Doctor Who

Season 3 Episode 8

Human Nature (1)

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 26, 2007 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (25)

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out of 10
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  • great acting

    Okay, these actors give Anne Reid (from "Smith and Jones") a run for her money.
  • Human Nature

    Human Nature was a brilliant, awesome and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written and produced. This is definitely the type of episode that will be a fan favorite and it's kind of required at some point in the series, and now is perfect because Martha is a delight! I liked how the story unfolded and the flash backs were great as Martha spent some time in the TARDIS. It was great how she thought she was only talking to a machine not knowing that the TARDIS is so much more. The Family were interesting and it was fun watching them hunt for The Doctor. The Scarecrow soldiers were scary! I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Before I begin and upset everyone, I want to make it clear: I am a BIG Doctor Who fan and have been since the 70’s. David Tennant is fast becoming my favourite Doctor of all time.

    This episode disappointed and frankly frustrated me. I have never taken to any episode of any series where the plot includes the use of something that has apparently always been available, but never mentioned or considered in the past. I am of course talking about the “humanizer”. It reminded me of the Charmed episode when Prue used a truth spell. A spell she had never used in the past and is never used (to me recall) again.

    However, I can forgive the use of the humanizer. Let’s turn to the reason behind his decision to become human. He and Martha were fleeing from a group of aliens who the Doctor said, “…won’t stop”. It was soon revealed that “The Family” had a remaining life span of only three months; I think they would have stopped quite soon. So did he really need to become human? I think not. I am starting to like the Martha character, although her infatuation with the Doctor is becoming annoying. I really did not like the racism, albeit brief. I know it was realistic of the era, but the episode just did not need it.

    The episode ended on an excellent cliffhanger, leaving us hoping that the next episode will deliver a suitable ending.
  • The Doctor is Human...

    This Episode gave David Tennant the chance as an actor to show off a wider range of this acting skills without having to go through a tedious series of castings. Smith seemed suited to teaching, but at the same time he was every bit the Doctor we know and love. The role of Joan was rather underplayed the level of romance and attraction they were supposed to share did not convey the supposed depth of emotion they were assumed to have. The humans inhabited by members of the family were good, especially Bane, who managed to perfect a brilliant evil sneer , something that will keep him in the role of panto villain for many years to come if nothing else. The tale I found was not very enthralling for the kind of tale that was being weaved. There were considerable gaps in places, events could have been better established I think before throwing us off the deep end as was done here. I like it, more for the story beyond the episode rather than the ep itself.
  • It was entirely not what I expected.

    As someone who has only gotten on the Dr Who bandwagon since the series came to Sci Fi network, I am at a disadvantage to all the previous incarnations of the Doctor and all that have been written about him. This episode is entirely on it's own as a good look at what the Doctor can become in extreme instances. I watched it again this morning as I was falling asleep when it came on, but was pleasantly surprised by the whole feeling it gave me.
    Yes, good guy versus bad creatures, but a new way of looking at all of it made it memorable.
  • 1913 England. The Doctor is human. Martha is a maid. And they're in hiding.

    To escape the Family, The Doctor becomes human as they can smell him as a Time Lord. He goes into hiding as John Smith, the headmaster. And Martha is a maid at the school, raising eyebrows as she is sometimes overly attentive to this normal Mr. Smith. But when the family comes, things change. The Doctor has left specific instructions for Martha regarding his time as a human (however, he has not told her the things she most wants and needs to know, specifically what to do when John Smith falls in love with a human that isn't her). The last instruction (#23) in the even that she absolutely has no other option she must open his pocket watch which contains The Doctor. And then the Family arrives and begins to take over human bodies in their search for the doctor. However, before Martha realizes that the Doctor is in danger, a young pupil at the school, who is overly receptive, opens the pocket watch and then steals it. Next ensues the Family's sniffing out of the Doctor and the young student experiences the Doctor's long life. When Martha realizes that the Family has come she tries to inform the Doctor, but Mr. Smith is none too receptive about her stories of aliens coming ('cultural differences"). And when she realizes that the watch is missing she returns to the TARDIS to retrieve the Doctor's screwdriver to help him remember who he is. At the local dance, Martha tries desperately to jog the Doctor's memory. But before she can succeed the family is on to them and crashes the party. They now know that Mr. Smith is the Doctor in human form, however they can not make him believe so. They then capture and threaten the lives of Martha and the Matron Redfern (played by the fabulous Jessica Hynes) to force the Doctor's hand. This was by far the best episode of this season and the entire series for me. However, since I love Martha and am not bothered by her puppy dog crush on the Doctor (oh if only he could feel the same) I found it hard to watch his virtual disinterest in her. However, I love his instruction # 4 ("You. Don't let me abandon you."). Anyway, great episode, written and acted superbly (except for the son of the Family, he was just strange). Can't wait for this episodes continuation "The Family of Blood" in 2 WEEKS (whaaaat)!

