Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pheaturing Frazer Hines From "Doctor Who"

Hey, there, welcome to a Saturday entry of the Phile, which is more exciting then watching curling. Curling is so boring, it makes bowling look like wrestling. Anyway, I am so glad I am keeping regular update days. Not. I'll get back to a normal schedule once I go back to work, whenever that is. It's hard work playing Mr. Mom. For those of you that asked, my wife is doing good, thanks. I watched this figure skater, Johnny Weir, the other night. He dresses very flamboyantly, which kind of reminds me of myself at his age. LOL. He’s like the Lady Gaga of the Winter Olympics. Tiger Woods did a press conference yesterday morning. Only select journalists were invited and no questions were taken. Essentially, we listened to him read. American snowboarder Shaun White is called the “flying tomato,” which I think is an unfair nickname. He’s a bit more carroty isn’t he? That Shaun White is incredible. I know I usually complain about young people and their non-aching hips and their functioning memories, but I take it all back. Of course, if I start to think snowboarding is cool, it is, by definition, uncool. How is it that the Olympics can hand out 250 medals in a few weeks? It takes “American Idol” 58 weeks to pick one karaoke singer. President Obama met with the Dalai Lama, despite strong objections from the Chinese government. They’ve even threatened to stop sending us poisonous toys. The president smoothed things over by not having the meeting in the Oval Office, and by also inviting Michelle Obama’s mama, Johnny Drama and Wilmer Valderrama. Anyway, back to the Olympics. I am glad they spruced it up a bit this year. I was a big fan of the women's skiing competition. Take a look and you'll see why.

And I like the Canadian inspirational poster that is being sold.

Seriously, what I REALLY like about the Olympics is two words: Lindsey Vonn. Check out this pic of her and you'll see why.

Hundred of geeks who signed on to read the interview with Frazer Hines are like whoa, right now. Scroll down, boys, it'll be okay.

Alexander Meigs Haig
December 2, 1924 - February 20, 2010
No longer in control.
Kathryn Grayson
February 9, 1922 - February 17, 2010
A singing opera lady. It's over.

Top Ten Signs There's Not Enough Snow at the Winter Olympics
10. Snowboard events are held in fields of freshly minced onion.
9. Since everyone is there already, they're going to start the Summer Olympics next week.
8. Silver medal in the luge goes to some fat guy on a John Deere.
7. Toboggan team seen hitchhiking to finish line.
6. Winners of events decided by game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors"
5. Alpine skiing being replaced with Wii Alpine skiing.
4. Winning time in the men's downhill -- 2 hours, 12 minutes.
3. Snowboarding replaced by Waterboarding.
2. Bobsled teams forced to use recalled Toyotas instead of bobsleds.
And the number one sign there's not enough snow at the Winter Olympics...
1. NBC is involved. Figures.

I got a job at the Walt Disney Company as a Custodian in Epcot. Now I work as a Coordinator at Innoventions, still at Epcot.

This is some bloody cool, kids. This week's guest is a British actor best known for his roles as Jamie McCrimmon in the BBC science fiction television series "Doctor Who", and Joe Sugden in "Emmerdale". His book "Hines Sight" is the fifth book in the Peverett Phile Book Club, and he is the third "Doctor Who" guest I had on the show. Please welcome to the Phile... Frazer Hines!

Me: Hello, Frazer, how are you? Welcome to the Phile. Your book "Hines Sight" is the fifth to be featured in the Peverett Phile Book Club.

Frazer: Thanks, Jason, good to talk to you.

Me: You are also the third "Doctor Who" guest I had here. The first was Mary Tamm, and the second was Terry Molloy. Have you ever worked with any of them? I know you didn't on "Doctor Who", but any other project?

Frazer: I've never actually worked with either of them but I have met them at various conventions.

Me: Mary's book "First Generation" was featured in the Book Club as well. Have you read hers?

Frazer: Unfortunately not. I haven't got round to it yet as I've been busy working on my own book.

