the Christmas episode of Doctor Who, the new Doctor
realises that Prime Minister Harriet Jones has become corrupt,
so he sows the seeds for her downfall by whispering to an
aide: "Don't you think she looks tired?" Soon she is fending
off rumours of ill health and facing a vote of no confidence.
in the earlier episode World War Three, the previous
Doctor had stated that Jones was destined to be Prime Minister
for three successive terms and would become the architect
of a golden age in British politics.
the Doctor changed history? That seems out of character. If
so, why don't the Reapers arrive to "sterilise the wound"?
You cannot argue that The Christmas Invasion is set
during Harriet Jones' third term, because then she, Jackie
and Mickey would all need to look a decade older - which they
Fanboy, nit-pick solver, replies:
get the Reaper question out of the way first. The episode
Day, which features the Reapers, strongly implies
that the creatures only appear when time has been severely
weakened and do not materialise each and every time history
is altered. In that instance, time had already been weakened
by the Doctor and Rose visiting the same vicinity in space
and moment in time (the day her father died) twice. This is
a clever get-out clause on the part of the writer, Paul Cornell,
so that future writers need not necessarily involve the Reapers
every time history is changed or a time paradox occurs.
in an earlier episode, The Unquiet Dead, the Doctor
informs Rose that time is in a constant state of flux, "changing
every second". Whether history has always been this mutable,
or is only so since the Time War and the fall of the Time
Lords, is unclear. Nevertheless, there is further evidence
of its instability in The Long Game, and the Reapers
don't appear in that episode either.
it would appear that the Doctor does indeed change history
in The Christmas Invasion. This is something of a shift
in character for a man who's usually concerned with preventing
such things, but maybe he realised that the golden age he
remembered was from a timeline invalidated by the Time War
and that this corrupt Harriet Jones cannot be the architect
perhaps an older and wiser Jones later resumes her role as
Prime Minister for three successive terms and does indeed
eventually lead Britain into a golden age.