"Doctor Who" Human Nature (TV Episode 2007) Poster

(TV Series)

(2007)

User Reviews

Review this title
14 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A very different "Doctor Who" tale...
DVD_Connoisseur26 May 2007
"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.
36 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Shockingly Sophisticated And Intelligent
Theo Robertson3 August 2008
In the early 1990s Virgin books started to publish a range called The New Adventures Of Doctor Who . These so called New Adventures were supposed to continue the saga of DOCTOR WHO the television series but I never ever bought a copy because I didn't consider the range to be canonical and just seemed to be a way of parting fans of their money . They were just glorified fan fiction something I had zero interest . When the BBC confirmed one of the stories of series three was to b an adaptation of Paul Cornell's NA book Human Nature I rolled my eyes : " Couldn't they employ people to write original scripts ? " I asked myself . " Dear oh dear the show won't have long to survive if they've got to do this "

It seems after watching this episode that apologies of some sort are in order to the production team . Far from being a debacle of any sort Cornell and co have crafted a very sophisticated and intelligent piece of fantasy television . Not only that they succeeded in showing why DOCTOR WHO is the most remarkable show in the history of television . unlike the preceding episode 42 Human Nature is entirely original , it doesn't remind you of any story you have ever seen before . It's also an episode full of character development for the Doctor . Nostalgia plays a part too with a quick flashback sequence and a picture book reference to previous Doctors and adventures , along with an in joke to Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert . But perhaps the show's greatest strength is one of imagery and millions of children will never EVER look upon scarecrows in the same way again

There are one or two flaws to the story . One involves internal logic in that if the Doctor trusts Martha so much then why doesn't he let her keep the watch ? Talking of Martha it becomes clear that despite her best efforts Freema Agyeman seems to be spouting dialogue that was originally written for Rose Tyler and just to point out that she's not a lame reference to Martha being black is added . But these are minor flaws in an episode that rightly deserves to be called a classic
29 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Chilling
Pickwick1226 May 2007
This episode tells the first half of a story from a book written about the Doctor back in the '90s that was rated by readers as the best DW story ever.

To me, it was very unsettling, less because of the villains than because of what occurs with the Doctor himself.

The acting is excellent as always, the story is well paced, and a real sense of danger is established.

The second half hasn't aired yet, but I'll be excited to see exactly how the Doctor pulls out of this one.

Overall, this episode is brilliant in two ways: it has very brave character development along with chilling villains in true Who style. Nothing to complain about; I just can't wait for the ending.
14 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Everything a Who story SHOULD be
movieman_kev9 May 2008
In order to give the slip to some enemies that have him cornered, the Doctor chooses to erase his own memory. Using the old alias of John Smith, he winds up as a teacher in a finishing school in 1913. Now completely human, he must deal with human feelings such as true love. Martha is tasked with keeping an eye on him while the crises passes, but as always with the Doctor's adventures, it's not quite that easy.

Now THIS is what I'm talking about! This is everything a good Doctor Who tale should be, an extremely well-acted, captivating, marvelous story with memorable, suitably threatening villains and no over-reliance on CGI. If the second half holds up as well, it'll be ranked amongst the best episodes of Who in decades.

My Grade: A+
14 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
One of the best defining episodes for the Doctor as a whole.
felixokelly130 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is a highlight, not merely for New Who but Doctor Who as a whole. It is good for not just the character of 10 but the Doctor. Wonderfully written. Thinking this started out as a Fanfiction is incredible. It became one of the best-received Virgin New Adventures, and finally was adapted into a story, which it truly deserved. It inspired the audio Master, which inspired Utopia, which this episode foreshadows. A lot came from Paul Cornell's marvellous work. The acting is good, the plot is good, the themes are good. Having the Doctor disguise himself as a human and think he is was a wonderful idea. There are some minor flaws but they pale in this masterpiece. Series 3 really is the best New Who series so far. This story deserves more recognition as clearly one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever told.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Amazing
katissokool12 August 2007
I LOVED THIS EPISODE!

It was entrancing. It just had me hanging onto every word when I watched it.

It had been video-taped because I was out on Saturday night so I watched so many times that Sunday and the first time I'm pretty sure the entire village could hear me and my friend scream at the cliffhanger - the only reason I'm not giving it a 10.

That stuff is so frustrating!

I love it when personal touches are added to shows.

This episode was fantastic.

It is definitely among my overall Doctor Who favourites!
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
how can anyone think that
rainbow_letloose31 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
who can anybody say bad stuff about this episode? i know it's been a while since Billie piper's character of Rose left the show but people have got to move on. besides out of all of the episodes out of the 3rd series this one has got to be one of my favourites.the fact that The Doctor had to turn human to save him and Martha was heroic in a weird sort of way. David Tennant and Jessica Hynes have great chemistry and Freema Agyeman Played Martha perfectly as the green eyed monster(aka jealousy). The Family of blood and the jackstraws were great villains and to be honest i can't wait until Saturday's next instalment.big thumbs up for David Tennant he still continues to be a brilliant Doctor.keep it up MR. Tennant!
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
I loved it
drwordsmith26 May 2007
Although I feel Dr Who series 3 to be the weakest of all 3 of the series on the whole, the episodes have gradually got better and better as the series has gone on, and this episode has to be one of my favourites from the whole series. It is steeped in mystery, and there was a lot less alien bashing and running around than last week, and a lot more emphasis on developing story and characters, which I found much more interesting. At times, this seemed like an episode of 'The X Files' or something like that. I am hugely intrigued to find out what happens next week, and I found all the references to previous episodes of the new series of Dr Who and even references to further back to be a very good touch. It just gave me more ideas about whats going to happen in the final episode though...
15 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Well-played, and displayed.
conche28 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This episode was a excellent piece of work, which reeked with excitement from beginning to end. From the opening sequence to the ending. The plot is superb, and well-played (with some "small" exceptions, but we shall ignore Baines).

The way Martha was treated, and the way that the doctor acted, as a "human" was well-played. I had never thought I'd find myself sympathizing with Martha on the fact that the doctor seemed to be ignoring her, and obviously falling in love with someone else.

I adored the bit with the cricket ball. It wasn't needed, but it made the episode so extremely special and brilliant.

The journal was a nice touch, and so was Tim, who one can be quite frustrated with (who is he?). Hopefully we'll find out about that...

Saturday, come fast for the wait is too much for me!
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
This is the advert for using existing story lines, it is glorious!!
Paul Evans18 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The bundle of energy that occurred in 42, and to some extent towards the end of the Lazarus Experiment is carried forward into Human Nature, but to much better effect.

This is a total game changer of an episode, Paul Cornell's script is outstanding, having read and loved his original novel it was so good to see it adapted.

In brief the Doctor is humanised and has becomes a Teacher at a Public School in 1913. Elements of the Doctor's true life seep through and he remembers his Timelord existence. His Timelord existence is hidden from pursuers the Family of Blood. Whilst there his human persona falls for Nurse Joan Redfern, whilst a lovesick Martha looks on.

This is without doubt one of the richest scripts/episodes to this day, so many wonderful elements, his book 'Journal of impossible things' is stunningly put together. The concept of the Chamaeleon arch is such a hugely imaginative one. The scarecrows are visually wonderful, and so terrifying as they are a real creation.

The School is fantastically realised, and Pip Torrens make a great headmaster.

Jessica Hynes is an absolute revelation, she can't be faulted one bit, and each member of the family is fantastically well realised.

Annoyingly the usual harping on about Rose is still with us, this should have been knocked on the head a while back.