Me: You and Terry have something in common, you have both done long term famous shows about farms. He has been on the radio show "The Archers" forever, and you were on the popular British soap "Emmerdale". You are no longer on that show, right?

That's correct. I actually left working on "Emmerdale" in 1996. I like to think that we worked a lot harder on our show than they did on "The Archers" as we *really* had to milk the cows and help them give birth, wheras on "The Archers", being on the radio, they could get away with using sound effects only.

Me: Frazer, are you really from Scotland? If not, where are you from?

Frazer: I was actually born in Yorkshire in the North of England, but my mother was Scottish and I spent much of my childhood in Scotland just outside Glasgow.

Me: You played the second Doctor's companion Jamie McCrimmon, Frazer. How do you first get that part? Were you a big fan of "Doctor Who" before that?

Frazer: My agent rang me and told me to go and see Innes Lloyd at the BBC for a part in "Doctor Who". That was how it worked... you were told where to go by your agent! "Doctor Who" was one of the great successes of the day. Although it was a children’s programme it was very prestigious and well thought of. I had seen several episodes of the show because, being a red-blooded young man, I found Maureen O'Brien very attractive! Innes Lloyd, the producer at the time, was a lovely man. I remember when we talked that first time he was puffing on a pipe the whole time. 'Hallo, Frazer old boy,’ he said. ‘Sean Sutton told me I should have a look at you. We’re doing a four-episode story concerning Highlanders, and Sean tells me you’re very handy with a Scots’ accent.’ ‘I am half Scots,' I explained, and then asked if he would like me to read for the part. ‘No, that’ll be all right,’ he said, and the next thing I knew I was being fitted for my costume and was at Frensham Ponds, south of London, for the location filming.

Me: Patrick Troughton, who played the second Doctor passed away many years ago. Do you remember where you were when you first heard he passed?

Frazer: I was quite devastated when I heard the news. It was so sudden and unexpected. Patrick had been a good friend to me on "Doctor Who" and it's always very sad when your mates pass away like that.

Me: You played Jamie in a lot of episodes, many of them lost unfortunately. Does that bother you that new "Doctor Who" fans won't see a lot of your work?

Frazer: I was very proud of the work we did on "Doctor Who". Patrick, Debbie, Wendy and I all put our hearts and souls into the show, and it is amazing that the BBC never kept copies of the episodes. The stories were all great, and I have many happy memories of working on them.

Me: What was your favorite episode or story you were in?

Frazer: My favourite story would have to be my first, "The Highlanders". Because of that, I enjoyed three very happy years working with Patrick, and I’ve since got to travel the world, meeting fans and making friends, and having opportunities which many actors never get.

Me: I think it's cool you were in "The Two Doctors" episode in 1985, again playing with Patrick. And you looked like you didn't age. Anyway, did they approach you before the script was written or after?

Frazer: It was after producer John Nathan Turner arranged for me to do a quick cameo in "The Five Doctors", fitted in between recording schedules for "Emmerdale", that the call came about "The Two Doctors". Apparently John had enjoyed seeing Patrick and I working together again, and decided that he would try and base a whole story around us.

Me: What about the latest series of "Doctor Who"? Have you seen it, do you like it, and would you return as Jamie in it if they asked.

Frazer: I have seen some of the recent episodes, and it’s very impressive. The production team obviously care very much about it, and I’d love to have the opportunity to work with them at some point. If they asked, I’d come back to play Jamie like a shot! He was such a great character and I’ve had so much fun reprising the role recently for Big Finish in their audio plays.

Me: Did Big Finish ask you, or did you ask them?

Frazer: They actually got in touch a year or so back, and the result of those discussions was that I have recorded two of their "Companion Chronicles", and I've also just finished recording a series of stories with Colin Baker. Some of these haven't been released yet, but I understand that they are scheduled for this year.

