Doctor Who is the inspiration behind Outlander's Jamie Fraser

While there are Jamie Frasers in history around the time Outlander is set, it wasn't history that inspired Diana Gabaldon to create this character. The inspiration came from Doctor Who!
Outlander season 2 on Starz
Outlander season 2 on Starz /

Authors and creators take inspiration from all sorts of places when it comes to the creation of universes and characters. George R.R. Martin took inspiration from real history for Game of Thrones, but Diana Gabaldon took inspiration from other fiction when it came to the creation of Jamie Fraser.

If you look at real history, you will see a few Jamie Frasers around the same time that Outlander is set. In fact, since the initial creation of the character, real history has inspired elements of the series. The Dun Bonnet was inspired by a real man after Culloden.

Yet, Jamie Fraser was inspired by a particular Doctor Who companion. You’ll definitely want to watch the classic series to meet the character.

Jamie McCrimmon from Doctor Who inspired Jamie Fraser in Outlander

Gabaldon has often shared that it was watching a beautiful man in a kilt in Doctor Who that inspired her character. It’s all about Jamie McCrimmon, played by Frazer Hines, who initially appeared in the story in 1966 in the episode “The Highlanders.”

Jamie was from the mid-18th century, and he actually fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. He was injured in the battle, but due to Laird Colin McLaren and his children, Jamie was able to flee the battlefield and survive. Why McLaren? Well, Jamie was a piper for the laird.

He would then meet the Second Doctor. Jamie was supposed to be hanged, but he escaped the gallows and ended up following the Second Doctor and the other companions at the time.

Jamie McCrimmon was never supposed to become a regular companion, though. He was supposed to have this one episode, but he ended up being so beloved by the fans of the series and by those working with Hines that he ended up becoming a main companion. Jamie got to see the world in a way he never expected. He also learned how to read and write while with The Doctor and other companions. There is even a mention in spin-offs and future iterations of the story that he ended up being the first man on the moon!

The last time Jamie was seen was in the 60th anniversary spin-off story Tales of the TARDIS. Hines returned to play an older Jamie. He and Wendy Padbury as Zoe reminisce about their adventure together.

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Doctor Who returns on Friday, May 10 on Disney+.