Harriet Jones was
an unassuming, lifelong backbench MP, serving the (fictional)
constituency of Flydale North, who happened to be at 10 Downing Street when an alien spacecraft
crash-landed in the River Thames at the beginning
of Aliens of London. She was there to discuss plans for the Flydale Infirmary in her "tiny little" constituency. She
soon discovered that the Cabinet had been infiltrated,
and that the Acting Prime Minister, Joseph Green, was
actually an alien in disguise.
When the Doctor showed up 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. Eventually becoming trapped together with the Doctor and Rose in the Cabinet
Rooms, she aided the Doctor in determining the Slitheen's weaknesses (World War Three). Finally, as the only elected
representative present, she 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 the reinforced steel walls of the Cabinet Rooms). At story's end, the Doctor told Rose that Jones
was destined to be a future Prime Minister, elected for three successive terms, and the architect of Britain's Golden Age.
As portrayed by
actress Penelope Wilton, for whom writer
and producer Russell T. Davies specially wrote the
character, Jones is 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, and took to the role
of leadership easily, proceeding to reassure the public at the end that the crisis was over.
Harriet Jones returned
in The Christmas Invasion, where she had become Prime Minister since the events of World War Three. Some of
her acts as Prime Minister included the launching the Guinivere Space Probe by the British Rocket Group and extending a Cottage
Hospital scheme nationwide. It was the space programme that led to her being faced with an alien invasion by the Sycorax. Although the invasion
was averted by the Tenth Doctor, Jones ordered the
covert Torchwood organisation to shoot
down the retreating Sycorax ship (a reference to Margaret Thatcher's controversial decision
to sink the Argentinian cruiser, the ARA
General Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands War).
Furious with Jones,
the Doctor warned her he could bring her down with just six words, which he whispered to her aide: "Don't you think she looks
tired?" Soon she was fending off rumours of ill-health and was facing a vote of no confidence. How this plays into the Ninth
Doctor's prediction that she would be elected for three terms is not clear.
A running gag associated with Jones
in Aliens of London and World War Three was that she always introduced herself by flashing her identity card
and saying, "Harriet Jones, MP, Flydale North." She explained that this was because her constituency is a "tiny little place"
and people would not know about it. In The Christmas Invasion, despite being Prime Minister, she continued to flash
her card and say, "Harriet Jones, Prime Minister," to which people (including the Sycorax leader) would invariably respond
that they knew who she was.
As is common with
the portrayal of fictional politicians on British television, Harriet Jones's political party is not stated. However,
her line from Aliens of London about being "hardly one of the babes" gives one clue. This is a reference to the large
number of female Labour Party MPs who entered the
House of Commons in Labour's 1997 general election victory, who were
dubbed "Blair's Babes" by the British
media. This suggests, albeit not conclusively, that she is a Labour Party politician.