Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Highlanders

A very wet and cold Ben (Michael Craze)
Four episodes (Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4
First broadcast Dec 17 1966 to Jan 7 1967
Average audience for serial: 7.05m

Patrick Troughton (The Doctor) Mar 25 1920 to Mar 28 1987 (heart attack) See Patrick Troughton's entry on The Power of the Daleks

Anneke Wills (Polly) Born Oct 20 1941 For a full career biography for Anneke Wills, click here.

Michael Craze (Ben Jackson) Nov 29 1942 to Dec 7 1998 (heart attack) For a full career biography for Michael Craze, click here.

Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) Born Sep 22 1944
Doctor Who credits
Played: Jamie McCrimmon in The Highlanders, The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones, The Evil of the Daleks, The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Abominable Snowmen, The Ice Warriors, The Enemy of the World, The Web of Fear, Fury from the Deep, The Wheel in Space, The Dominators, The Mind Robber, The Invasion, The Krotons, The Seeds of Death, The Space Pirates, The War Games (1966-69). Return appearances in The Five Doctors (1983) and The Two Doctors (1985). An archive clip of Frazer as Jamie also appears in Resurrection of the Daleks (1984).
Career highlights
Frazer started as a child actor in One Good Turn (1955), followed by roles in Fighting Chance (1955), Peril for the Guy (1956), X: The Unknown (1956), Huntingtower (1957), in Charlie Chaplin's A King in New York (1957), The Silver Sword (1957-58), The Salvage Gang (1958), The Young Jacobites (1960), The Cheaters (1961), Z Cars (1962), Smugglers' Cove (1963), Smuggler's Bay (1964), Coronation Street (1965), King of the River (1966), The Last Valley (1971), Duty Free (1984), Expert Witness (1996), Out of Sight (1997-98), Dalziel and Pascoe (2006), The Smoke (2014), Impurity (2014), Outlander (2015) and Corral (2018). He also had a running role as Tim Birch in Emergency Ward 10 (1963-64), but it is as the long-running character Joe Sugden in 732 episodes of the soap Emmerdale Farm that Frazer is best known (1972-94).
Frazer is a noted amateur jockey and Lords Taverners cricketer. During his time on Doctor Who, Frazer enjoyed modest pop success with the songs Who's Dr Who?, Punch and Judy Man, Jamie's Awae in His Time Machine and Time Traveller. His brother was actor Roy Hines, while another brother, Ian, played a toy soldier in The Mind Robber. Frazer's first wife was actress Gemma Craven (1981-84), and his second wife was Liz Hobbs (1994-2003), Water Ski Racing World Champion in 1981 and 1983. In 1999 Frazer was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and doctors gave him only a 25% chance of survival, but he fought against it. He was given the all-clear in 2010. Here's Frazer on Twitter.
This is Your Life: Frazer was the subject of Thames TV's This is Your Life on October 14th, 1992, surprised by host Michael Aspel during a photoshoot on the set of soap Emmerdale. He was the second Doctor Who companion to be honoured by TiYL.
In 2014 Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with Frazer here.


Sydney Arnold (Perkins) Feb 21 1900 to Aug 20 1993
Career highlights
Sydney's first credit was in Give Me the Stars (1945), and he went on to appear in Bardell Against Pickwick (1946), Emergency Ward 10 (1957), Maupassant (1963), Crossroads (1964), No Hiding Place (1966), The Beverly Hillbillies (1968), Canterbury Tales (1969), For the Love of Ada (1971), Love Thy Neighbour (1975), The Dick Emery Show (1979), Angels (1981), Never the Twain (1983/86), EastEnders (1986) and The Benny Hill Show (1986).
Sydney was apparently only 4ft 11in tall, which meant he worked an awful lot in comedy on stage and screen. He was also one of the founding fathers of British acting union Equity.

