C031 The Highlanders

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The Doctor pretends to be German, disguises himself as an old lady and commits fraud in soon-to-be-a-companion Jamie’s first ever serial

The Second Doctor and his (at this point total of) two companions, Polly and Ben, arrive in Scotland in 1746, just as the Battle of Culloden rages in the background.

Unsurprisingly, they’re drawn into the drama, as they stumble upon a group of Highlanders, one of whom is Jamie McCrimmon – SPOILERS: The longest-running male companion of the Doctor’s on Doctor Who, ever! – and they join forces only to be hunted and/or captured by the English Redcoats in the process.

By the end of it, The Doctor and his friends will have made themselves guilty of blackmail, fraud, wrongful imprisonment and murder.

The last historical serial until 1982’s Black Orchid, The Highlanders is a fun, sometimes hilariously amoral, and sadly completely missing romp of a story. To fully absorb it, have a look at the Loose Cannon Productions reconstruction, have a listen to the audiobook, and – for the love of all that is good and pure in the universe – listen to this Who Back When review!

Fret not, Ponken will add some screenshots to this ep (along with the last few eps on this site) very soon. In the meantime, here’s the tweet that’s mentioned in this podcast ep. Thanks again for sharing, sgamer82!

Here's what we think




Here's what you think

8 Responses to “C031 The Highlanders”

  1. Peter Zunitch

    A good story. A very interesting introduction to Jamie, who is anything but a major character here. The standout here are the two women manipulating (La-Fer’s-his-name?). [Well soon I’ll be caught up and won’t have to try to write from memory while missing all the fine points.]
    The other good storyline was the fact that the leader was with them all along. This is sort of a missed opportunity. Instead we get slightly too much of the slavery plot, and miss some of the better intrigue. I do love however that we see the girls hatching a plan and jump simply to the aftermath of having it fail. Don’t know if this was cut for time or not, but it works beautifully. The assault on the ship would have been a great sight to see though, and that along with the tardis scene get my vote for saddest missing footage moment of the week. We’ll call this one a 2.7

  2. Paul Fauber @wordsmithpaul

    Hey Ponken. In your trivia for “The Highlanders”, you mentioned the planned story to write Jamie out of DOCTOR WHO. This story was to be written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, the team who gave us the Yeti and would have used their monsters in this unproduced story. Before the writing team could get to work, they submitted “The Dominators” which was fraught with problems. It lost an episode because it was awful and the writers and DOCTOR WHO over the Quarks, robots from the awful story that never would have replaced the Daleks anyway. As a result of the disputes over “The Dominators”, Hainsman and Lincoln wrote nothing else for the show. As for this last historical story, it may be Polly’s best showing. She becomes ruthless a ruthless blackmailer and succeeds because she and Kirsty are girls. She’s a blond, too. Awesome! The other fun part of this story is the various roles the Doctor slips into and out of with excellent comedic effect. The story is simply a fun romp. At the end is the late addition of Jamie to the TARDIS crew, which had to be reshot since producer Innes Lloyd invited him aboard during this serial.


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