    Doctor Who Series 3 on DVD in November!
  • I have been so down on Dr Who in season Three....The tides may be turning.

    I really enjoyed this fantastic episode of Doctor Who.
    I love the fact that we get to see the Doctor as a human.
    I loved the pacing and the beautiful shots.
    I enjoyed Harry Lloyd who played the role of Jeremy Baines until he turned evil. I found the character truely annoying. I saw him on Confidential and he seems like a nice bloke though. Thomas Sangster's character was great as the young psychic.
    I didn't like the scarecrows. They seemed so much like the clockwork men, even their theme was similar to my mind.
    There was alot that I did dislike, but it paled in comparison to a great story and great acting.
  • The one where the Doctor is Human

    The Family is after the Doctor and the on;y way to hide from them is for him t become human. So, after a painful process involving a pocket watch, the Doctor is now John Smith, a teacher at a boarding school in 1913 England. And Martha is a servant.

    But the Family are still after him and after one of the students open the pocket watch, where his Timelordiness (yes thst is a word, I just made it up) is being kept, they catch onto his scent.

    All this is happening at the same time that John Smith is having dreams of travelling through time and space is beginning to fall in love with the matron and Martha has to find a way to get the Doctor back because the student, Latimer, has taken the watch.

    I loved this episode. The scarecrows were super freaky and I really wanted to punch that posh boy whose name I can't remember, but he was exceptionally annoying. It was also really cool to see the Doctor as a human, although you really wouldn't want him to stay like that.

    After the cliffhanger at the end of the episode I cannot wait to see what happens next and how the will get out of that situation.

    ten out of ten
  • The Doctor and Martha go undercover in 1913 to hide from aliens chasing them. While undercover, the Doctor doesn't remember anything about being a Timelord and thinks he's human, falls in love with a nurse there, Martha is jealous, etc.

    I haven't read the book, but I have to say what I've seen so far upset me (brought back painful memories), and it seems it's only written the way it is to pull the strings of the readers/viewers. I don't really like being able to tell that the writers/directors are trying to play with my head, I can't suspend my disbelief. The story should seem like "the truth," like they're just telling it how it happened, not making something up just to be sensationalistic. It seems like this story only exists to appeal to middle-aged women and frustrate whoever likes Martha. The situation is overly cruel for Martha; most times, I try to identify with characters and think about their experiences; this time I tried to avoid thinking about her situation because it makes me shudder.

    Though I like Martha, she seems to be a somewhat weak character so far. Though her jealousy of Joan is understandable, it's a little silly, considering that she's known all along that the doctor doesn't return her feelings (also, how well does she know the doctor anyway? We're just supposed to assume every woman falls for the doctor even though they don't know what we've learned about him from watching the show forever). She would seem like a stronger character if she actually showed some self-respect and decided to go back to Earth at her own time once the doctor is safe from the Family, but of course they won't write it that way. They'll continue to show her as a weak character, who continues to adventure with the doctor and still has feelings for him even though they probably won't be returned. And if they are returned (small chance, I think), it better be well-written, or it will get very annoying very quick. It's more interesting than most episodes from this season, but a little gratuitous. Hopefully the writers won't take the easy way out in the next part; hopefully they'll come up with a strong ending like most of the episodes in the Eccleston season.
  • in media res: in the midst of things. That's exactly where we are in this episode gentle viewers.

    Things aren't looking so hot for the Doctor and Martha this week as the story opens with lasers erupting through the door of the T.A.R.D.I.S. and that's not even the half of it. Whoever's got an itchy laser finger can track the Doctor across time and space.

    So a plan is formed in the space of a few seconds to us and the next thing we see is the Doctor dressed in his "jimjams" (English...English really is the best isn't it?) and apparently he's 100% human. All in all this episode is packed full of story, and character development on all sides. Immediately we as the viewers are sucked completely into Martha's problem, the life of a student who's almost to smart for the Doctor's own good, the courting ritual of a Time Lord (I'm taking up cricket if it gets me women half as hot as this), and pissed off aliens with over developed senses of smell. Care to find out what the hell I just to because it's a two partier and until Saturday (June 2nd) I'm in the dark.

    If you haven't seen this episode, find a way to see it...soon!!!
  • The Doctor and Martha encounter trouble which forces him to temporarily become human in order to hide. With no conscient memory of his Time Lord status, he's a 1913 schoolteacher, and it's up to Martha to take care of him until he can switch back.

