The Tenth Doctor’s debut ended with him removing the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from office, a choice that haunted him for the remainder of his term.
Doctor whoThe first holiday special of 2005 featured David Tennant’s rendition of the titular hero, who freed humanity from the bloodthirsty leader of Sycorax. However, he was also tasked with dethroning another leader at the end of history, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harriet Jones, rewriting the future and causing numerous catastrophes.
“The Christmas Invasion” ended with Penelope Wilton’s Harriet ordering the destruction of the retreating Sycorax ship, killing everyone on board to prevent further attacks. Furious at this mass slaughter, the newly regenerated Tenth Doctor whispered, “Don’t you think she looks tired?” her assistant, causing a media firestorm over her health that eventually drove her out of 10 Downing Street.
However, this is not how his career as a PM was supposed to end. After their first encounter in “World War III”, the Doctor, then played by Christopher Eccleston, recognized her as the future “architect of Britain’s Golden Age”, achieving three successful terms in office. Although the Ninth Doctor would have been horrified by Harriet’s actions in “The Christmas Invasion”, there is little chance that he will alter the course of history to prove his point. In contrast, the Tenth Doctor, who tells Harriet that he is “a whole new man”, ended his career prematurely without considering how he might alter the fate of Britain.
Instead of the so-called ‘Golden Age’, Harriet’s sudden downfall paved the way for the Master, played here by John Simm, to hypnotize the UK population into choosing he as Prime Minister under the alias Harold Saxon. From there, the Doctor’s nemesis killed a tenth of the human race and enslaved the rest; While most of his actions were undone, his assassination of US President Arthur Winters remained intact, causing political instability on both sides of the Atlantic.
By the final story of the Tenth Doctor, “The End of Time,” Britain and the rest of the world had entered a global recession, not unlike what was occurring in real life at the time. In response, the new president of the United States, Barack Obama, organized a press conference to announce a financial plan that could end this economic crisis, but this was also thwarted by the Master. After being temporarily turned into a copy of the Master, along with most of humanity, President Obama erased the plan from his own mind, condemning the world to further economic turmoil that could have been avoided if Harriet had still been the First. Minister of the United Kingdom.
As for Harriet herself, her time in office wasn’t the only thing that ended abruptly, as she was exterminated by the Daleks while helping the Doctor’s allies contact him in “The Stolen Land.” Before his death, he upheld his decision to destroy the Sycorax; The Doctor’s absence during the current Dalek invasion proved that the world needed to find other ways to defend itself. Although few incarnations of the Doctor would have tolerated what Harriet did, the Tenth Doctor might not have faced many of the catastrophes during his tenure had he at least made an effort to see her point of view.
Of course, this was only the first instance where the Tenth Doctor’s arrogance got the better of him. Most infamously, “The Waters of Mars” concluded with him declaring himself the “Victorious Lord of Time” after changing a fixed point in time, rescuing the otherwise doomed survivors of a Martian colony in 2059. Tragically, the leader of the colony, Lindsay Duncan’s Adelaide Brooke, committed suicide to restore the timeline, dying as Harriet for the greater good thanks to the Doctor’s ego.
However, the removal of Harriet Jones possibly caused much greater damage because nothing prevented her from radically altering established events. Within hours of his regeneration, the Tenth Doctor set in motion a grim chain of events: the Master’s domination of Britain and the world (twice), the recession of the early 2000s, and death and ruin of one of his most valuable allies. . With all this in mind, it is very likely that the Doctor regretted saying those six fatal words: “Don’t you think she looks tired?”
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