Nearly 10 years ago, the Daleks staged their biggest invasion of earth in recent Doctor Who history, with the Doctor teaming up with all his companions to help save the universe from Davros, Dalek Caan and a whole Dalek Empire – but in the course of the adventure there was a significant tragedy.
For any who can’t remember the series 4 finale The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, after the Earth and 26 other planets are moved in space, a mass Dalek invasion occurs, opposed by the Doctor’s network of companions. But with limited knowledge and communication between them, a leader was needed, to unite them into a team that could beat the new Dalek empire.
The character who stepped up to the plate was none other than Harriet Jones, (Penelope Wilton's former Prime Minister, for anyone who doesn’t know). She developed the Subwave Network, which linked all The Doctor’s companions and then used every mobile device on earth to contact the then-missing Doctor. As the network was amplified, however, it became visible to The Daleks who, as expected, tracked it to Harriet’s home, and killed her just after she transferred control of the Network to Torchwood.
So basically if it wasn’t for Harriet Jones, The Doctor and his companions may have never beaten The Daleks, simply because The Doctor wouldn’t have been called to Earth in the first place.
A sad story with a tragic yet simple ending, right? Well, maybe not – because it has now emerged that Harriet Jones may not have died after all. After all, we never saw her actual death – her camera just went static as it disconnected from Subwave – and now the episode’s writer Russell T Davies (who also created Harriet and was Doctor Who showrunner when the episode was broadcast) has cast new light on the events of the episode.
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You see, Davies’ latest project has been a return to the world of Doctor Who, illustrating new Who-themed poetry book Now We Are Six Hundred (written by James Goss) with cartoons of various Doctors, companions and monsters.
And when one of the poems concerned the unlucky former PM, Davies saw his chance to finally give Harriet Jones a new ending, illustrating her escape from the Daleks’ attack towards the end of the book.
“It had to be done,” Davies told RadioTimes.com. “And there was a poem about Harriet Jones.
“Phil Collinson, 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 that to him, e-mailed it to him. 'Alright! There's your happy ending!'
“But of course, you'll have to buy the book to find out what that [happy ending] is. I couldn't possibly give that away.”
Now, we can hear all your grumbles about canon. Does it actually count as Doctor Who law if published only by illustration in a book 9 years later? Well, according to Davies, it does! As a message to those skeptics, the former showrunner said “Absolutely.
“She's my character, that's my episode, I say that's true.”
So there we have it. Confirmation that Harriet Jones’ survival of the Dalek attack on her house on 28th June 2008 is officially Doctor Who canon. Harriet Jones is alive, well, and probably still reminding people just who she is. Go Harriet!
Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection of Time Lord Verse by James Goss and Russell T Davies is available for purchase from Thursday 14th September