|James Robert McCrimmon|
|Place of origin:||Scotland|
|First seen in:||The Highlanders|
|Main actor:||Frazer Hines|
|Other televisual actors:||Hamish Wilson|
- You may be looking for the version of Jamie created by Zoe Heriot.
James Robert "Jamie" McCrimmon was a Highland Scot from the mid-18th century who travelled with the Second Doctor, Polly Wright, Ben Jackson, Victoria Waterfield and Zoe Heriot. He also had a couple of adventures with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (TV: The Web of Fear, TV: The Invasion) as well as the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown (TV: The Two Doctors, COMIC: 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 (TV: 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. (TV: 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 (COMIC: Invasion of the Quarks, et al) and that he did so when he was clearly middle-aged (TV: 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. (AUDIO: 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. (COMIC: The World Shapers)
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. (TV: The Highlanders) He grew up with his father and brothers, and they did some farming. He idolised Scottish heroes such as William Wallace. (PROSE: On a Pedestal)
Jamie, then 22 years old (AUDIO: 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 Jackson and Polly Wright into the mysterious TARDIS. (TV: 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. (PROSE: 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. (TV: 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. (TV: 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 Waterfield 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. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
Jamie evidenced strong, unspoken feelings for Victoria, which often showed themselves in his teasing her about her new, more revealing clothes. (TV: The Ice Warriors) While undercover in Salamander's guard, Jamie and Victoria posed as boyfriend and girlfriend. (TV: 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. (TV: 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. (TV: 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. (TV: 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). (TV: 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. (TV: 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. (TV: 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. (PROSE: 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. (TV: The Two Doctors)
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 (COMIC: Invasion of the Quarks, Jungle of Doom), giant wasps (COMIC: 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. (AUDIO: 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. (AUDIO: 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 and 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. (COMIC: The World Shapers)
More often than not, Jamie wore a traditional Scottish kilt with a red tartan. He was often teased for continuing to wear his kilt, even in situations where it was too cold to wear it. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen)
After initially changing out of his battle-ragged 18th century clothes into a wet suit during the course of an adventure, (TV: The Underwater Menace) he began to include more modern clothes in his dress — including several turtlenecks of varying colours, a tan leather vest with a reversible cow-patterned fur lining, a Nehru jacket, a sleeveless pullover, neckerchiefs, anoraks and a laced black shirt. While he usually wore his fur-covered sporran, there was a stretch of time early on during which he didn't. (TV: The Highlanders through the start of The Web of Fear) He would, when necessary, wear a space suit (TV: The Moonbase, The Wheel in Space, The Seeds of Death) or sometimes a disguise. (TV: The Enemy of the World)
The kilt was sometimes jokingly referred to as a "dress" or "skirt", to which he would take mild offence. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Enemy of the World, The Two Doctors) When deciding who would have the task of dressing in drag as a disguise in a society where women were in power, the Doctor mentioned his youthful, androgynous appearance in contrast to the rest of the male prisoners, despite his masculine gait, and his comfortability with wearing a "skirt" as reasons that he should be the one to go undercover to retrieve their confiscated clothing. (AUDIO: Prison in Space) He and the Doctor also dressed as washerwomen with wool padding while smuggling King James II into a rowboat. After correcting the Doctor on calling his kilt a "skirt", Jamie mentioned that he thought they looked like "a pair of old fishwives". (AUDIO: The Glorious Revolution) One of the flustered, half-hearted insults levelled at him by the Doctor was being referred to as a "hairy-legged Highlander".
