This story is not known to exist in its original format
(6 black-and-white 25-minute TV episodes)
in its entirety.
See below for clips available
on DVD / video
|(Doctor Who Story No. 31, starring Patrick Troughton)
- written by Gerry Davis and Elwyn Jones
- directed by Hugh David
- produced by Innes Lloyd
- featuring library music tracks
- 4 episodes @ 25 minutes each
Story: The TARDIS brings the Doctor,
Ben and Polly to the aftermath of
the battle of Culloden Moor,
where they soon try to help
Scottish piper Jamie McCrimmon tend to
the remaining members of his clan.
But evading cold enemy officers and corrupt
sea captains isn't easy. How many disguises
will the Doctor need to adopt to successfully
achieve everyone's freedom? Can another battle
In-Depth Analysis Review
by Martin Izsak
WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended for
those who have already seen the program.
To avoid the spoilers, read the
Buyers' Guide version instead.
This story is, of course, most notable for introducing Troughton-Era
sidekick Jamie McCrimmon into the series, however it does not manage
to play on Jamie's Highland background to the best effect, and comes
off as more of a lack-lustre re-hash of ideas leftover from
"The Smugglers" (story no. 28).
Although the story is rather loosely connected
to an actual historical event, in this case the Highlander/Redcoat
battle of Culloden Moor, the writers were at least wise enough
not to upstage the main characters by making this the final, climactic
event of the story. In fact, the famous battle is just about over and
done with as soon as the TARDIS arrives on the scene, which is perhaps a
bit too early. Now the chance for a story that deeply involves our main
time-traveling characters can develop, leaving text-book history in the
background, which is good. What the writers actually came up with was
not too inspiring however - a gross overuse of the old capture and
We have three time-travellers, and one soon-to-be-time-traveller.
All four of them spend episode one in captivity, and the constantly
inadequate explanations they must give of themselves become truly
tiresome as one set of captors is exchanged for another, and another.
Each episode will see one more of the four main characters released
from captivity, sometimes early, and sometimes late.
Pat Troughton is doing his best to squeeze as much humour out of the
situation as possible, which is about the only strength that this
story has. Jamie is unfortunately given very little to do in this
story, and in fact will remain in captivity until the final moments
of episode four. Not a great entrance for such an important major
character, but actor Frazer Hines made good on the few dramatic scenes
that Jamie has.
The setting quickly moves away from the moor, to a seaside Inn
and a sailing ship. The ship is perhaps used to better effect in this
story than in "The Smugglers", but "The Highlanders" doesn't have as
riveting a plot - the mystery and the quest for treasure is noticeably
absent. All in all, episode four finally gets good, as there is plenty
of action, and the Doctor is on hand to confront the main villains.
Jamie's motivations for joining the Doctor's party are also well
plotted and scripted - no brutal, last minute orphanization takes
place. Thank you!
The recent release of the story's soundtrack on CD contains a few
surprises. The acting performances are all of quite a high calibre,
and the characters' motivations are all easy to understand. Only
Patrick Troughton disappointed me, particularly with his very
unconvincing German accent (I've been surrounded with the real thing
through most of my life), although he does alright as the old woman
and the soldier, and of course, as himself the Doctor. It seems that
the only music in the story is a bit of bagpipe over the episode titles,
an odd soldier's drumroll at the hanging, and Pat toodling on his
recorder. The adventure is still left a bit on the boring and empty
side of things, but isn't too bad altogether. Curiously, the Doctor
lets Jamie into the TARDIS at the end on condition that he teach him
how to play the bagpipes,
yet by the time we get to
"The Abominable Snowmen" (story no. 38), we learn that
the Doctor has kept his bagpipes secretly hidden in the tickle trunk
the whole time, afraid that Jamie might find them. The scene in
"Snowmen" laughs last, and also best this time around.
If you're looking for Highlanders and the Battle of Culloden Moor,
Season Six's "The War Games" (story no. 50)
will probably satisfy you more.
If you're looking for historical identity-bluff laughs,
on the other hand, you've come to the right story.
Coverage on The Highlanders includes:
||Doctor Who: Lost in Time - Patrick Troughton
2 DVD discs
(also included in Lost in Time Boxed Sets)
More details & buying options for "Lost in Time" DVD's
- location film trims and censor clips from episode 1 (1 min.)
This audio CD set features the complete audio tracks of all
4 television episodes of this story, narrated by
actor Frazer Hines (who also played Jamie)
to help listeners follow what used to be visual aspects
of the story.
is playable in any normal audio CD player.
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