Doctor Who Blog

The Companion Departures - #11 & #10 - Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Herriott


Another dual departure, one of the most bittersweet. Jamie and Zoe get to return to their own time safe and sound - well sound at least for Jamie. He’s last seen charging with a sword at a redcoat who missed his shot, but one gets the warm feeling that Jamie will scrap through and survive. It helps that the Doctor laughs heartily at the sight of Jamie stampeding forth to kill someone in a war (his pleasure at seeing Jamie fighting redcoats is yet another great example of the Doctor’s pacifist nature - and yes, I was being sarcastic about that). After all the Doctor and Jamie had been through, the finality of the Doctor finally saying goodbye to Jamie does tug on the heartstrings a bit - and is excellently played by Patrick Troughton who really “sells” the finality of the moment. Let us not forget Zoe and the hint that Zoe might have remembered leaving a glimmer of hope that the Doctor’s companions might have remembered more than just their first encounter with the Doctor. This hint would later be exploited by Big Finish in some of their audios that have featured Wendy Padbury as Zoe (such as Fear of the Daleks).

Some may argue that Jamie’s re-appearance in The Two Doctors undoes the tragic fate of his character (as often happened with RTD-era re-appearances of companions shortly after they met a tragic “fate” of some kind) in that it’s an older Jamie who is travelling once again with a 2nd Doctor who is doing some work for the Celestial Intervention Agency before finally being regenerated by the Time Lords. The problem with this argument is threefold - one, Jamie’s fate isn’t really played for tragedy (as indicated above, it’s bittersweet but played as a heart-warming farewell), two, it is never explicitly stated in the tv series that the 2nd Doctor and Jamie in The Two Doctors are from a period post-The War Games and pre-Spearhead from Space, and thirdly, more than 15 frickin years have passed between The War Games and The Two Doctors, so if a reversal of fate has happened it is tough to put it at the same level of an apparently final fate for a character that is undone less than two years later.

All in all, this was a satisfying departure for both characters - original and something that’s never really been repeated and which didn’t leave you feeling cheated shortly afterwards.

1 Comment...

If I recall correctly, in “The Two Doctors” there is a line about Victoria’s absence, so that would provide some form of dating.

It was as good a departure as you could get for companions with lost memories; I’d prefer to think the Time Lords’ mental conditioning wore off - by chance or by design. The adventures they had together deserved to be remembered.

Posted by David H. Olivier  on  06/16  at  08:44 AM

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