Recap: Doctor Who S29 E8 "Human Nature"
aka: Doctor Who NSS 3 E 8 Human Nature
Technically speaking, the Doctor isn't in this picture...
"It's all becoming clear. The Doctor is the man you'd like to be, doing impossible things with cricket balls."
— Joan Redfern
"Human Nature" / "The Family of Blood" were adapted for TV by Paul Cornell
from his Doctor Who New Adventures
book Human Nature
. The novel starred the Seventh Doctor and Bernice Summerfield
The two-part episode was nominated for a Hugo Award
The story opens on the TARDIS, where Martha and the Doctor are trying to escape from a family of alien hunters. The Doctor finds himself forced to use a last-ditch Gallifreyan escape method...And Now for Someone Completely Different
. Mild-mannered Upper-Class Twit
schoolteacher John Smith teaches history at a Boarding School
. He's having a great time keeping a beautifully illustrated dream journal and chatting with Joan, the school nurse. Lately, his dreams have been about blue boxes in space, strange men who are all the same somehow, frightful aliens and being a "Doctor". Joan tells him that she'd love to read his tales, and as they grow closer, he ends up asking her out to the village dance.
Then, one November night, some of the monsters from his nightmares turn up in reality. They're looking for "The Doctor", and they've mistaken ordinary Englishman John Smith for their prey. The monsters steal the bodies of people living in the school area, and are on the hunt...
Weirder yet, John's maid Martha also
insists that he is the Doctor, and begs him to change back. Obviously, she's gone mad; she believes that his dreams are real, that she can travel among the stars, and even — with her skin colour! — that she can be a medical student. Smith dismisses her ideas as lunacy. But some of her ramblings spark memories inside him, memories of a life he's sure he never lived. And there was an odd watch in his living room, which Martha desperately wants, but which has been stolen by a young school boy named Timothy Latimer
It turns out that the Doctor has changed himself into a human to escape the hunters. Completely. Because the aliens will die after three months without food — and the Doctor is food — he's decided to subject himself to the agonising process of reprogramming his own body during that time. He has one heart, one human brain and one hell of a confused look on his face when he's eventually cornered by the monsters, who demand that he turn himself into the Doctor again. But he, completely bewildered, still has no idea what they're talking about... not even when they take his friends hostage.
Continued in "The Family of Blood"