Human Nature


Major Doctor Who geek-out post, here. You’ve been warned.

It’s been known for some time that Paul Cornell, writer of many Who books and the man who brought us the Time Dragons (I refuse to call them reapers) in season one, would be contributing a two-part script to season three.

Human Nature, the book Somewhat later, and I don’t know how, the rumour was that this script would be an adaptation of what was arguably his best novel, ‘Human Nature’. These rumours were stoked when the girl from Spaced was announced as playing a character called Joan — the name of the main character in the book. Now that a truckload of other actors have been named, all with the names of other characters, it almost seems certain.

This is awesome for at least two reasons. One; the story itself is a fantastic one, and quite an emotional one for the Doctor. There should be tears jerked, is all I’m saying. And two; the key child role in the story is being played by Thomas Sangster, the kid from Love, Actually. Which has instantly put to rest my fears of child actors. Robin Hood fangirls (and I know there’s one of you around somewhere) will be happy to note that it looks like Will Scarlett is in it too.

Adapting an old script has happened before; ‘Dalek’ in season one was in many ways a retelling of the same author’s audio play ‘Jubilee’. But that didn’t bother me as I’d never really been sucked into the audio plays. The books are different though — I like to think of them as having actually happened. In order to maintain my personal continuity, I’ve decided that something that happened in the Time War must have screwed around with time so that ‘Human Nature’ never happened in the first place, but now it will.


So, anyhow, look out for episodes eight (‘The Family of Blood’) and nine (title as yet unknown) next year. They should be great.


11 Responses to “Human Nature”

  1. Will Scarlett is only pretty when he’s standing next to Robin Hood.

  2. That’ll severely limit his career options.

  3. We’ll see how he goes in Who. To be honest, when he’s standing next to Robin you can’t actually see him through the wafty glow.

  4. Jessica Stevenson isn’t as hot as Sophia Myles. I need a beautiful female lead to die tragically for the show to qualify as a tear jerker.

    I like your personal continuity rationalisation. I like to think that the Time War caused the last two Matrix films to never have happened.

  5. The last two whats? That’s a pretty sick joke to make, given that the Wachowskis were unexpectedly killed in a freak earthquake in 2001.

    We’ll see if you’re teary later this year then.

  6. Oh you’re right. I don’t know what I was talking about.

    Will Thomas Sangster be the one firing the gun on the cover?

  7. Incidentally, that Wikipedia page includes a link to the full text of the novel and its prelude…

  8. That’s a very good point, I’d forgotten all about that. Anyone who wants to can read it now… However, there’s the age-old dilemma; is it better to read the book, then see the adaptation, or vice versa?

    I’d bet that the route to maximum enjoyment would be TV, then book. If you do it the other way round in quick succession, I find you always end up unsatisfied. Or, an incorrigible nitpicker! I knew some folk who had only just read The Fellowship of the Ring before the film, and they were ten times more demanding than any hardcore Tolkeinite. Well, not quite.

  9. I agree. Movie then book is definitely the way to go. It helps for those of us with limited literary imaginative capacity.

  10. Ah, but if you do see the movie first, you may never be able to erase, say, a bad or irritating performance from your mind when you read the book later. If I still see Elijah Wood next time I read The Lord of the Rings I’ll be grumpy.

  11. Incidentally, it’s been confirmed that it is an adaptation of Human Nature. In fact, that’s the name of part one. Moffat’s episode (the Doctor-lite one for this season) is called ‘Blink’.