Doctor Who Logo 'Human Nature'
(Story Code 3.8)

by Paul Cornell
Doctor John Smith and Martha

“It’s Monday November the tenth, 1913. And you’re completely human, sir. As human as they come.” – Martha Jones, the maid

Under fire from merciless alien hunters, the Doctor and Martha only just manage to reach the safety of the TARDIS. But after sending his ship into the space / time vortex, the Doctor is dismayed to find that their pursuers are using a vortex manipulator stolen from a Time Agent to follow them; in desperation, he realises that he must resort to extreme measures to escape…

On Earth in the year 1913, schoolmaster Doctor John Smith awakes in his rooms at Farringham School For Boys and tells his maid, a pretty black girl named Martha Jones, of the strange dream he just had, in which he was an otherworldly man from the future. Martha immediately responds by telling her master that it was only a dream, reassuring him that he is completely human… Later that day, after giving a history lesson to his class, Smith returns to his rooms; he is watched carefully by Martha, who is busily scrubbing floors with her fellow maid, Jenny, whilst taking racist abuse through gritted teeth from some of the spoiled rich in attendance at the educational facility. Smith bumps into Matron Joan Redfern, an attractive, unassuming nurse in residence at the school; although it is obvious that they both like one another, each is too uncomfortable to say so, even when it comes to discussing the forthcoming Village Dance. After the bashful Smith inadvertently falls down a flight of stairs, Joan tends to his injury, while Martha comes bursting in to see if her master is all right. Smith confides in Joan about his dreams, showing her his book, ‘A Journal of Impossible Things’; intrigued by his fictional stories and illustrations of terrible monsters, a girl named Rose, a blue box, Smith’s ‘past selves’, and a fob watch. Joan takes the book to read later on. However, when Martha tries to tell Joan that these tales are mere flights of fancy, she receives a warning about her over familiarity with her master. Meanwhile, two schoolboys, Baines and Hutchinson, berate a younger boy named Timothy Latimer when he appears to have read some personal letters; Tim protests his innocence, explaining that he is sometimes able to see things. Shrugging off the incident, Baines sneaks out to retrieve some beer that has been secreted in the woods. Elsewhere, Martha and Jenny enjoy a pint at the local pub; as Martha enigmatically comments that she will return to the stars in a month, the two girls see a green flash in the sky. In the woods, Joan sees a green searchlight stab down from the heavens, casting its eerie glow across the fields; terrified, Joan heads for the pub, where she meets the two maids and Smith, who has just left the drinking establishment. After seeing a meteorite fall to Earth, Smith offers to see Joan home, while Martha and Jenny set off to find the object, which appears to have fallen nearby in Cooper’s Field. Retrieving his stash of booze from its hiding place in the woods, Baines sees a strange, glowing light; investigating its source, he comes across a green energy field, and, after finding a doorway, enters what appears to be a spaceship; inside he encounters a number of invisible extraterrestrials calling themselves “The Family”. Arriving at the field, Martha and Jenny are disappointed to find nothing, and so they decide to return home. ‘Baines’ returns to the dormitory, where young Tim notes that the elder boy is now behaving very oddly, sniffing as though searching for a particular scent… The next day, Martha cycles out to a shed on the school grounds; stepping inside, she uses her key to enter the TARDIS, now hiding by working at its lowest power settings. Here Martha recalls recent events: how the Doctor evaded the hunters in pursuit of his Time Lord heritage by using a Chameleon Arch – a device that rewrote his biology, transforming him into a human being in an intensely painful process. Using the ship’s console to replay a recorded message from the Doctor, Martha then recounts how her friend placed his Time Lord essence inside a fob watch, an innocuous object protected by a perception filter. Back at the school, Smith talks to Tim, noting that the boy is deliberately downplaying his knowledge to make himself less of a target from bullies. Drawn to the fob watch on Smith’s mantelpiece, Tim takes the chronometer for himself, and when he later opens the device back in the safety of his dormitory, he sees images of the real Doctor’s life and experiences. Elsewhere, the creature now inhabiting Baines’ body catches the Time Lord’s scent; it immediately contacts its family aboard the ship, and instructs them to activate “the soldiers” – and in the fields beyond the school, ragged scarecrows come to life; they immediately attack a farmer named Clark, and a young girl holding a red balloon… Back at the school, Smith conducts a class on machine gun practice; when Tim is distracted by a flash-forward experience to his time as a soldier in the trenches of the First World War, his peers take him away for a beating. From her vantage point nearby, Joan is shaken by the proceedings, and as she and Smith walk into the village together, she explains that the death of her late husband, Oliver, has given her a hatred of killing. When Smith uses a cricket ball to save a mother and child from being crushed by a falling piano, he finds that he suddenly has the courage to ask Joan out to the dance. After the perfectionist Smith has adjusted the position of a nearby scarecrow, he tells Joan that he gained his drawing skills from a place called “Gallifrey”, that his father was a watchmaker from Nottingham, and that his mother was called Verity. Returning to his rooms, Smith shows Joan the picture her drew of her, and the two of them share a passionate kiss, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Martha; on realising what she has just burst in on, Martha immediately runs out of her master’s rooms and heads for the TARDIS – she is clearly upset that the object of her unrequited love is kissing someone other than her… After using the watch to experience more of his schoolmaster’s other life, Tim notices Baines suspiciously meeting with Clark and the young girl, Lucy Cartwright. Cycling down a country lane, Jenny is captured by scarecrows and taken to the Family’s spacecraft, where she is taken over by the entity that calls itself their ‘Mother’. Smith and Joan prepare for their night out at the village dance. Making tea for her roommate, Jenny, Martha mentions that she and her master will soon be leaving; when Jenny uncharacteristically presses her for more information, Martha becomes suspicious and quickly leaves – only to come under fire from the high-tech blaster that Jenny now carries. Martha rushes to warn Smith, but the schoolmaster dismisses her claims that he is an alien traveller called the Doctor as insanity; after he throws her out, Martha races past Tim; seeing a flash of the maid’s real persona, the young boy decides to follow her. The Family break into Smith’s rooms, only to find the place empty – they are too late, as Smith and Joan have just arrived at the village hall. Searching the rooms, the hunters soon find a flyer for the dance, and they set off in pursuit of their quarry. While Smith and Joan share a waltz, the fearsome scarecrows advance on the hall. Martha arrives and attempts to convince Joan and Smith that her claims are true –unaware that ‘Lucy’ is listening to her conversation; in desperation, Martha shows Smith the sonic screwdriver, which the schoolmaster finds oddly familiar. As the terrifying scarecrows converge on the hall, ‘Baines’ and ‘Clark’ shoot the receptionist and one of the attendees as they force their way inside; when ‘Lucy’ tells them that Smith was once a Time Lord, the aliens take Martha and Joan hostage and demand that the schoolteacher change back into a Time Lord. Smith’s helpless protestations fall on deaf ears – unless he complies with the hunters’ demands, either his friend or his lover will die…

David Tennant (Doctor / Doctor John Smith), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), Jessica Hynes (Joan Redfern), Rebekah Staten (Jenny), Thomas Sangster (Tim Latimer), Harry Lloyd (Jeremy Baines), Tom Palmer (Hutchinson), Gerard Horan (Clark), Lauren Wilson (Lucy Cartwright), Pip Torrens (Rocastle [Headmaster]), Matthew White (Phillips), Derek Smith (Doorman), Peter Bourke (Mr Chambers)

Directed by Charles Palmer
Produced by Susie Liggat
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies, Phil Collinson and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

26th May 2007 @ 7.10 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha

*Part 1 of a 2-part story