The Doctor + consequences 2/?
‘I thought I knew the name. Harriet Jones, future Prime Minister. Elected for three successive terms. The architect of Britain’s Golden Age.’
Except Harriet never fulfills her three terms as remembered by Nine, as Ten deposes her and she is removed from office after a vote of no confidence. This rewriting of history gives the Master the opportunity to gain a foothold in the British government and be elected Prime Minister.
This is why I will NEVER forgive Ten or accept RTD as some kind of paragon of feminist writing. The Doctor has his insensitive moments under both RTD and Moffat, but using institutionalized misogyny to end the career of a woman because he disagreed with her on the best way to defend the country she was in charge of? NO. That’s not the Doctor I love. She was doing her JOB, and it was a difficult job for any person to do, and he took that away from her because he thought she made a bad call. Eleven didn’t pull that shit on Churchhill or Nixon, and he had massive disagreements with Nixon. Hell, all he did with Hitler was put him in the cupboard, not that any of those men would have been affected by “don’t you think he looks tired?” the same way.
Harriet Jones died for her country, still trying to save the people she cared about. And the Doctor carries some of the blame for that.
Whoa now. Some of this needs discussing. First, what is the “institutionalized misogyny” of being “tired”. One example of this I can think of is how the Presidents of the US seem to age at an accelerated rate due to the stress of the job. This comment is meant to say perhaps the job has taken its toll and she is not fit to lead because of the natural process of leadership straining a person. I can see an argument being made for it being misogynistic if he said she looked weak or something like that, but maybe we have differing ideas of what internalized/institutionalized misogyny means. Second, Hitler was a fixed point, he can’t remove him from power. Harriet had already changed the course of history by firing that weapon that wasn’t supposed to be there, that technology was not supposed to be used in her time as Prime Minister. At that point, she changed the course of her own history by choosing to annihilate thousands (perhaps millions) of sentient beings who were fleeing Earth. If she changed the fate of those and thus altered the course of her time as Prime Minister the Doctor has reason to believe the golden age of achievement under Harriet Jones would not come to fruition. She had already set a dangerous precedence and no longer being bound by her terms being “fixed” he stopped her from doing anything worse in the name of “security”. She redeemed herself and in spectacular fashion, but her death and the altering of her term was on her. She made the choice to kill the Sycorax and she was responsible for that choice. I know every show and possibly character has flaws but I definitely can’t see how you can blame Harriet’s death on Ten. She didn’t live up to her potential until she ended up saving the world. And it was the Doctor removing her from a position that transformed her from the Prime Minister of legend to a genocidal “security” hack that gave her the opportunity to again achieve the greatness that was her destiny.