Donald Bisset (Laird) Aug 30 1910 to Aug 10 1995
Career highlights
Donald's career began in Movie-Go-Round in 1949 and he subsequently appeared in The Brain Machine (1955), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1960), Thorndyke (1964), Rocket to the Moon (1967), The Beverly Hillbillies (1968), Doctor in the House (1970), Freewheelers (1973), The Pallisers (1974), Are You Being Served? (1977), Beryl's Lot (1977), Warlords of Atlantis (1978), Smuggler (1981), Scarf Jack (1981), Only Fools and Horses (1982), Paradise Postponed (1986), Little Dorrit (1988), One Foot in the Grave (1990), Campion (1990) and The Black Velvet Gown (1991).
Donald also wrote and illustrated fairytales for children (translated into 16 languages), and wrote hundreds of stories for the publication Robin (often featuring Tubby the Odd-Job Engine) and Honeytown Tales in the 1950 and 60s. Stephanie Nettell, in Twentieth Century Children's Writers, said of Donald's literary work: "Innocence is the essential quality of Bisset's work, a pure, shining, quite unselfconscious innocence that finds a delighted response in a small child's mind and has an extraordinary cleansing effect in an adult's. Of all the writers who protest that they write for only themselves, or the child within them, Bisset is one of the few I would believe." His best known creation was Yak, which was made into a cartoon series written and narrated by Donald in 1971.

Tom Bowman (Sentry) Nov 14 1920 to Jan 8 1997
Career highlights
Tom's CV stems back to The Men of Sherwood Forest (1954) and includes The Steel Bayonet (1957), Village of the Damned (1960), I've Gotta Horse (1965), Circus of Fear (1966), Dixon of Dock Green (1967), The Troubleshooters (1971), C.O.D (1981) and As the World Turns (1985).
Tom, who moved to the US in 1975, also dubbed films, recorded books and made radio commentaries.

Barbara Bruce (Mollie) July 26 1898 to Apr 20 1973
Doctor Who credits
Played: Woman tourist in The Chase (1965, uncredited)
Played: Mollie in The Highlanders (1966-67)
Career highlights
Other credits include The Face of the Smiling Widow (1957), The Citadel (1960), Two-a-Penny (1970) and For the Love of Ada (1970).

Dallas Cavell (Captain Jebb Trask) Sep 19 1925 to Feb 15 1993
Doctor Who credits
Played: Roadworks overseer in The Reign of Terror (1964)
Played: Bors in The Daleks' Master Plan (1965-66)
Played: Captain Jebb Trask in The Highlanders (1966)
Played: Quinlan in The Ambassadors of Death (1970)
Played: Head of security in Castrovalva (1982)
Career highlights
Dallas (real first name Norman) debuted in The Voodoo Factor (1960), then Maigret (1961), The Avengers (1963), Crossroads (1964), The Caesars (1968), Brett (1971), The New Avengers (1976) and The Pickwick Papers (1985).
Dallas also worked as a bingo caller in London for a time.

Peter Diamond (Sailor) Aug 10 1929 to Mar 27 2004 (stroke) Click here for Peter Diamond's entry on The Romans

Andrew Downie (Willie Mackay) May 26 1922 to Apr 15 2009
Career highlights
Andrew debuted in The Maggie (1954), then Tunes of Glory (1960), Coronation Street (1965), Miss Mactaggart Won't Lie Down (1966), The Borderers (1970), Upstairs, Downstairs (1972), Spy Story (1976), The Professionals (1978), Crown Court (1984), Soft Top Hard Shoulder (1993) and Monarch of the Glen (2005).
Andrew was also involved in laboratory field trials for penicillin in the 1940s in Edinburgh, and in the 1950s played rugby union for Wasps and London Scottish. Between 1967-86 he was director of opera at Morley College, London, and in the 1970s acted as singing advisor for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

William Dysart (Alexander) Nov 26 1929 to Oct 2002
Doctor Who credits
Played: Alexander in The Highlanders (1966-67)
Played: Reegan in The Ambassadors of Death (1970)
Career highlights
William's other credits include Emergency Ward 10 (1962), The Verdict (1964), Crossroads (1964), Submarine X-1 (1968), Strange Report (1970), The Massacre of Glencoe (1971), Edward the Seventh (1975), Survivors (1977) and New York Nights (1984).
William's grandson Steven Macfadyen said in 2013: "I only ever met him once as a boy, he was a wonderfully warm and captivating man from what I remember. He was very much into poetry and if I remember right he was working as an orthopaedic surgeon or something along those lines when I met him for the first time. We spoke only in phone calls after that meeting, but I remember him encouraging me to pursue my artistic side because at the time I was very much interested in writing stories and poems as well as drawing. I've never known much about my granddad's life other than very vague things like TV and movie parts. I was also was told his cousin was Richard Dysart who was an actor in the US series LA Law." Additionally, William's nephew named his daughter Reegan (the name of the character Dysart played in The Ambassadors of Death!).

