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Frazer Hines: The Second Doctor's Kilt-Swishing Highlander

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FRAZER HINES began his career as a child with the Hammer Horror film X The Unknown and the BBC classic serial The Silver Sword. He is better known these days as Joe Sugden, the earthy farmer of Yorkshire Television's Emmerdale, a role Hines first took on over nineteen years ago.

However, long before the trials and tribulations of the Sugden family he was the best remembered of the early Doctor Who companions. He portrayed the second Doctor's kilt-swishing Highlander assistant James Robert McCrimmon for over three years in the long running Science Fiction show.

"I am half Scottish but because I could get away with a reasonable Scots accent, I was given the part for The Highlanders. I'd already worked with Pat (Troughton) before on a programme called Smuggler's Cove and we'd seen each other off and on since then. After about episode two of Highlanders I began receiving lots of fan mail and so had the production office. Innes Lloyd, then the show's producer, came to me and said; 'Frazer we've had a lot of letters saying wouldn't it be a nice idea if Jamie stayed on in the TARDIS'. He, and the viewers, felt it would be a good idea if they had this primitive character, travelling with the Doctor, who had never seen an electric light bulb, let alone a Time/Space ship. So they asked me to stay on for a further six months. My accent during the first story was very much the Highland light Scots; as I progressed I mellowed it into what I refer to as 'television Scots'."

Unfortunately, Innes Lloyd — a man who brought the series to great heights and then moved on to work on more prestigious television productions — recently died. "Innes was a true gentleman," recounts Frazer Hines. "I always remember him standing in the studio, in his naval blazer, smoking his pipe and leaning on a golf club. At Patrick's wake Innes gave this wonderful speech covering Pat's career; his war days, his humour - he made us all laugh and cry in one sentence. Innes was a perfect, lovely gentleman. He'll be sadly missed."

Happy Days

It did not take long for Hines to become established in Doctor Who, and build up a superb working relationship with Patrick Troughton, and later Deborah Wading (Victoria). "The writers used to give me just one or two lines in the script and Pat used to complain 'Why have I got all these lines - why do I have to say all this mumbo-jumbo'. I'd reply: 'Well Pat, you're paid to say all those lines, I'm paid to stop the young girls going out and Debbie's paid to stop the Dads from doing the gardening'."

"My first line to Debbie Watling was as she came running up this corridor escaping from a Dalek and I was coming up the opposite way. I had to say 'Quick Miss Waterfield - up your passage'. We couldn't say it - we just cracked up every time. The director couldn't understand why."

"Later in Evil of the Daleks, I had to say a line when the Doctor and Jamie met the Emporer Dalek: 'Look at the size of the balls on that one!' Obviously, I couldn't say it, and it was changed to 'Look at the size of that thing Doctor!' Pat replied: 'Yes, Jamie - it is a big one...' This went on to become a running gag and we tried to work those lines into every story we did. When we later returned to do The Two Doctors, Pat said to me 'Don't forget your line, Frazer'. So in the opening sequence I worked it in - although John Nathan-Turner said 'This isn't in the script'. Pat replied that Jamie always says 'Look at the size of that thing, Doctor'."

Frazer's time on the programme has become notorious for the practical jokes played on, and by, the show's cast; "During The Web Of Fear we were filming in the underground set, searching for Victoria and I had to pick up this handkerchief and say 'Doctor, look this is Miss Waterfield's, I'd recognise it anywhere!'. There was myself, Pat and Debbie's dad (Jack Watling), so I went to wardrobe and borrowed a pair of lady's knickers and then replaced them on the railway line, removing the handkerchief. Then during the scene I picked up the knickers and said; 'Doctor, these are Miss Waterfield's. I'd recognise them anywhere!' And Debbie was off camera staring and saying; 'You swine they are not mine!'.

"Debbie was quite well endowed in those days and if we were bored, during rehearsals, we used to play a game called 'buffers'. Debbie used to stand at the far end of the rehearsal room, being Kings Cross Station, and Pat and I were the 4.10 from Inverness. We used to move forward with our hands outstretched - that was buffers!"

More Tea Vicar?

After a year Deborah Watling moved on to other projects, and Wendy Padbury was cast as her replacement, Zoe. Like her predecessor, she soon became the target of her co-stars' wicked sense of humour. "Pat and I used to tease Wendy Padbury something rotten. Once, when we were rehearsing in a church hall, Wendy was sitting between us and wearing a kilt skirt and Pat and I looked at each other and instinctively knew what the other was thinking. Wendy was engrossed in reading this book and I undid the buckle of her kilt on my side and Pat undid the buckle on his side. Then, I jumped up and said 'Quick Wendy it's our scene'. Wendy jumped up leaving her kilt behind her, which Pat whipped up into the air, waved about and then threw it to me. I ran off with it into the next room and straight into the incoming local vicar. Wendy had followed me and ran into this vicar also, wearing only her blouse, knickers and an embarrassed smile."

"During The Invasion we had to film this location scene with a helicopter. The director decided that the helicopter would come swooping in, then Jamie would climb up the ladder, followed by Sally Faulkner, who was playing Isobel Watkins. and the Doctor. I quickly realised that there would be a huge updraught and said; 'hang on a minute, Jamie would let the lady go up the ladder first...' So Sally did her shot and 'wh000sh' her skirt flew right up around her neck. Then we had to break for lunch and all the crew were saying 'Frazer you're next so we'll all be able to see what's underneath that kilt at last!'. Well my dresser was a fisherman and he had his box with him full of lead weights, which I asked him to sew into the hem of my kilt. When it came to do my scene I came out with this clanking kilt, climbed up the ladder and astonished everybody, as my kilt hung straight down and revealed nothing. The camera crew were most upset. They never did find out what I wore underneath my kilt. Actually I used to wear football shorts, because we often played football during dinner break - I think they were Arsenal!"

