the 1985 episode “The Two Doctors.”
Below, take a look at some some of McCrimmon’s highlights on the series, including his final moments as a companion.
Jamie meets Rapunzel:
Jamie’s first interaction with fellow companion Zoe (Original footage is lost, only stills and audio remain):
Jamie says goodbye to the Doctor:
Jamie returns in “The Two Doctors”: