Doctor Who: Season 3, Episode 8

Human Nature (26 May 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 2,424 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

In 1913, Martha watches in jealousy from afar as The Doctor learns what it is to be human and to fall in love with the local school nurse, Joan Redfern.


(as Charles Palmer)


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Title: Human Nature (26 May 2007)

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Episode complete credited cast:
The Doctor / Smith
Tim Latimer (as Thomas Sangster)
Tom Palmer ...
Gerard Horan ...
Lauren Wilson ...
Matthew White ...
Peter Bourke ...
Mr Chambers


It's 1913 and John Smith is a middle aged teacher who works in a private school. Assisted by his doting Maid Martha who was previously employed by his father. John has his head frequently in the clouds. He has recurring dreams which he jots down details of in his journal and recounts to Joan Redfern. The schools plain, kind hearted Matron. They involve an alien time traveler who calls himself the Doctor who journey's through time and space in a blue box, picking up numerous companions along the way. But it all really just the dream. And is there more to Martha's concerns over Mr. Smith than just mere infatuation? As John and Joan's feelings become more and more apparent. Events begin to take another twist. When a mysterious, other worldly family with an army of animated scarecrows make their presence known. Written by Robert McElwaine

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel





Release Date:

26 May 2007 (UK)  »

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| (50 episodes)


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Did You Know?


John Smith's skill with the cricket ball is reminiscent of that of the Fifth Doctor, best shown in "Black Orchid" and "Four to Doomsday". See more »


In the opening shot of the scene where the schoolboys are practicing firing their machine gun, a large white modern articulated lorry can be seen moving from right to left in the background behind the targets. See more »


John Smith: I sometimes think how magical life would be if stories like this were true.
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Alter Ego (2007) See more »


The Doctor's Waltz
Written by Murray Gold
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A very different "Doctor Who" tale...
26 May 2007 | by (England) – See all my reviews

"Human Nature", based on Paul Cornell's original "New Adventure" paperback, is a very different tale to what we're used to seeing on the small screen. When The Doctor becomes a human in 1913 England to avoid the clutches of the evil alien Family of Blood, a frustrated Martha watches events unfold as the cover of his servant.

This period story is gripping and unusual. David Tennant is superb as the headmaster John Smith who occasionally has dreams of another life and alien creatures. His book of "imagined" memories is a joy to behold.

The atmosphere in this episode is very authentic and there's a real sense of dramatic suspense. The scarecrows are a genius touch and are particularly creepy.

Jessica ("Spaced) Hynes is thoroughly delightful as Smith's love-interest Joan Redfern.

9 out of 10. Depending on the quality of the next episode, this could be a story that's discussed for a very long time.

Again, what a series this has been so far! This is setting a new bar of quality for the future.

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