01/05/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Telos. 224 page hardback. Price: £25.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84583-998-7).
check out websites: www.telos.co.uk and www.frazerhines.co.uk
This relaxed memoir, 'Hines Sight', is by Frazer Hines, an actor who managed to become a household name twice. The reason we got the book must be because he spent three kilted years travelling through time and space as companion to the late Patrick Troughton, the third Doctor Who. As Jamie McCrimmon, Frazer Hines spent many months getting chapped knees and by his account had a whale of a time.
After 'The War Games', Jamie was taken from the Doctor and his memories removed. Luckily for us, Hines has much better recall, although he may well have talked about these many times in the pub and at conventions. He was also a famous face in the UK for the many years he spent as hunky Joe Sugden, on the soap 'Emmerdale Farm'. He recalls these years and his life outside of acting which includes friendships with well-known actors. He describes a life that some might envy. His decision to train as a jockey shaped much of his life giving him an alternative income and leading to further adventures. The book also describes his success and otherwise with the ladies. He is very much a glass half-full type of person and this book is shot throughout with a sense of optimism.
There are not any major revelations about his time with 'Doctor Who' but this is a pleasant gossipy read. He is not cruel in his dismissal of certain painful times in his life but at times it would be interesting to read the other side.
What mainly comes across in this book is his sense of fun. Hines is resolutely positive about his life in a way that would shame a ray of sunshine. Hines left the world of 'Doctor Who' before the current hysteria but over the years he has not been out of touch with the fans having a guest at many fan conventions. Finally, he has his reward and we see his return to the fold, albeit in audio form. He has already done two 'Companion Chronicles' and now he returns to accompany Colin Baker's Doctor on three adventures.
I confess I am not a fan of autobiographies. However, I enjoy a guilty look at the celebrity magazines occasionally and this book offers little glimpse into that more glamorous world of fast cars and faster women. My main interest like the people who come to this website is any little anecdotes about Doctor Who and there is not a huge amount of them. Hines memories of his time with Patrick Troughton are quite short and I was left wanting more though I'm not sure much more could now be gleaned. After all, it was only three years in a long life with many more activities. It was never going to be the whole of the book and he is not dishing the dirt on anyone. There have obviously been dark times in his life but he doesn't dwell on the bad things. Frazer remains an affable chap who would be a great laugh on a night out.
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