Harold Wilson

Harold Wilson was a Labour Party politician who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in October 1964 after his party won that year's general election. (AUDIO: State of Emergency) His predecessor was Sir Alec Douglas-Home of the Conservative Party. (AUDIO: The Pelage Project)

Wilson appointed James Callaghan as the Chancellor of the Exchequer following Labour's victory. (AUDIO: State of Emergency) Callaghan later served as Prime Minister himself from 1976 to 1979. (AUDIO: The Oseidon Adventure)

He was very much in favour of science and technology. In October 1963, he made a speech to that effect at a Scarborough conference of his party. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

The cover story for the Vault, a UNIT facility that stored alien artefacts, was Wilson's mandate to find new technologies to help the nation's industry. (PROSE: One Cold Step)

Soon after the general election, General Peters attempted a coup; something which Wilson had suspected, as many people (including MI5 itself) felt that he was a "Trotskyite". Taken hostage, Wilson refused to resign and allow Peters to claim a legal change of government. After the Intrusion Countermeasures Group saved his life and ended the coup, Wilson arranged for them to be fully funded until 1969. (AUDIO: State of Emergency)

In 1965, his government negotiated with the 456: a dozen children in exchange for a needed vaccine. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three)

As head of Countermeasures, Sir Toby Kinsella was in direct contact with Wilson. Behind his back, Sir Toby considered Wilson to be a "bore". In 1965, he told Allison Williams that laughing at Wilson's jokes was one of the many duties that he had to perform for Queen and Country. (AUDIO: The Forgotten Village) He took a grim view on Wilson and nuclear war, saying he'd be rushed to a bunker "leaving us all to burn while he tucks into his beer and sandwiches" (he then admitted he'd had a place in the bunker but had lost it). (AUDIO: The Fifth Citadel)

In July 1966, the Ninth Doctor read a Daily Mirror article about "Wilson's wage freeze". He believed this was a "bad idea". (COMIC: The Love Invasion)

In December 1969, Leslie Johnston was given papers showing his authority that were signed by Harold Wilson. (PROSE: Mind of Stone)

In later years, Wilson's position seemed untenable after the failures of the Wenley Moor nuclear research facility in October 1969 and the Inferno Project in February 1970 were publicised by James Stevens in his "Bad Science" series of articles.

Wilson called a general election for June 1970. The Labour Party lost and the Conservative leader Edward Heath took over as Prime Minister. Political observers speculated that the publication of the book version of "Bad Science" had coincided not-so-incidentally with the election. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

In 1974, Wilson attended a Ministry of Defence briefing about the Daleks. Several children were surprised to see him and not Heath until Emilie explained "it's Mr Wilson's turn [as PM] this month". (PROSE: Daleks: The Secret Invasion)


An android replica of Harold Wilson was among a succession of android British Prime Ministers from Robert Walpole to Margaret Thatcher created by Tasq. (PROSE: Time Wake)

In 2017, the Twelfth Doctor mentioned Wilson as a possible candidate when asking the Landlord who the Prime Minister was. (TV: Knock Knock)

Behind the scenes[]

  • The novel Who Killed Kennedy reinterpreted Wilson's real world political failure in the light of events in the Doctor Who universe.
  • Justin Richards debated whether to use Wilson or a fictional stand-in for Counter-Measures, deciding to go with Wilson as "you had to believe this" (the plot was based on a real life plot) "may have really happened". [1] In the Behind the Scenes feature in Counter-Measures Series 1, Richards said he'd moved the coup to 1964 for dramatic purposes.
  • Daleks: The Secret Invasion is skewering the close general elections of 1974, in which Wilson did come back to office, by implying he might be replaced by Heath again later that year.