Later, he reverted to his 18th century dress, including a white ruffled shirt, a black jacket and a red tartan sash. When Jamie cleaned himself up after living rough in the ducts of Space Station Chimera, the Sixth Doctor unkindly suggested to Jamie that he perhaps could use a bath more often in general, which was likely a reference to 18th century hygiene. (TV: The Two Doctors) Much later, back in his old time, he grew a long beard and carried a claymore. (COMIC: The World Shapers)
Jamie had a very strong connection to his Scottish homeland. When presented with the sound of bagpipes and the misty sight of Scotland on the scanner, he was lured out of the TARDIS, as this was what he wanted most. (TV: The Mind Robber) Despite having viewed the English for a long time as his mortal enemy, he teamed up later in his travels with a Redcoat from the Forty-Five, who had also been displaced in time and space, in order to rebel against the War Lords. (TV: The War Games)
The Doctor and Zoe both often teased or insulted Jamie about his intelligence. Zoe expressed relief that Jamie hadn't thought of x-rays before her, which would have been "awful" (TV: The Wheel in Space), and the Doctor even suggested that they run away because of Jamie having an idea. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen) Jamie was simple and straightforward, but he was also intelligent, practical and full of common sense, despite having no formal education. It was these qualities which often put him ahead of his companions. He came a long way from questioning why the Doctor hadn't bled the wounded and having never heard of "germs" before (he assumed the word came from "German"). (TV: The Highlanders) When Jamie and Victoria were undercover at the Virtor-run New York Supplementary Education Institute in 1982, Jamie needed Victoria to fill out his sign-up forms, as he did not know how to write. Victoria made him promise to practice writing once they got back to the TARDIS. (PROSE: The Lost) Later, he was shown reading stiltedly on several occasions. (TV: The Mind Robber, The Invasion) Rago assessed Jamie and discovered that his brain showed signs of recent rapid learning. It was his idea to dig through to a borehole and intercept the seed device which saved the travellers. Later, while the Doctor and Zoe were revelling in their rescue of Dulkis with only a minor volcanic eruption, it was Jamie who pointed out that they happened to be standing on the island that would erupt. (TV: The Dominators) While trapped without the Doctor or Zoe, Jamie had to order a complicated series of events. He was able to defeat Moran by thinking outside of the box, rather than solving the puzzle. (AUDIO: The Jigsaw War)
Although he didn't understand the TARDIS, he was enthusiastic about it. His journey was a voyage of discovery; almost everything he experienced was new to him. The few times when Jamie showed worry or concern were when his companions were in danger — particularly Victoria. When the unconscious Doctor was threatened by an Ice Warrior, Jamie attempted hand-to-hand combat with it, despite being unevenly matched and at great risk to himself, to protect him. (TV: The Seeds of Death) Jamie saw the Doctor as a friend and mentor. He was extremely loyal to the Doctor and they were nearly inseparable. He learnt a lot through his experiences, but also believed the Doctor needed his help. When Ben and Polly left the TARDIS, Jamie reassured them that he would look after the Doctor. (TV: The Faceless Ones)
Jamie was initially very shy around girls and awkward in situations where they were forward. In one case, he wanted the ladies who were primping him called off because he was afraid of what they might do to him if he looked "charming". (TV: The Macra Terror) He kissed Sam in order to steal her plane ticket. (TV: The Faceless Ones) When he was being flirted with by girls in a 1960s coffee bar wearing plaid miniskirts — to which he exclaimed, "Oh, if only the Laird could see that!" — he hurried back to the Doctor. He was not comfortable with having been given the difficult task of questioning them, despite the Doctor stating that Jamie was so much better at it than he. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
Jamie seemed intrigued with the short dresses that he had seen the ladies wearing. He teased Victoria about whether she saw herself wearing something similar, a thought for which she admonished him. (TV: The Ice Warriors) Despite his early shyness, Jamie began to flirt more, but was always gentlemanly and chivalrous. Jamie apologised when he realised that it was Rapunzel's hair that he had climbed and assured her that he was quickly passing through when she expressed wariness at inviting him inside her castle. (TV: The Mind Robber) Jamie expressed old-fashioned values about the roles of men and women, often seeing it as his duty to protect the ladies, even when they rebuked him with modern concepts of feminism and women's suffrage. (TV: The Invasion, The War Games) When Zoe misidentified his Scottish origin, calling his kilt a barbaric form of garment and asking whether he was a Scandinavian or a Dane, he told her to watch her lip or else he'd put her across his knee and larrup her. (TV: The Wheel in Space) He later gave Zoe a spanking over his knee when she had been taken over by female superiority brainwashing. (AUDIO: Prison in Space) After having been ignored by Anita earlier, he gave Peri a peck when he was about to leave with his Doctor. (TV: The Two Doctors) He had previously shared two kisses with Sam (TV: The Faceless Ones) and one with Victoria. (TV: Fury from the Deep) He later shared one with Peri Brown. (TV: The Two Doctors)
Habits and quirks
Jamie had a habit of pretending to understand technology beyond his ken with a shrug and a nonchalant, "Oh, aye." He often used analogies to describe the new things he was seeing — he compared Space Station Chimera to "twenty castles in the sky" and called the Sontarans "knights in armour" or "potato heads" and aeroplanes "flying beasties." (TV: The Two Doctors, The Faceless Ones) He referred to the Cybermen and the Daleks as "metal beasties." (AUDIO: House of Cards, The Rosemariners) If he couldn't understand or compare something, he would simply ignore it.
He had a particular fascination with gadgets such as Polly's secretarial dictaphone, which she kept his recordings on for many years after (AUDIO: The Forbidden Time) and the small radio that he was given by Tobias Vaughn. (TV: The Invasion) Although he didn't know how they worked, he was able to figure out how to get these simple devices to function.
