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Human Nature

Series 3

Episode 8

First Transmitted

26 May 2007

Final ratings





Series 3 volume 3


Human Nature
Human Nature
Human Nature
Human Nature
Human Nature
Human Nature
Human Nature
Human Nature
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Human Nature
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Regular Cast

David Tennant (the Doctor), Freema Ageman (Martha)

Guest Cast

Jessica Hynes (Nurse Joan Redfern), Harry Lloyd (Baines), Thomas Sangster (Tim Latimer), Tom Palmer (Hutchinson), Pip Torrens (Rocastle), Rebekah Staten (Jenny), Gerard Horan (Mr. Clark), Lauren Wilson (Lucy Cartwright), Matthew White (Phillips), Derek Smith (Doorman), Peter Bourke (Mr. Chambers), Sophie Turner (Vicar).


Written by Paul Cornell
Directed by Charles Palmer
Produced by Julie Garner and Phil Colinson


England 1913, school teacher John Smith experiences amazing dreams of living an incredible life as a mysterious adventurer called the Doctor, fighting monsters and seeing far away worlds. Is this man JUST a look-a-like of the real Doctor with a psychic link, or could there be another answer for all this?


  1. When the Doctor is speaking to Joan he names his parents as Sydney and Verity. This is clearly a reference to Sydney Newman, the original creator of Doctor Who, and Verity Lambert, the first producer.
  2. This story is an adaptation of the novel Human Nature, also by Paul Cornell.
  3. Smith claims that his mother and father were called Verity and Sydney, i.e. Verity Lambert and Sydney Newman, the producer and creator of the original Doctor Who series in 1963.
  4. The Doctor’s skill with a cricket ball has been seen before in Four to Doomsday and Black Orchid.
  5. When Latimer opens the watch there are several flashbacks to previous stories, namely Army of Ghosts / Doomsday, Dalek, The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit, Tooth and Claw, The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride.
  6. The Doctor’s journal is plethora of references to the series’ past. The sketches include depictions to the TARDIS and Sonic Screwdriver, gas mask zombies (The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances), Daleks, the Moxx of Balhoon (The End of the World), Autons (Rose), K-9 (The Invisible Enemy and School Reunion), Clockwork Droids (The Girl In The Fireplace), Rose (Rose), Cybermen (Rise of the Cybermen / Age of Steel and Army of Ghosts / Doomsday), Slitheen (Aliens of London / World War Three and Boom Town) and also portraits of the First, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors. This is the first time the series has shown pictures of the Doctor’s past selves prior to his Ninth incarnation.
  7. A flashback to The Runaway Bride is shown when Latimer opens the watch to fend off the daughter of the Family.
  8. According to Martha Jones‘ MySpace page, the opening sequence in the TARDIS takes place at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest.
  9. This is the first occurrence of an explicitly racist comment within the new series directed at a companion.
    Radio Times credits David Tennant as ‘John Smith’, and not the Doctor. On-screen credits read ‘The Doctor/Smith’.
  10. During the video instructions that the Doctor has recorded for Martha, a deleted scene for the episode reveals that instruction number five stated that the Doctor hated pears (before a number of improvised statements by Tennant that were intended to be fast forwarded when shown). The declaration of the Doctor’s distaste for pears was removed, and the fast forward implemented just before this instruction was said, as the BBC felt that it may encourage children to stop eating pears.
  11. The BBC logo does not appear on screen at any point during the episode, whereas it usually appears at the beginning of the cold opening or during the opening titles.
  12. In the beginning of the episode, when John Smith is walking through the school, the old Bunyan hymn To be a Pilgrim is heard. The lyrics may be taken to reference the return of the Master, and even his ship the Valiant.
  13. Joan puts her stethoscope in her ears backwards when listening to John Smith’s single heart.
  14. As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a NEXT TIME trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.