Everything about this feels like a golden jigsaw, it all fits together sublimely. It really is so good. A perfect 10/10
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Stunning Character Drama
Doctor Who1 April 2016
Human Nature is a great character episode. It's lighthearted for a while, and then it takes a darker turn. "The Family" had creepy actors and was very unsettling. Martha gets an awesome role, and Nurse Redfern is very likable. David Tennant is at his peak in this two parter. THIS IS DOCTOR WHO AT IT"S FINEST! The cliffhanger is great, and the resolution of the story is perfect. I really loved this episode. I recommend this for a re watch. I don't have much else to say, and I need a line or two more, but this extra portion to the review should just about do it

All superlatives here.

100% 10/10
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
David Tennant's Doctor is Still Amongst the Very Best!
Johnny H.30 May 2017
Human Nature proves that this is still easily the case: being that Tennant is still the best thing to have happened in Doctor Who's relaunch. The episode is one of the few (possibly the only one) to be adapted from a Doctor Who novel; written in the 90s.

Human Nature feels like one of the classic episodes from the series' tenure of the 70s and 80s. It is also a perfectly compatible episode that fits right in with the modern Doctor Who mold. Thomas Brodie-Sangster is great and so is Harry Lloyd (and to think that these two actors would later star in Game of Thrones further down the track). Everyone here brings something good to the table. The scarecrows are scary, the Doctor isn't sure who he really is in this story, and Martha can't get through to him; unless she performs some kind of miracle.

This episode, and its immediate sequel 'The Family of Blood', are easily the finest to have come from the series in 2007; with the obvious exception of the CLASSIC 'Blink'. A great chapter in an all-round great show.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
The first of the worst
shenlyu28 September 2011
This is the first of the two worst episodes in the history (yes, history) of Doctor Who. It plays out from beginning to end like horrible fan fiction of the worst kind. You know, the kind written by a person who just really wants the main character (the Doctor of course) to fall in love with them. From illogical plot lines to retarded romances and soap opera melodrama, this pair of episodes has it all. Just don't be surprised when the thief of a child turns out to be a the hero and Martha gets treated like crap (and not apologized to either), and the idiot school nurse turns out to be the big victim. Ugg the whole thing made me want to puke.
8 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4/10
A Doctor Who episode that disregards its main characters
WisdomsHammer8 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Written by Paul Cornell and based on his 1995 novel that started as fan fiction. Nothing wrong with that at all - that's not my gripe. The story is actually pretty interesting and well played. What if the Doctor could live as a human? What kind of human would he be? A much less interesting one, in my opinion. Amazing performance by Tennant, nonetheless.

Unforgivable: Treating Martha and the audience as if they have no brain. Martha was introduced as a strong, intelligent character - a medical student - which she still claims to be in this episode. But she acts like a bumbling idiot who seems incapable of understanding the situation. She's all "poor me" and "oh what do I do?" and thinks slapping the Doctor will bring him back into himself.

I understand why many like this episode - it humanizes the Doctor, literally. It's full of lots of interesting little side stories and conflicts. And the setting of 1913 felt incredibly real and accurate. Very well done. Many of the performances are compelling. Jessica Hynes in a notably excellent performance.

But to take the main character, set him aside and replace him with a shell, then disregard and trivialize the existing strong character (Martha) who could have made a good story stellar, it's a crime.

Thomas Sangster's character was a missed opportunity as well. Underdeveloped and underutilized. "Bullied student with a gift." We only need one scene to know he's bullied, but are beaten over the head with that when there's clearly more interesting things to know about him. Why do we need to know he's bullied anyway? It has so little to do with the main story.

And a couple other things: If they were running for their lives, how did the Doctor have time to record a long video of instructions for Martha? If you say "because he's a Time Lord," then by the same reasoning he could have avoided the whole situation in the first place. And as someone else pointed out, why wasn't Martha entrusted with the watch?

If I hadn't seen any of the previous episodes of the season and was seeing Martha's character for the first time, this episode might not have bothered me so much; but I had, so it did.

Do I hate this episode? No. There are just so many things about it that bother me that it's difficult for me to like it.
1 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews