• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

The "Dr. Who" Connection

frazer-hines-with-fanFrazer Hines (the actor who played Jamie MacCrimmon, a companion to the second Doctor, on the BBC series "Dr. Who") sent me these photos this morning— they were taken last summer (2009) in Edinburgh (by a nice journalist named Jean Brittain— thanks, Jean!) while I was appearing at the Gathering there. You can’t see any of it, alas, but we’re on the grounds of Holyrood Palace here, talking with fans who’d come to my reading.

Now, I’ve known Frazer on paper for years; when my first book was published, I sent him a couple of copies, with a letter explaining that it was a “Dr. Who” episode in which he’d appeared that caused me to set the book in eighteenth century Scotland, and he’d kindly replied to me. But we’d never met in person.

bbc-diana-frazer-hines-2Last summer, though, a BBC reporter, seeing my name on the list of guests for the Gathering, had a brainstorm, and called to ask whether I’d be willing to do an interview with Frazer for a radio program. I said I’d love to, and was expecting to meet him at the hotel that evening. As I was working my way toward the end of the enormous signing line, though, I looked up and smiled at the next person, thinking, "Well, he looks familiar; did I see him in the bar… oh. Oh!"

Oh, indeed. <g> Anyway, we had a lovely chat, with each other and with a few fans, and then did our main interview the next day as planned (more or less interviewing each other while watching snippets of "War Games"— the episode in which Frazer—er… well, Frazer’s kilt, at least [cough]— had caught my attention).

The BBC has finally finished all its editing— boiling down three or four hours of material to half an hour— and is broadcasting the interview this week. There are two scheduled broadcasts on the BBC proper, but they also have a podcast version, available for listening anytime during the next seven days. So I thought I’d put up a link for those who don’t want to try to figure out the time changes:


Note: The radio broadcast, "Time-Travelling Scots," was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on Monday, May 5 and 15, 2010. It is re-broadcast periodically.

For those who are interested, the Dr. Who connection to OUTLANDER is also explored in my FAQ under the question "So where did you get the idea to write these books?"

8 Responses »

  1. Hi Diana – will be brief here. Just wanted to ask you when you will give an explanation of who was standing in the shadows looking up at Claire. Everyone presumes its Jamie, but what we all want to know is, how did he get there, what year did he leave from, does he know he went there, and does Claire ever find out? I am a stickler for details like time-frames and I think that if Claire left th 20th century in 1946, stayed away for 3 years, was back for 20 years, that would mean she returned to the 18th century in 1969 at age 51. Is that what your books reflect? Specifically Voyager? In the Starz tv series, Claire has no underarm hair. Does that mean she borrows a razor and is shaving in the 18th century? Have not read all the books, but when a person travels through the stones, don’t they come out on the other side of the stones, or can they just come out to wherever the person they are focused on is at that moment?

    Thanks you so much and keep up the superb writing?
    Kind regards

    • Dear Margie–

      Doubt that stickling will do you much good in this instance; Jamie is a ghost, not a time-traveler (we’ve made it explicit in the books that he can’t travel through the stones). [g]

      But yes, the ghost’s presence will be explained–but it’s the last thing in the last book, so may be awhile.



      • God, I hope I live long enough. I have asked myself many of the same questions. But I do remember Jamie having a vision (dream) after Brianna and family go back through the stones. He described the room at the old manse they were sitting in and gave a very accurate description of a telephone. Since the “arrow of time” does not travel a straight line in these novels, perhaps the ghost is the reason Claire goes through the stones to begin with. They have such deep connections and physical memories of each other. UMMMM!

  2. He then went on to play a Yorkshireman in Emmerdale Farm. That’s what my generation remembers!


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