    This is the reason why I'm all for two-parters. Human Nature has an excellent pace, it doesn't rush to a climax, and that leaves plenty of time to develop characters well and also build up a solid storyline.

    I liked Martha in this episode, her character is growing, though I do agree with many people who post in the forum: her crush on the Doctor is getting really annoying. Still, the constant mentions of Rose annoy me even more - we could have done without it in this ep. It's great that companions aren't easily forgotten, but we are more than halfway through the season, so I think it could stop.

    The positive: -Martha taking some serious responsability and taking care of the Doctor. -The Doctor's surprisingly vunerable human side, even though though he's still brillant. -The period setting and the claustrophobic feeling we get when inside the all boys school. -The sense of tragedy with the shadow of WWI to come soon.
    -Creepy sweet little girl with red baloon.

    The negative: -They weren't bad, but there was so much hype before over scarecrows, that I was a little disappointed. -Some things don't need to be said. Martha's "and it wasn't me" could have been implied only. I mean, we already know her well enough to guess that this was exactly what she was thinking.
  • The Doctor in 1913 boys boarding school, Poor Martha as a maid trying to keep him safe from a family of aliens who're green gas and want a timelord

    Very very well done to the script writer some subjects were dealt with quite sensitively especially the comments relating to Martha from the boys, and the 'culture' shock thing the doctor started going on about
    Enjoyable so far though i cant see anything special in the housemistress but then he's John Smith an ordinary man shes not supposed to be our kinda dr who special.

    The scarecrows are a bit irrelevant as badguy assistants if theyre all from different fields theyd all look a bit more different. Poor tardis felt very sorry for it all alone like that, nice to see the boy, whats his name he's a ood actor.
    so ovrall one of the better ones of the series
    in a class with smith and jones and gridlock for watchability
  • The Doctor is forced to change all of his cells to make them look human so that he and Martha can hide from the family in the year 1913. Now the Doctor thinks he is John Smith, a teacher at an all Boys bording school.

    I don't really know what I think about the episode. It had 3 points I liked about it. One was that Thomas Sangster was in it. I was really shocked when he showed up on screen. I think he's a really good actor. Second was that it showed another side of the doctor, the side that shows us what sort of person he would be if he was Human. However there was just one problem with that. He's a bit boring. There was no action in the episode at all. No doctor, no action. However I'm sure next week's episode would be different. And third, there was another mention of Rose. I'm glad that even though Rose is gone she's still mentioned and brought up giving me that bit of hope that Billie may come back and resume the part.
  • Meet John Smith Written by Paul Cornell Directed by Charles Palmer

    Martha: “This is not you, this is 1913”
    The Doctor: “This is 1913”.

    This episode really doesn’t need any introduction because already even casual viewers will be well aware of not only where the source material of the start of this thrilling two parter came from but also that it’s being penned by the same author. When there’s a good idea out there, you grab and this one is more than good, it’s amazing.

    The Doctor and Martha are on the run from creatures we know nothing about but they must be effective because they shoot at The Doctor while he’s inside the TARDIS. Already the threat of doom has been placed and The Doctor not only questions Martha’s trust of him but comes up with an unconventional way of evading his pursuers.

    Then bam, we wake up 94 years earlier and it’s not The Doctor who is getting up out of the bed because while the man we see may look like the overenthusiastic Tenth Timelord, this man goes by the name of John Smith and the only escapades he has had in time are clearly in his head and in reality as his maid Martha Jones is told.

    If you’re one of the people who haven’t read or heard of writer Paul Cornell’s “Human Nature” book, then you might make the mistake of The Doctor hitting a It’s A Wonderful Life type of reality but soon enough you learn that our Timelord is now human and has another important vocation – education.

    Yeah, Mr John Smith is a teacher at Farringham School For Boys where he teaches them history and attempts to motivate their lazy hides into becoming thinkers, scholars and better human beings but while he’s a happy little human, he still can’t really shake his dreams out of his head.

    Telling the well versed Martha about them is one as her reasons for believing in them much more is nicely explained halfway through the episode but he also feels compelled to discuss them with Matron Joan Redfern, who it doesn’t take much of a genius to spot that she has an interest in John Smith that well extends professional boundaries.

    In Cornell’s book, Joan was a Science teacher but ultimately a change in profession does little to hinder her impact as the casting of Spaced actress Jessica Hynes is yet another spot choice. I could go on and on about how wonderfully she works with David Tennant and I will because I guarantee, it is not hard to see why John Smith takes more than a shine to her as well.

