Russell T Davies Has Changed the Fate of a Doctor Who Character Killed Off Years Ago... With a Poem

Image: Still via Youtube
Image: Still via Youtube

Nine years ago, ex-Prime Minister Harriet Jones gave her life to alert the Doctor to a Dalek invasion of Earth in the Doctor Who season four finale “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End.” But it turns out she didn’t actually die, as everyone believed, because former Who showrunner Russell T Davies has revealed a new poetry collection that retcons her survival.

Davies revealed the bizarre resurrection to the Radio Times, stating that when he illustrating a new collection of Doctor Who poems written by James Goss called Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection of Time Lord Verse, he wanted to include a poem about Jones, whose rise and fall as the Prime Minister of the UK played a part in the background of Davies’ tenure as showrunner.

So, given that he’s the one who killed her in the first place, he decided that the poem would instead give Harriet Jones a happy ending, illustrating how Harriet escaped the Daleks that converged on her house during “The Stolen Earth” after the subwave network she used to send a message to the Doctor was detected by them:

It had to be done. 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!’


It’s a bit of a shame that Harriet’s sacrifice—done because it was her duty to the world, even after the Doctor had arrogantly scuppered her premiership when he regenerated in “The Christmas Invasion”—has been undone. But there’s something very whimsically Doctor Who in a character being returned to life through a poem, isn’t there?

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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Cat Tarsus Sinus

Amazon has an example poem up (Six amused me immensely):


When I was One

I was not much fun

When I was Two

I was barely through

When I was Three

I liked strong tea

When I was Four

I hated a bore

When I was Five

I was really alive

When I was Six

I somehow could never quite fit in to what was expected of me, well, not exactly but that was because things weren’t neat and there are no easy rhymes in the universe and scansion, my dear Peri, is a thing that’s really overrated and you only have to look at a sunset to realise that creation itself is a poem and oh no wait, got it, of course, Fix! The line needed to end with Fix!

(Or tricks. That’s works too.)

When I was Seven

I sent the gods to Heaven

When I was Eight

Kissing was great

When I was Nine

I had forgotten time

When I was Ten

I began again

When I was Eleven

I totally got even

When I was Twelve, I became as clever as clever

And now I think I’ll be Twelve for ever and ever*

(*Unless, of course, there is a terrible catastrophe involving explosions, radiation, or heights. And then I guess we’ll find out what comes next. But the eyebrows won’t be as good.)”