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When we first encountered Jamie McCrimmon he was a dejected young Highlander who had recently seen his clan defeated at Culloden Moor. But in the aftermath of one battle, he was about to meet someone who would lead him into many more…

Fact title Fact data
Also known as:
James McCrimmon
Home Planet:
In Tooth and Claw the Tenth Doctor gave his name as James McCrimmon!
First Appearance:
Farewell Appearance:
Key stories:
The Mind Robber; The Two Doctors
The Second Doctor, the Sixth Doctor

April, 1746 and following the Battle of Culloden, pockets of the defeated forces run for their lives. The Laird of the Clan McLaren has been badly injured and his followers, including his young piper, take refuge in an abandoned cottage. The Doctor, Ben and Polly are spotted outside and manhandled into the building. Within moments they are accused of being the Highlanders’ enemies and it’s declared they must die! The Doctor argues that their captors can’t kill them ‘in cold blood’. The piper pipes up, ‘Our bloods warm enough!’ It’s fair to say that this wasn’t the most promising start for the Doctor and one of his companions… The young piper was none other than Jamie McCrimmon: fighter, firebrand and loyal friend to the Second Doctor!

Me, foreign? You’re the one that’s foreign! I’m Scottish!

Jamie may have been a proud Highlander and loyal to his clan, but he was a free-thinking Scot and early on we saw his independence of thought. After the Battle of Culloden he was asked about the safety of his side’s figurehead, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and his reply was sharp and cynical, ‘Do not fuss yourself!’ he snapped ‘He was the first to leave the field.’

Jamie adapted well to his life of adventure with the Doctor. He was the first to admit he didn’t always understand what was going on, and inevitably his attempts to reconcile advanced technology with his own experience were hit and miss. He thought a Cyberman was a ‘phantom piper’ and called an aeroplane a ‘flying beastie’, but it hardly mattered. He was quite happy to follow the Doctor and enjoyed the excitement that traveling with him entailed. And more importantly, his courage, instincts for danger and loyalty to the Doctor helped them both out of a jam on many occasions.

When the Doctor was put on trial on Gallifrey, Jamie was transported back to Scotland just after the Battle of Culloden. The Time Lords wiped his memory of all of his travels in the TARDIS and his final exchange with his old friend was typical. ‘I won't forget you,’ the Doctor told him, adding, ‘Don't go blundering into too much trouble, will you?’ And Jamie’s reply? A warm and knowing, ‘Oh, you're a fine one to talk!’