Doctor Who

Doctor Who: Meet Jamie McCrimmon at Comicpalooza

This weekend Houstonians will have the chance to meet the one and only Frazer Hines, who played the Second Doctor's longtime companion Jamie McCrimmon when he's in town for Comicpalooza. Jamie obviously comes from a very early time in the show's history, and also from a point when so many episodes have been lost and never recovered. For that reason he is sometimes overlooked in favor of other companions like Sarah Jane Smith, Ace, and the modern additions like Rose Tyler.

That said, Jamie was a truly remarkable man, and this is a rare opportunity to hear from him exactly what it was like to travel with The Doctor on more episodes than any other person in the show's history. Annie Bulloch, co-owner of 8th Dimension Comics, will be hosting question and answers at the convention.

"I like him," said Bulloch. "He seems to have good sense in general, at least as far as the story would allow. Somebody has to do something dumb to move the story along sometimes, but he was clever. He likely wouldn't have survived to adulthood in 18th Century Scotland without solid survival instincts! His sense of humor is compatible with the Second Doctor's, so they make a good team."

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McCrimmon was a Scottish piper in the Jacobite rebellion, and met The Doctor, Ben Jackson, and Polly Wright when they landed thick in the middle of the Battle of Culloden. The Doctor managed to escape and in the process shut down a slave ring, but invited Jamie, now a wanted man by the British, to join the Tardis crew.

Being from a much earlier time, Jamie had little knowledge of things the then-contemporary companions Ben and Polly took for granted like telephones and trains. Nonetheless, he quickly established himself as the backbone of the adventuring team. He wasn't especially bright, but his loyalty and bravery often made up for it.

"I take orders from no one but The Doctor," he says defiantly in "The Macra Terror."

Whenever Jamie was confronted with high technology such as the many times he aided The Doctor he was always quick to accept whatever explanation was offered, even if he clearly didn't understand it. His job was to serve as an able and competent right hand, and perhaps no single companion has ever done so quite as well.

The thing that made him so fun to watch was the wonderful dynamic he developed with Patrick Troughton. Troughton was so brilliant a physical actor and an improvisation artist that he really suffers from having so many episodes lost. A lot of what made him great is very difficult to recreate in prose or audio form, and that includes hundreds of little moments he would secretly prepare with Frazer Hines.