Place of Origin:
Children of Time
Harriet Jones’ mother
First Seen In:
Aliens of London
click on images to enlarge
Harriet Jones was a British politician in the early 21st century who served as Prime Minister of the united Kingdom.
Harriet Jones was an unassuming career backbencher serving the constituency of Flydale North. She was at 10 Downing Street when an alien spacecraft crashed in the River Thames on 6 March, 2006. She was there to discuss plans for the Flydale Infirmary, where her mother was staying, in her “tiny little” constituency. She soon discovered that the Cabinet of the united Kingdom had been infiltrated; the Acting Prime Minister of the united Kingdom, Joseph Green, was actually one of the Slitheen family in disguise.
When the Ninth Doctor arrived at Downing Street to consult on the crash, she tried to warn his companion, Rose Tyler, of what was happening, but the two were pursued by the unmasked aliens. (Aliens of London)
Eventually, she was trapped together with the Doctor and Rose in the Cabinet Room and aided The Doctor in determining the Slitheen’s weaknesses. As the only elected representative present, Jones gave The Doctor the order to launch a Harpoon missile at Downing Street, killing the Slitheen before they could trigger off a nuclear war.
Jones, The Doctor and Rose survived thanks to hiding inside a sturdy cupboard within the Cabinet Room. The Doctor told Rose that Jones was destined to be a Prime Minister, elected for three successive terms, and the architect of Britain’s Golden Age. (World War Three)
The destruction of Downing Street was blamed on a gas explosion. As the clear up effort was under way, Jones called for an Official Enquiry. This news, along with pictures of her, The Doctor, and Rose exiting the rubble, was reported in a newspaper. (The Secret Lives of Monsters)
After the incident, Harriet Jones was chosen to form a new government. (Aliens of London) Her government won the election with a landslide majority. During Jones’s tenure, she presided over the launch of the Guinevere One space probe. Her economic plan allowed people to be £18 a week better off, according to Jackie Tyler. It was the space programme that led to her facing an alien invasion by the Sycorax. Although the invasion was averted by the Tenth Doctor, Jones ordered the covert Torchwood Institute to shoot down the retreating Sycorax ship.
Furious with Jones, The Doctor told her he could bring her down with just six words. When she stood by her actions, he whispered those six words to her aide: “Don’t you think she looks tired?” Soon she was fending off rumours of ill-health and facing a vote of no confidence. (The Christmas Invasion) Sarah Jane Smith once asked Harriet whether The Doctor “deposed” her, to which Harriet responded, “He did.” She wondered for “a long time” if she was wrong about her actions, but years afterwards, she continued to stand by what she did. (The Stolen Earth)
Torchwood Institute leader Jack Harkness once rang her, angrily demanding to know why Torchwood files were being “given” to the Leader of the Opposition. (Greeks Bearing Gifts)
Having apparently lost the Vote of No Confidence after approximately six months in office, (World War Three, The Christmas Invasion) Jones continued to work behind the scenes, devising ways to protect the Earth from alien intrusion should The Doctor be unavailable. With the help of the Mr Copper Foundation, she developed the subwave network, an intuitive system to seek out via computer anyone who had had extensive dealings with the Doctor.
Jones used the subwave network to contact Sarah Jane Smith, Martha Jones and the Torchwood Institute in an attempt to contact The Doctor. In doing so, she allowed the Daleks to trace her signal and a squad of Daleks were dispatched to exterminate her. She remained defiant in her last moments, holding up her ID card and saying, “Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.” The Daleks said they knew who she was, but Jones said they knew nothing of her, telling them they would face their downfall in underestimating the human race. The Daleks then fired their weapons as her webcam feed died. (The Stolen Earth)
Unknown to the other Children of Time, she survived the Dalek attack on her house. Harriet fell through a trapdoor, landed on a mattress and sped away on a motorcycle. (Harriet Jones, PM)
The Doctor later felt incredible remorse when he realised that, despite rejecting her, she seemingly gave her life to get him where he was supposed to be. (Journey’s End)
The Twelfth Doctor mentioned Harriet as a possible candidate when asking the Landlord who the Prime Minister was. (Knock Knock)
When Rose Tyler and her companion Clive arrived in another universe, they found the Prime Minister was Margo Kinnear, while Harriet Jones was the Leader of the Opposition, having lost an election. (The Flood)
In another timeline Harriet Jones had “three consecutive terms” as Prime Minister, as revealed by the Ninth Doctor. (World War Three) Thanks to his own actions, this never came to pass and she was removed from office after approximately only six months as Prime Minister having apparently lost a vote of no confidence, (The Christmas Invasion) paving the way for Harold Saxon to succeed her. (Last of the Time Lords)