    There’s some wonderfully bumbling moments between the pair that could come out of any standard romantic comedy as Joan makes a ham fisted attempt to invite John to a local dance while John saddles her with books and proceeds to fall down the stairs but even a hardcore cynic will find these particular moments quite funny.

    However Joan’s affection for John doesn’t help Martha as we soon learn that while The Doctor might be running around thinking he’s human, Martha knows exactly what he is as she later heads to the TARDIS and watches a recording of things to do while her and The Doctor hide out in 1913.

    I have to admit as pseudonyms go, using John Smith has got to be the most painfully obvious of choices and if the enemies that are pursuing The Doctor have in depth knowledge of him, then surely they’d be ploughing through the Smiths or Johns of this particular era but changing a name is only one thing in the art of hiding.

    The Doctor has always been someone who doesn’t do things by halves so not does he use his much famous alias, he uses a device inside the TARDIS called a Chameleon Arch to rewrite his entire DNA making him a physical human being and due to the fact that he’s on the run, the decision to become mortal is explained effectively and I have to admit I’m glad that he also admitted to Martha that they are times he wanted to do it even when he wasn’t being pursued.

    Being a respected teacher with a lovely matron must be every man on the run dream but it poses no surprise that Martha would get the rotten end of the deal. Taking away the fact she could be stuck in another time era for an indefinite period and can possible never see her family, The Doctor left her up the creek without a paddle in other ways too.

    Let’s think about it, Martha may know who John Smith really is but his source of remembering himself via a watch is in his possession and he’s quick to not notice it being snatched by one of his students and also due to the time period, the much educated Martha is reduced to a maid who is dismissed by John and Joan at different points and also has to put up with racial taunts from some of the more vulgar students in the boarding school.

    People did complain about Martha’s skin colour not posing an issue in “The Shakespeare Code” certainly got the issue posed there. Martha took the snide remark about her skin in her stride but I got the feeling she did that more because she didn’t want to blow her cover and be separated from John because she certainly did not feel inferior to some of the war hungry students.

    That’s the funny thing about Martha as while this episode is a dramatic free for all and while you definitely pity her for having to bear the brunt of John Smith’s new life including the way people disregard her, there are moments where her jealousy over Joan really annoyed me. I know it might be silly if Martha’s crush on The Doctor just instantly disappeared but having her constant disapproval of Joan or lament to fellow maid Jenny that John and Joan won’t last makes you want to shake some sense into her. Martha you’re supposed to be undercover which means drawing attention to yourself and telling Jenny you and John are leaving in a few weeks as well as talking about things in the sky, well let’s just there significant ways of drawing attention to yourself.

    Still though whoever is pursing The Doctor must be damn powerful for the human option and also damn effective and with the likes of Martha and Joan spotting green lights at night, it’s only when snide Jeremy Baines sneaks out for some late night beer do we get a clue about what’s going on.

    The Doctor is being pursued by something called The Family which seems to have the ability to possess and soon enough Jeremy is the first person whose body they seize in order to scope out The Doctor and for Robin Hood actor Harry Lloyd he gets to change physically as a the possessed schoolboy.

    That’s another thing as well – the school is which John Smith is teaching seems to be preparing the boys for war and with the exception of Timothy Latimer, these boys are more than eager to get their hands dirty in other people’s blood and even Smith doesn’t seem to have an objective to war.

    It’s one of the things him and Joan differ over as she points out that subconsciously perhaps Smith wants to be The Doctor and he certainly proves he has Timelord inside him when his quick wittedness saves a baby from a piano. Okay among the high drama and creepiness that moment felt a bit cartoonish.

    It’s also the very touching moments in which John asks Joan out to the dance and when they both discuss their families too. It’s amazing with writing and performances this sublime that John and Joan become ship worthy. We know they’re doomed every bit as much as Martha does but I still can’t help but like them and that kiss between them was very sweet.

    Getting back to The Family, while Baines may be getting suspicious of John Smith, one person who knows that things are far from right is Timothy Latimer. He’s the scrawny kid that gets picked on by all the other boys and it’s his abilities at guessing so correctly draw conflict with the boys he bunks with but it also helps forward the plot as well.

    It’s him who sense that John Smith isn’t the humble teacher he claims to be and it’s him who takes the watch that would’ve been better in Martha’s possession and by opening draws The Family closer and closer into finding The Doctor and it’s also him who realises that Martha isn’t from this time either. All in all, he’s a smart kid who could potentially be used to take The Family along with The Doctor and Martha provided he’s not killed or possessed by next week’s instalment. Those of you who wanted continuity on the “you are not alone” message get it here. With Timothy being on our side in the background and Martha being regarded as a fantasist by both John and Joan, The Family moved faster in getting more for their army and soon enough we have sinister scarecrows called Jack Straws that abduct Clark, a random little girl with a red balloon and Jenny and soon enough all three of them fall in line with the mother of mime.