Michael Elwyn (Algernon ffinch) Born Aug 23 1942
Career highlights
Other work includes The Flying Swan (1965), Public Inquiry (1967), The Avengers (1968), Doomwatch (1970-72, as Richard Duncan), The Regiment (1973), One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing (1975), The Mallens (1980), Rumpole of the Bailey (1983), The Winning Streak (1985), CATS Eyes (1987), War and Remembrance (1988-89), Selling Hitler (1991), Sam Saturday (1992), No Bananas (1996), This Life (1996-97), The Knock (2000), Bad Girls (2002-03, as Rev Henry Mills), Dirty Filthy Love (2004), Sharpe's Challenge (2006), Surveillance (2007), 10 Days to War (2008), Foyle's War (2010), The Tudors (2010), The Iron Lady (2011), Stella (2012), Da Vinci's Demons (2013) and Will (2017). He regularly played Edward in Robin Hood (2006-07).
Michael's partner is actress Alison Steadman. He was previously married to Rhodesian actor Naomi Buch, who died of a brain haemmorhage in 1996.

David Garth (Solicitor Grey) Apr 15 1921 to May 3 1988
Doctor Who credits
Played: Solicitor Grey in The Highlanders (1966-67)
Played: Time Lord in Terror of the Autons (1971)
Career highlights
Indian born David first appeared in George and Margaret (1946), then Busman's Honeymoon (1947) The Strange World of Planet X (1956), Emergency Ward 10 (1964, as Leon Dorsey), Detective (1964), The Baron (1967), Adam Adamant Lives! (1966-67), Special Branch (1969-70), The Avengers (1962/66/68), Nearest and Dearest (1971), General Hospital (1972-76, as Dr Matthew Armstrong), The Flaxton Boys (1973), Return of the Saint (1979), To the Manor Born (1980), Shine on Harvey Moon (1984-85) and A Month in the Country (1987).
David was married to actress Geraldine Newman, better known as Hilda in sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles. He was also a writer, having penned a handful of screenplays in the 1930s and 40s; his novel Fury at Furnace Creek was made into a film starring Victor Mature in 1948, and ten years earlier his story Four Men and a Prayer was made into a film by director John Ford and starring David Niven.

Hannah Gordon (Kirsty) Born Apr 9 1941
Doctor Who credits
Played: Kirsty in The Highlanders (1966-67)
Played: Voice of the Ship in Shada (2003, animation)
Career highlights
Hannah's career kicked off with Johnson Over Jordan (1965) and she has been a prolific performer since, appearing in David Copperfield (1966), Great Expectations (1967), Spring and Port Wine (1970), Hadleigh (1971), My Wife Next Door (1972), Upstairs, Downstairs (1974-75), Watership Down (1978), Telford's Change (1979), The Elephant Man (1980), Goodbye, Mr Kent (1982), My Family and Other Animals (1987), Joint Account (1989-90), Taggart (1993), Jonathan Creek (1998), Monarch of the Glen (2002), Heartbeat (2004), Made of Honor (2008), Moving On (2010), Hustle (2011) and Unforgotten (2015). Hannah's more recent claims to fame include being the one to kill Victor Meldrew in the last episode of sitcom One Foot in the Grave (2000) and the regular presenter of laid-back art series Watercolour Challenge (1998-2001).
Her first husband was cinematographer Norman Warwick, who worked on various horror films in the 1960s and 70s. In 1983 a shrub rose was bred and named after her. Here she is in a 1989 TV advert for Safeway.

Guy Middleton (Colonel Attwood) Dec 14 1907 to Jul 30 1973 (effects of a heart attack)
Career highlights
Guy's extensive career began with Two Hearts in Harmony (1935) and included The Gay Adventure (1936), Keep Fit (1937), French Without Tears (1940), Dangerous Moonlight (1941), Night Boat to Dublin (1946), The Third Visitor (1951), The Belles of St Trinian's (1954), A Yank in Ermine (1955), Hancock's Half Hour (1957), Educating Archie (1959), What Every Woman Wants (1962), Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) and The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970).
Guy originally worked on London's Stock Exchange before going into acting, and cornered the market in bounders and cads in the 1940s and 50s. His wife was burlesque actress Anita Arden, who appeared in musical revues in the US and Europe during World War Two, and with Gypsy Rose Lee. Guy retired from acting after suffering a heart attack, aged 63, in late 1970.

