This is the Doctor Who serial that inspired Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander

Jamie Fraser can trace his heritage all the way back to a 1960s ten-part Time Lord adventure

Outlander and Doctor Who fans alike will know that Diana Gabaldon drew inspiration for the bestselling time travel series Outlander from an episode of the British sci-fi series.


But which episode did she find her Jamie Fraser in exactly? Well, that’s a little harder to pin down, because she discovered the character that inspired him in TEN-part Patrick Troughton serial The War Games, which initially aired between the 19th of April and 21st of June 1969.

What we CAN do, however, is examine the serial in more detail, to discover just how much of the tale lines up.

It’s partially about a boy called Jamie

The War Games marked Troughton’s last days in the Tardis, but the serial also bid farewell to his travelling companion Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), who provided the “Scottish pig-headed gallantry” Gabaldon needed for her novel.

Hines became one of the first companions to leave the show at the same time as a departing Doctor, bidding farewell to the Tardis with Troughton when the ten-part story concluded.

He wears a kilt


He ends up in a prison with a soldier from the Battle of Culloden

Now we all know the first Outlander novel follows the Highlanders mere years ahead of the historic clash, so isn’t it interesting that – when he’s thrown into a military prison – Jamie McCrimmon encounters a redcoat who was plucked from the very same battlefield?

As you can imagine, Jamie McCrimmon doesn’t like him much (he IS a redcoat, after all), but the pair overcome their differences and eventually stage a mock fight to cause enough of a distraction for an escape attempt.

And knows ALL about the Jacobite cause himself…

… because he met the Second Doctor in the aftermath of the defeat of the Jacobite Rebellion on 16th April 1746.


It looks like Jamie and Jamie have far more in common than “pig-headed gallantry” and some airy attire after all…