Harriet Jones was a modest and intelligent middle-aged woman who had served her community faithfully for years without any real ambition beyond that. However, she was able to adapt quickly to the reality of the Slitheen threat. She took to the role of leadership easily, proceeding to reassure the public when the crisis was over. (World War Three) The Tenth Doctor remarked how, during the destruction of Downing Street, Harriet Jones’ first thought wasn’t of the aliens or the war, but of her mother being on her own. (The Christmas Invasion)
In a crisis, Harriet was driven and willing to take charge. (World War Three) She also remained cool when under pressure, even remaining calm when the Sycorax killed Daniel Llewellyn and Major Blake right in front of her for next-to-no reason. (The Christmas Invasion) However, she didn’t take kindly to others making jokes at inappropriate times, and was less than impressed when Captain Jack Harkness started flirting with Sarah Jane Smith over the Sub-Wave Network. (The Stolen Earth)
After her encounter with the Slitheen, Harriet became Prime Minister and proved to be a capable leader devoted to the safety of not only her country but the entire world. However, she displayed a darker side by ordering Torchwood to destroy the Sycorax even though they were retreating from Earth. (The Christmas Invasion) After that decision she wondered if she had made the right choice but eventually concluded it had been necessary to defend Earth. (The Stolen Earth) Harriet was brave and selfless when she tried to convince the Slitheen to kill her, not Rose Tyler. (World War Three) At the end of her life, Harriet said her life didn’t matter if her sacrifice would save the Earth, and fearlessly faced the Daleks when they arrived to exterminate her, telling them that ultimately they will fail as they do not know what humans are truly capable of. Her sacrifice allowed The Doctor and his companions to save the whole of reality. (The Stolen Earth)
Jones always introduced herself by flashing her identity card and saying, “Harriet Jones, MP, Flydale North,” because her constituency was a “tiny little place “and people would not know about it. (Aliens of London) Later, as Prime Minister, she continued to flash her card and say, “Harriet Jones, Prime Minister”. (The Christmas Invasion) She later modified her introduction to say, “Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister”, flashing her passport. (The Stolen Earth)
Harriet was very knowledgeable, though often displayed knowledge on areas she arguably shouldn’t know about; she knew about Torchwood despite saying herself she knew she wasn’t supposed to, and had at least some understanding of the Osterhagen Key, a device even Jack Harkness knew nothing about, as she ordered Martha Jones not to use or talk about it the moment she mentioned it. (The Christmas Invasion, The Stolen Earth)
Unbeknownst to herself, Harriet’s televised appeal for The Doctor’s assistance in the face of the Sycorax on 25 December 2006 was intercepted by the Third Doctor’s TARDIS scanner. Upon seeing the broadcast, Jo Grant suggested that The Master, who hypothetically travelled forward in time, had hypnotised Harriet to lure The Doctor into a trap. However, they were proved otherwise when they visited that time; though they did not meet the Prime Minister, they did learn that the Sycorax did invade but were destroyed while The Master interfering by animate tinsel. (The Christmas Inversion)
BEHIND THE SCENES
During The Doctor Who: Lockdown! re-watch of The Stolen Earth, Russell T Davies revealed that he was originally undecided as to who would be running the Sub-Wave Network and briefly considered several other characters including; Elton Pope, Polly Wright, Tegan Jovanka, or even Donna Noble (returning for the first time since The Runaway Bride before it was decided that she would be the companion in Series 4). Eventually, RTD decided to go with Harriet as a favour to producer Phil Collinson (as Harriet was his favourite character and he long wished for her to be redeemed after the end of The Christmas Invasion). However, RTD failed to tell Collinson about Harriet’s ultimate demise.
In the book Now We Are Six Hundred a poem shows an alternative fate for Harriet, with the character plunging through a trap door and onto a motorbike to avoid extermination by the Daleks. Regarding the change RTD explained, “[Collison], who was the producer on Doctor Who when we killed Harriet Jones has nagged me about that ever since. So the first thing I did was send [the poem] to him”. When asked “if it counted”, he replied, “Absolutely. She’s my character, that’s my episode, I say that’s true.” On Twitter, RTD later expanded his tale of Harriet’s escape; “Harriet escaped! Her bike zoomed under the Dalek saucer, into the helicarrier of Miss Fitzpatrick’s Collection, a cabal of billionaires. And far away, the Trickster smiled as another piece in his long game fell into place…”.
Harriet refers to herself as not being “one of the babes”, a reference to the recent-past term “Blair’s babes”; referring to the large number of female MP’s elected with Tony Blair in the 1997 general election.
Harriet is the namesake of a track on The Doctor Who – Series 1 and 2, “Harriet Jones, Prime Minister”.
Harriet has spawned a running gag; whenever she introduces herself, everyone (including the Daleks and the Sycorax) would respond, “Yes, we know who you are “. (The Christmas Invasion, The Stolen Earth)
This was echoed when the Twelfth Doctor introduced himself as “the President of the World … The Doctor ” and Colonel Walsh answered “Yes, we know who you are.” (The Zygon Invasion)