Jamie carried a dirk, though he rarely ever used it, and only then in self-defence, as when he stabbed a Sontaran in the leg. (TV: The Mind Robber, The Two Doctors) He also wielded a sword or claymore on occasion, particularly while in his own time. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen, The War Games, COMIC: The World Shapers) On several occasions, he used or expressed interest in weapons such as explosives, grenades, rock-throwing, and guns, both historical and futuristic. (TV: The Dominators, The War Games) Good in a fight, he was also known to tackle enemies to the ground (TV: The Invasion) and get into physical altercations. (TV: The Underwater Menace, The Krotons, The Seeds of Death, The War Games) He often took it upon himself to go after beasties. (TV: The Macra Terror, The Dominators)
He enjoyed a high degree of familiar physical contact, such as friendly shoving, prodding, pulling, hand-holding, climbing on top of or being climbed upon, and hugging. When stressed for any reason he would often grab on to his companions for reassurance, with a marked preference for grabbing the Doctor.
Skills and abilities
Jamie had the ability to sense and reject subconscious mental manipulation while asleep (TV: The Macra Terror), as well as sense danger. (TV: Fury from the Deep) He was also the first to be affected and detect that something was wrong after they had exited the TARDIS upon first arriving in the Land of Fiction. (TV: The Mind Robber)
The young piper had musical ability, though he rarely displayed it. When his family legacy of piping was mentioned, he noted that all he had left of his bagpipes was the chanter. The Doctor wanted him to teach him how to play the bagpipes in return for being invited aboard the TARDIS. (TV: The Highlanders) He later found some bagpipes in the TARDIS, which he planned to mend. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen) At one point, he danced the Highland Fling in an attempt to dance out of the room and escape. (TV: The Macra Terror) The Doctor remarked that Jamie often attempted to hide his recorder from him. (COMIC: The Forgotten)
He also was able to ride horses and used this skill to escape a Confederate soldier after knocking him off of his horse. (TV: The War Games) He was also adept at rock climbing. He scaled steep rocks with the aid of Rapunzel's rope of hair. (TV: The Mind Robber) However, he wasn't particularly good at tying knots and the Doctor wanted to be reminded to give him a lesson sometime. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
Jamie expressed worry about being drowned and said that he couldn't swim when Ben suggested that they escape by swimming. (TV: The Highlanders) The Doctor also mentioned that a member of their group might not know how to swim. At the time, Jamie and Polly were fleeing the rising water which was quickly engulfing the underwater city of Atlantis. (TV: The Underwater Menace) The Doctor and Jamie occasionally paddled a kayak (TV: The Invasion) or a rowboat together on the Thames. (AUDIO: The Glorious Revolution)
- Donald McCrimmon (ancestor, 13th century)
- Ewan McCrimmon (ancestor, 13th century)
- unnamed (paternal grandfather, piper)
- Donald McCrimmon (father, piper)
- Duncan (uncle)
- unnamed brothers
- 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
- Heather McCrimmon (descendant)
Mysteries and discrepancies
- How many other adventures did the Second Doctor and Jamie have after their reunion?
- Did Jamie ever eventually reveal his feelings for Victoria to her or the Doctor?
- Why didn't Jamie appear as one of the Seventh Doctor's companions whose death he had caused?
References and minor appearances
- Illusions of Jamie and Zoe appeared before the Second Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in the Death Zone on Gallifrey. (TV: The Five Doctors)
- A fictional version of Jamie was created in the Land of Fiction by Zoe after she faced the Cybermen. (AUDIO: Legend of the Cybermen)
- After his death, a shapeshifting Gwanzulum took the form of the youthful Jamie to trick the Seventh Doctor. (COMIC: Planet of the Dead)
- Experiencing trauma from his recent regeneration, the Fifth Doctor imagined that he was with Jamie. (TV: Castrovalva)
- When under the influence of a Dalek mind-draining device, the Fifth Doctor recalled Jamie among other companions. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)
- Before she had ever met him, Peri Brown mentioned that the Sixth Doctor had absentmindedly called her "Jamie." (TV: Attack of the Cybermen)
- Izzy Sinclair tried on one of Jamie's sweaters and kilts, which she had found in the TARDIS wardrobe. (COMIC: Ophidius)
- When introducing himself to Queen Victoria, the Tenth Doctor used the alias Doctor James McCrimmon. (TV: Tooth and Claw)
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.
- 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 over the rights to the Quarks. [statement unclear] 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 on Emmerdale 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.