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article imageFrazer Hines wants full-time return to Doctor Who

By Mathew Wace Peck     Mar 25, 2013 in Entertainment
Frazer Hines has signalled his desire to reprise the Doctor Who-companion role he first played in the BBC’s flagship science-fiction drama series 47 years ago.
In an exclusive interview with Benjamin Cook for Doctor Who Magazine (DWM), Frazer Hines, now 68, explains how he’d like to join the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in the TARDIS. Not only would he like to return to his role as the Doctor’s Scottish, kilt-wearing companion, Jamie McCrimmon, but he’d like to do so full-time.
“Jamie would still work,” Hines insists to Cook. “They’ve got a young Doctor now [at 26, Smith was the youngest actor when cast], and a young female assistant; they need somebody [for] the grannies.”
In 1966, when Jamie joined the then TARDIS crew, Hines was a youthful-looking 22-year-old. Now 68, he’s retained his good looks and prides himself at still being fit and active – he recently represented England as part of its team in the Over 40s Cricket World Cup. “If I were old, and bald, and on a walking stick, there’s no way I’d think of coming back as Jamie,” he tells DWM. “But I’m still fit and healthy. I’ve got good legs. And I miss the show more than ever.”
It’s no secret that Jamie’s Doctor – Patrick Troughton – is Smith’s favourite, who has to some extent modelled his Eleventh Doctor on him. Hines tells DWM that he’s aware that 1967’s The Tomb of the Cybermen – in which Hines and Troughton both appeared – is Smith’s all-time favourite Doctor Who story, adding: “I’m sure Matt would like to work with Patrick. Of course, he can’t [Troughton died in 1987]. Well, get his assistant back.”
Hines, now 68, appeared in Doctor Who in the late 1960s as Jamie McCrimmon, travelling in the Doctor’s time machine (the aforementioned TARDIS) when Patrick Troughton played the lead.
His tenure – which lasted nearly as long as Troughton’s – started with The Highlanders (1966) and ended with the final instalment of 10-episode epic, The War Games (1969), in which the Second Doctor was forced to regenerate by his own people, the Time Lords, who then returned the Doctor’s companions to there own places in time and space.
The Highlanders was Troughton’s second story and, while other companions came and went during his tenure, Jamie remained by the Second Doctor’s side throughout his incarnation.
Jamie's regrets
Jamie twice returned to the TV series: for the 20th-anniversary special, The Five Doctors (1983), and – when Troughton teamed up with one of his successors, Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor – in The Two Doctors (1985). With a total of 116 episodes, to date, Hines holds the record of playing Doctor Who’s longest-serving companion.
Hines has obviously thought long and hard about returning to the show, and, according to DWM, regrets not suggesting it to the Doctor Who the person responsible for his return in the 1980s. “If I’d said to [Doctor Who producer] John Nathan-Turner, ‘You’ve got Peri and the Doctor, but you haven’t got a male companion. Why don’t I stay’ […] I’m sure he’d have said yes, because JN-T [as he was widely and affectionately known] was like that […] spur-of-the-moment.”
On his decision to leave the show in 1969, Hines confirms that he and Troughton – and Wendy Padbury, who, by then, was playing companion Zoe Herriott – all decided to leave the show together. In retrospect, however, Hines would liked to have continued opposite Troughton’s successor, Jon Pertwee. “I’d have got on with Jon, because we were both old hands,” he tells Cook. Indeed, Hines had been acting for over a decade before he even joined Doctor Who.
Hines studied acting at the London Corona Stage Academy, and had secured a number of minor film roles, all by the age of ten! At 13, he appeared in the Charlie Chaplin film, A King in New York, and played Napoleon in the BBC’s adaptation of John Buchan’s Huntingtower.
Companions Select
Jamie belongs to a select subgroup of long-serving popular Doctor companions, which includes Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), the robot dog K9 (John Leeson) and Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding).
Sladen played Sarah Jane for three years in the 1970s, travelling with the Third (Jon Pertwee) and Fourth (Tom Baker) Doctors. From 1977, K9, the Doctor’s robot dog, appeared regularly with the Fourth Doctor, while Tegan joined him just prior to his regeneration into his Fifth incarnation (Peter Davison) in 1981. Fielding – who left the series in 1984 – is the only one of the four not to have returned to the TV series since; although she has appeared in a number of Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays in recent years.
Despite having left the television series many years ago, Hines is still a regular – and very popular – guest at Doctor Who conventions around the world. “Three of the happiest years of my life were spent on Doctor Who with Patrick,” he confided to DWM. “[…] I miss the show more than ever. That’s why I go to conventions, and it’s always a pleasure to talk about the show […]” The actor, who was one of the contestants in last night's Pointless Celebrities Doctor Who special, is also regularly appears in the Big Finish series of Doctor Who audio plays.
Golden TARDIS
Doctor Who returns to TV screens across the globe from the end of March. Eight brand-new episodes kick off with The Bells of Saint John, by Steven Moffat, with Matt Smith (How to Catch a Monster) and Jenna-Louise Coleman, respectively, returning as the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald. Later in the year, at least three specials will also air.
Moffat’s 50th-annivesary episode – which will be broadcast on Saturday, 23 November 2013, exactly 50 years to the day since the very first episode An Unearthly Child was shown – and the 2013 Christmas story, which, as reported on Friday by Digital Journal, could be Smith's last. Whether or not previous incarnations of the Doctor or Jamie or any of his other former companions will be returning is being kept firmly under wraps. Filming of the anniversary episode is expected to begin sometime in April, with the Christmas special scheduled for a September production.
Mark Gatiss’s one-off 90-minute drama telling the story of the early days of Doctor Who will also be broadcast later in 2013. An Adventure in Space and Time will star Harry Potter’s David Bradley as William Hartnell and his alter ego, the First Doctor, while Reece Shearsmith (Psychoville) will play Patrick Troughton and his Second Doctor.
More about Doctor Who, Matt smith, Frazer Hines, JennaLouise Coleman, Jamie McCrimmon
 
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