FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG Brand New Interview With Frazer Hines
By James Whittington, Sunday 19th October 2014
Of all the companions the good Doctor has travelled with, very few had as many adventures with him as Jamie McCrimmon did. This brave Highlander journeyed with the Second Doctor and battled with countless baddies throughout the universe.
As newly re-mastered episodes of Doctor Who are showing on Horror Channel we decided to chat with Frazer Hines, the man who brought Jamie to life and become one of the show’s finest and much loved companions.
HC: Did you have to audition for the role of Jamie?
FH: As far as I remember there wasn’t an audition. I was called in to meet Innes Lloyd (the Producer) who said that Shaun Sutton (who I had worked for many times) had recommended me for the part of Jamie and the rest is history.
HC: How much of yourself did you put into the character?
FH: There was none of me at all in the character of Jamie. Jamie was a Highlander from 1746, ignorant and naïve of modern day technology and social mores, whereas I had been working in film and television for many years, and was quite comfortable in all social situations. Jamie of course also spoke in a Scottish accent, whereas I have a received English accent normally.
HC: Can you recall how you felt the first time you met Patrick Troughton?
FH: I first met Patrick when I was doing a serial called Smugglers Bay in 1964. I was the star of the show, and he was playing an old smuggler called Ratsey. When I was cast in Doctor Who, Patrick remembered me from our first encounter. Patrick was always good to work with and we became good pals.
HC: How did you all cope with the long, punishing shooting schedule?
FH: I have always been asked about the schedules for Doctor Who, but for me, I never found them arduous or punishing. We had a really good time making the show.
HC: What emotions did you have when you viewed the recently discovered adventures The Web Of Fear and The Enemy Of The World?
FH: I was absolutely delighted that the two stories were recovered, and watching them again was a joy. Of course, over the last few years I have been reintroduced to a great deal of my old Doctor Who stories, through narrating the audiobooks and doing DVD commentaries and so on, so from a familiarity point of view, I knew the material. But it was brilliant to see them again.
HC: Horror Channel recently showed The Mind Robber, what are your memories of this adventure?
FH: One of the great things about that story, was that the opening episode was basically a three-hander between myself, Patrick and Wendy. So we had a real chance to share the action and to have our usual good time making it. I managed to get my brother Ian cast as one of the Toy Soldiers in the story, and of course I fell ill during it, resulting in Jamie being played by Hamish Wilson for one of the episodes.
HC: You and Patrick returned in the fabulous adventure, The Two Doctors (which Horror is showing later this year), did it take long for you both to get back into character and would you do more?
FH: From the first moment Patrick and I walked into the rehearsal rooms, it was as though we had never left. Our camaraderie was such that John Nathan-Turner (the producer) said that it was as though we had been put in a prop cupboard for sixteen years and had just been released. I had a smashing time with the cast and crew in Spain, and it was such a joy to be working with Patrick again. Doctor Who has been such a large part of my life, and given the opportunity, I would love to do more.
HC: Why do you think Jamie was and still is so popular?
FH: I wish I knew. Maybe it’s his innocence, his bravery … perhaps the sense of humour I tried to bring to the character. Honestly, if I knew what the appeal was, then I would bottle it!
HC: You must be rightfully proud, as an actor, to have helped create two of British TVs most popular characters that of Jamie and Joe Sugden from Emmerdale Farm?
FH: As an actor, you usually get cast, do the job and go home. To have been a part of two such well loved and enduring shows is something that most actors only dream of, and I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to work on them.
HC: If there’s one moment of working on Doctor Who you could relive once more, which one would it be?
FH: In all the work I did on the show, the one moment which really stands out for me, was meeting Patrick again on The Two Doctors. There was a moment in rehearsals when we first got back together, that all the happy memories of all the fun we had had working on the show came flooding back, and I realised that we were going to have all that fun again working on the show together once more.
HC: So what projects are you working on at the moment?
FH: I have become an associate director for the Reflections Talent Agency, which is helping many new actors to find roles, and I am also involved in two films, and also in a production company, Snowball Productions, which has several exciting projects in the works. I’ve also just recorded an episode of the new adventure series Outlander, which I feel will grow and grow in 2015. Strangely, the writer of Outlander, Diana Gabaldon, based her character of Jamie Fraser in her books, on a certain Scottish character in Doctor Who, which she used to watch back in the sixties …
HC: Frazer Hines, thank you very much.
Horror Channel would like to thank David Howe for helping make this interview possible.
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