The Doctor Who Pig

During his time on Doctor Who Frazer became something of a small screen sex symbol, with his off-screen romances often being reported in the tabloid press. "I was entered for a charity bicycle race, with celebreties like Tony Blackburn, Ed Stewart and Sandie Shaw, and won first prize which turned out to be a baby piglet! At the time I lived at home, with my mum in Chiswick and our dog had just died, so I took this piglet home and he lived there with us for six months. I called him 'Whoie'. Suddenly, overnight almost, he grew so big that I had to ask Chessington Zoo to take him in. They kept him in a special celebrity pet's corner as 'Whole - the Doctor Who pig donated by Frazer Hines.' Finally, he got too big to keep on and they asked me to come and see him before he was put down. I went to see him and, as I was leaving, the keeper asked me if I'd like a piece of him sending on. Of course I refused, I told them to just tell me that they'd buried him - I didn't want to know about him being slaughtered!"

"I think I would have still been in the show today if Pat's old lady at the time hadn't been on at him to leave and my agent hadn't been on at me to move on. It was such great fun, every six weeks or so, new costumes, new monsters, new people, you could never be bored."

The Five Doctors

"I couldn't believe it when I was asked back to do The Five Doctors. Sadly, I was under contract to Yorkshire Television and they wouldn't release me. In the original script I was supposed to be with Pat and Nick Courtney (the Brigadier) all through it. But JNT said to Yorkshire if Frazer's ever got a couple of days off then please let us know. So, I did get a few days off and JNT wrote in this scene for myself and Wendy as a sort of cameo appearance. When Pat and I met up, we hadn't seen each other for years and within minutes we were rolling around on the floor with laughter. John said you would never have thought that we had been away from it for eighteen years.

The Two Doctors

"It was then that he asked if we would consider doing some more episodes. We said 'yes please' and The Two Doctors was put together.

"Pat and Colin Baker got on very well together as they already knew each other.

was a bit worried about Colin, because I'd heard he could be a bit pompus. On the first day of rehearsals I cracked a joke and Colin said; 'Frazer love, I'm the Doctor I do the jokes!' By the Wednesday he was saying 'Excuse me, Frazer and I do the jokes' and by the end of the week it was 'Frazer does the jokes'. Colin was great fun, he used to be married to an ex-girlfriend of mine, so we had a lot in common. Colin and I ganged up on Patrick in the end; Pat had these scenes in a wheelchair and during breaks he used to nod off. So, Colin and I used to tip up the wheelchair, Pat jumped up and screamed at me 'you're my companion - we should be ganging up on him!' Working with Nicola Bryant was great fun too, she's a great sport. One day I had this huge plate of Muesli in the canteen and I said to her 'this smells off to me, could you smell it' and she lent over - whoosh - I shoved the whole plate full into her face. She had cream all over it but she never got annoyed once."

"There was a lot of controversy at the time but 1 don't think the show had become too violent, simply moved along with the times. There was only one scene cut and that was when the Sontaran leader was blown up and Shockeye (John Stratton) has to come into the room chewing the Sontaran's leg.

Who's The Best

"In my opinion, and not because I worked with him, Patrick was the best Doctor and Colin, to my mind, was the nearest to Pat's interpretation. He was pompus but he had this thing where he could cross the wires wrong and short circuit the entire space station, or whatever, and make mistakes. Jon Pertwee, for me, was too perfect and Tom Baker was superhuman - Colin Baker had the right pomposity with a sense of humour."

"I never thought we could have had as much fun as we did with The Two Doctors. You always think that you should never go back in your career, you must always go forward. 1 thought I might regret it, but I never did."

Between time on Emmerdale and theatre productions Frazer has also indulged in his favourite hobby - horse racing, which often includes riding his own race horse 'Joe Sugden'. "I left Emmerdale and then came back for six months, that was four years ago. At the end of this year I'm doing pantomime in Southport, with some of the Emmerdale cast and then I'm contracted back to the farm. After that who knows?"

Caption: Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) are reunited in The Five Doctors (available on BBC Video)

Caption: Frazer Hines meets some of the fans at a Liverpool based convention

Caption: Frazer Hines (with Deborah Watling) on stage at a Doctor Who convention

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  • APA 6th ed.: Wood, Graeme (issue 26 (January 1992)). Frazer Hines: The Second Doctor's Kilt-Swishing Highlander. TV Zone p. 10.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Wood, Graeme. "Frazer Hines: The Second Doctor's Kilt-Swishing Highlander." TV Zone [add city] issue 26 (January 1992), 10. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Wood, Graeme. "Frazer Hines: The Second Doctor's Kilt-Swishing Highlander." TV Zone, edition, sec., issue 26 (January 1992)
  • Turabian: Wood, Graeme. "Frazer Hines: The Second Doctor's Kilt-Swishing Highlander." TV Zone, issue 26 (January 1992), section, 10 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Frazer Hines: The Second Doctor's Kilt-Swishing Highlander | url= | work=TV Zone | pages=10 | date=issue 26 (January 1992) | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 March 2024 }}</ref>
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