Doctor Who fans, cast your mind back to the jam-packed season 4 finale, “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End.” The epic two-parter formed a three-way crossover between Doctor Who and its spinoffs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, as it saw characters from all three shows teaming up to foil a Dalek invasion of Earth. Though they defeated the monsters (of course), the battle cost the life of one of the Doctor’s allies: former prime minister Harriet Jones (Downton Abbey‘s Penelope Wilton).
Well, at least, we thought it did. Now, writer/previous showrunner Russell T. Davies has revealed that he’s retconned the character’s death out of canon in the most unlikely of ways: via an illustration in his new Doctor Who poem book, Now We Are Six Hundred.
“It had to be done,” he said. “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.”
Does a drawing in a tie-in book really count as canon, though? Davies sure seems to think so:
“Absolutely. She’s my character, that’s my episode, I say that’s true.”
To jog your memory, Jones “died” creating the Subwave Network which united the Doctor’s friends across the world via a secret signal and allowed for the Time Lord to break through the barriers the Daleks put around the planet and land on Earth. The last time we saw her, the evil pepperpots had her cornered in her house. Apparently, though, she managed to find a way out of that dire situation.
If you’re interested, you can pick up Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred, with poems by James Goss and illustrations by Davies, from tomorrow, September 14th.
Source: Radio Times