Peter Welch (Sergeant) Mar 30 1922 to Nov 20 1984
Doctor Who credits
Played: Sergeant in The Highlanders (1966-67)
Played: Morgan in The Android Invasion (1975)
Career highlights
His career began in Dial 999 (1955) and included The Admirable Crichton (1957), The House of the Seven Hawks (1959), Danger Man (1961), The Secret of Blood Island (1964), Callan (1969), Doomwatch (1970), Spy Trap (1972-75, as Clark), Law and Order (1978), Juliet Bravo (1982) and Enemies of the State (1983).


Elwyn Jones (writer - although commissioned to write this story, he in fact carried out no work on it, and it was written instead by Gerry Davis) May 4 1923 to May 19 1982
Career highlights
Elwyn's other writing credits include Nom-de-Plume (1956), Treason (1959), The Spies (1966), The Revenue Men (1967), Gazette (1968), Parkin's Patch (1969), Softly Softly (1966-69), Doomwatch (1970), Brett (1971), Jack the Ripper (1973), Barlow (1971-75), Second Verdict (1976), Murder by Decree (1979) and The Deep Concern (1979). He also produced the series Corrigan Blake in 1963. Elwyn, who helped create the long-running police series Z Cars and its spin-offs Softly Softly: Task Force (1970) and Barlow (1971), as well as Parkin's Patch (1969), was Head of Drama Series at the BBC (1963-66) and submitted The Highlanders to Doctor Who when he returned to freelance writing in 1966. In 1978 he appeared in the BBC's Crime Writers series focusing on police procedurals.
In the 1950s he was a journalist on the Radio Times, and he returned to journalism in later life, working for the Western Mail in his native South Wales, and the Sunday Telegraph. Elwyn won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his book The Last Two to Hang (1966) in which he chronicled the story of Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans, the last men to be hanged in Britain. Aberdare Boys' School has a lovely tribute page to Elwyn here.

Gerry Davis (script editor and writer) Feb 23 1930 to Aug 31 1991 Click here for Gerry Davis's entry on The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve

Hugh David (director) Jul 17 1925 to Sep 11 1987
Doctor Who credits
Directed: The Highlanders (1966-67), Fury from the Deep (1968)
Career highlights
Hugh originally started as an actor in the TV film Arrow to the Heart (1952), followed by roles in Caesar's Friend (1954), The Buccaneers (1956), Dixon of Dock Green (1957), The Invisible Armies (1958), The Supreme Secret (1958), The Young Lady from London (1959), Tarnished Heroes (1961), Richard the Lionheart (1962) and Zero One (1965). He found his greatest role as Stephen Drummond in 36 episodes of Knight Errant Limited (1960-61). He then moved behind the cameras to become a director on productions such as Swizzlewick (1964), Compact (1965), The Newcomers (1965-66), The Man in the Iron Mask (1968), Christ Recrucified (1969), Z Cars (1967-70), Doomwatch (1970), Jude the Obscure (1971), Cranford (1972), The Pallisers (1974), Beryl's Lot (1975), Rooms (1977), The Clifton House Mystery (1978), Grange Hill (1981) and Sophia and Constance (1988). He also produced and directed the series Dominic (1976).
Hugh was offered the lead role of the Doctor in 1963 by unofficial producer Rex Tucker, but turned it down as he didn't want to get involved with another long-running series so soon after leaving Knight Errant (see the face of the alternative First Doctor here!). He was originally offered The Underwater Menace to direct, but turned it down, saying the serial could not be produced on the allocated budget! His wife was the actress Wendy Williams, who played Vira in The Ark in Space (1975).

Innes Lloyd (producer) Dec 24 1925 to Aug 23 1991 Click here for Innes Lloyd's entry on The Celestial Toymaker

Click to enlarge


  1. It should be 'and As' not 'as As' on TOM BOWMAN.

    You'll need to make the first f on Ffinch capital on MICHAEL ELWYN.

    1. In this instance, ffinch is correct. It is an archaic spelling of Finch dating back to the days of early printing when any letter S that preceded a vowel was printed as a modern f, which meant that the way to type a capital F became ff. It is very rarely used in modern times, and if it is it's only by the upper classes. Back in the 18th century, Algernon ffinch may well have thought of himself as such!


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