Me: Most of the guests I get on the Phile are musicians, Frazer. When I interviewed Terry Molloy he mentioned he was in a band. You also have a musical past, right? Tell the readers of the Phile about the "Who's Doctor Who" single?

Frazer: Not many people know that I play double bass (my brothers and I had a trio: piano / bass / drums) and I had a pop group called Jamie and the Time Travellers. We went on the road plugging my single in 1967. Barry Mason and his partner Les Reed had just had a number one with "Delilah" for Tom Jones, and they also wrote "The Last Waltz" for Engelbert Humperdinck. They wrote "Who’s Doctor Who?" and Major-Minor records agreed to put it out. This is it, I thought. I’m going to be a millionaire pop singer. Unfortunately this was not to be the case.

Me: Okay, let's talk about the book you wrote called "Hines Sight". I love play on words, so I love the title. The book was written originally in '96 under a different title I think. What's the story?

Frazer: The original book was called "Films, Farms and Fillies". 'Films' because I started my career in films, television being in its infancy; 'Farms' because of all the farms I filmed on during "Emmerdale"; and 'Fillies' because of the two- and four-legged ladies which have formed a large part of my life. When it was first published, the publishers, Boxtree, were in the middle of being bought out by another publisher, all the people I was working with were distracted and unsure of their jobs, and so the book became a victim of the takeover and was afforded no publicity or marketing - even bookshops couldn't get hold of copies. All in all it was very disappointing given that I had spent so much time working on it and writing it. Therefore when the opportunity came up to have a modern hardback edition, I jumped at the chance.

Me: With the original book, how long did it take to write it?

Frazer: It was published in 1996, but I started working on it about a year earlier.

Me: With this new version, what made you re-release it with a different title? You added a lot more stuff to it, right?

Frazer: The book has been revised for the new edition, and with "hindsight", was that a good idea? I changed the title because it is a revised and re-edited edition, and it's in hardback. To my mind, the new edition is a new book and so needed a new title.

Me: Would you ever write another book?

Frazer: "Hines Sight" has only just come out, and so I want to see how that goes. I've certainly got enough stories!

Me: I always thought Wendy Padbury was cute as your co-companion Zoe. Are you still friends with her, and have you guys ever dated?

Frazer: You're so right! Wendy was very cute indeed. Working with her was a pleasure. At the time, though, we were both in other relationships, and of course we're still great friends as I am with everyone I worked with on Who.

Me: Coming up you'll be in Los Angeles at the Gallifrey One convention, Frazer. Do you like to do conventions, and meet the fans?

Frazer: I love them! And the conventions!! Without the fans, I wouldn't have the opportunity to reminisce about my happy days on "Doctor Who" or "Emmerdale", and I've met so many kind and appreciative people over the years.

Me: Do you come to America often? Here in Central Florida, we have our own "Doctor Who" conventions called HurricaneWho. Have you heard about that?

Frazer: Yes I have. Some great friends of mine, Tony and Linda Dowling, have a wonderful home in Fort Myers where I spend many happy holidays. I am also planning and hoping to be at HurricaneWho this year.

Me: Frazer, thanks for doing this interview. It's been a pleasure, sir. I have to tell you my cousin Jamie was named after your character, so this is really cool you are here. Tell your other "Doctor Who" friends that this interview was fun, and I hope to have more "Doctor Who" stars on here in the future. Go ahead and mention your website and tell the readers if they wanted to order your book, where would they get it from?

Frazer: Thanks for the questions! Anyone interested in the book can find it online at, and I'm happy to dedicate copies as well if people ask when they order.

Me: Take care, and if you ever want to go to Disney World, let me know, sir.

Frazer: That's very kind! Thanks. I love Disney World!

That's about it. Thanks to David Howe for helping set up the interview and of course to Frazer himself. Purchase his book if you are a "Doctor Who" or "Emmerdale" fan. The Phile will be back next Tuesday, kids, with the wonderful singer Gabrielle Louise. So, spread the word, not the turd. Bye love you bye.

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