The Cornish Mystery

A non-Delegate post, but it is about a missing Hartnell story…

I’m lucky enough to get to write a monthly column for Doctor Who Magazine (@DWMTweets) where I ramble on about stuff. In one column a while ago I found myself digressing off into wondering if a ‘Hugh Fraser’ who was an uncredited extra in 1966’s The Smugglers was the same Hugh Fraser who went on to have a distinguished and varied acting career including, of course, the role of Captain Arthur Hastings in Poirot. (Incidentally, did you know that in the first Poirot/Hastings novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Hastings is nowhere referred to as either a Captain or an Arthur? ‘Hastings’ or ‘Mr Hastings’ only. I’m afraid my love for Christie trivia is almost as great as my love for Who trivia.)

Now, I love Hugh Fraser as Hastings. As a huge Christie fan who also has to spend a lot of time in bed feeling poorly, I have a vast pile of audiobooks that allow Mr Fraser to fill those long miserable hours with his lovely voice. Honestly, he has cheered me up so many times. So this potential combination of Hastings and Who needed further investigation. I applied to the experts – the amazing Andrew Pixley in particular – and realised that it wasn’t impossible with the dates in question. I then enquired of Mr Fraser’s agent, who – and I’m not entirely sure I blame them for this as I possibly failed to come across as a serious writer/journalist instead of a Who-obsessed strange person – failed to reply.

And then…

I am gifted with some wonderfully thoughtful friends, and not one but two chums – Mark Wright (@mwrightwriter) and John Dorney (@MrJohnDorney) – who worked with Mr Fraser were kind enough to ask him about this. And the result – confirmation! Yes, The Smugglers was Hugh Fraser’s first television appearance. It’s nice to know for sure, isn’t it. Thanks again, Mark and John – and thank you so much to Mr Fraser for indulging our curiosity. (Photo by Mark Wright)






One thought on “The Cornish Mystery

  1. Pingback: DWM 458 The Doctor Ordered… – Jac Rayner

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