A Puzzle For Jamie McCrimmon

“The Jigsaw War” is a Doctor Who audio drama from Big Finish Productions and is an episode of the Companion Chronicles series.  Frazer Hines reprises his role of Jamie McCrimmon and is joined by Dominic Mafham, who is portraying an interrogator known as Moran.  However throughout the episode there is what appears to be a perplexing role reversal.  Eddie Robson comes up with a pretty creative conundrum for the Scottish lad in this particular script. This is one of the few episodes of this range that relies solely on dialogue.

Jamie is being interrogated about the whereabouts of the Doctor by Moran, however he is a little startled to find that events keep shifting dramatically every few moments in which he finds himself as the interrogator at times.  There is a rebellion of some sort in the background as well.  A being known as Side emerges and explains that Jamie can escape but he is experiencing this period out of sequence.  If Jamie can identify the proper sequence of how his part in this conflict is supposed to unfold, he is free to leave. This is Doctor Who and an Eddie Robson script, so it can’t really be that simple, can it? Well, of course not.

The Doctor’s appearance is a little limited in this one, however Frazer Hines makes the most of it with his wonderful take on the late Patrick Troughton’s iteration.  Hines has spoken before about how much he loves doing the impressions of his deceased friend as the Second Doctor, and it still shows here.

It seems an ambitious storyline for an audio play, but the performances of both actors are strong enough for me to forgive the more confusing aspects of this story.  It’s a bit of a strange story for this particular era, however I don’t usually mind the effort to break away from the supposed assigned type of story that would typically appear in the television era.  Jamie is still the same old familiar Jamie, although he has to rely on a type of analytical thinking that is often a struggle for someone of his background.  Not that there is anything wrong with being a Scottish Highlander from the eighteenth century, but Jamie has to work a little harder than many of the other Doctor’s companions sometimes, but hey…that’s why he is so loved by the fans.

Although I was able to get some enjoyment on the initial play of this episode, I suspect the more profound realizations will strike the right chords on future replays, of which I expect there will be plenty.

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