    That’s the other with The Family, just who the hell are they and why do they want The Doctor that they would scour the universe for him? I’d like to think they are somehow connected for this series purpose connected to Mr Saxon but it’s more probable that they have their own agenda rather than facilitating someone else’s.

    They are definitely a determined bunch as the actors, especially Harry Lloyd amp the creepy factor in their possessed state and the Jack Straws are one of the most stunning creations we’ve had. Its fantastic how threatening a bunch of scarecrows are made on a Saturday tea time series but at the same time, this season has continued to impress anyway.

    However things then come to a head during the local dance when possessed people and Jack Straws invade to take The Doctor and because John doesn’t remember a sodding thing, the threats of harming Martha and Joan does little to help him to jog his memory. If ever there was a danger fuelled cliff hanger, this would be it.

    Also in “Human Nature”

    The opening sequence is part present day, part 1913. It’s a strange sequence because not every reason behind The Doctor’s decision to become human feels verified until halfway through the episode.

    The Doctor: “Martha you trust me, don’t you?”
    Martha: “Of course I do”
    The Doctor: “Because it all depends on you”.

    I’ve noticed with this series when The Doctor and companion go undercover, the latter gets a menial job. Rose had to be a dinner lady in “School Reunion” in which The Doctor was a teacher.

    Martha: “You’re as human as they come”
    John Smith: “That’s me, completely human”

    Joan: “I appear to be holding your books”
    John Smith: “So you are”.

    The things in John’s diaries include images of Daleks, Cybermen, Slitheen, Clockwork Droids, Rose, Rienette, the TARDIS and previously incarnations of The Doctor. We never would’ve gotten that in the first series.

    John Smith: “I dream quite often that I have two hearts”
    Joan: “Well I’ll be the judge of that”.

    In the books, The Family were called the Aubertides but according to Cornell their motivations are the same. The Family sounds a bit better to me.

    Latimer: “I’m good at guessing that’s all”
    Student: “Idiot”.

    Jeremy: “Who are you, why can’t I see you?”
    The Family: “Why would you want to?”

    Latimer saw images from the monsters in the first two seasons when he opened up the watch. I delighted in the act he heard “burn with me” more than “last of the time lords” or “you are not alone”.

    John Smith: “Anything the matter Baines?”
    Jeremy: “I thought, no sir, nothing sir”.

    John Smith: “Lucky”
    Joan: “That was lucky?”

    We learned that Joan had a deceased war hero husband. I bet everyone spotted the name of John’s parents being the names of people significant with the old series. This episode has the biggest nods to the old series bar none.

    Martha (regarding The Doctor): “You had to fall in love with a human and it’s not me”.

    David Tennant is credited both as The Doctor and Smith in this episode while the preview for next week’s was at the end.

    Joan: “You best warn me in advance, can you actually dance?”
    John: “I’m not certain”.

    The Doctor’s rules for Martha during their hiding out involved The Doctor not being allowed to hurt anyone, not to worry about the TARDIS, no involvement with historical events and to not abandon Martha which kinda got broke.

    Doorman: “Spare us a penny”
    Jeremy: “I didn’t spare you”.

    Jeremy: “You took human form”
    John Smith: “Of course I’m human, I was born human”.

    Chronology: November 13th 1913 but The Doctor took Martha along in 2007, which contradicts previous chronology on the series.

    This was the most breathtaking piece of television I’ve ever seen and I have seen plenty that could rival it. “Human Nature” is definitely a more sophisticated, adult look at Doctor Who and Paul Cornell’s much revered novel will now be a much revered set of episodes in this show’s history. It’s one of those magical things where works – the characters, performances, the writing, the history of the Timelord, the essential creepiness and imminent disaster and Murray Gold’s superb scoring. It’s possibly the best episode of the series yet and definitely the most ambitious.
  • The Doctor and Martha are hiding from aliens in 1913.

    Easily the best episode of series 3 so far!

    An excellent storyline, great acting and understated, yet very effective special effects. This was a welcome return to classic Doctor Who: an episode with an eerie atmosphere with just a hint of menace and a touch of alien threat.

    Martha shows what a great companion should be whereas the Doctor gets to experience what it feels like to be human, though, of course, we don't know whether he will remember this once his own consciousness returns. The preview of next week looked very interesting too. So far, not all 2-part episodes have been great successes, so I sincerely hope they manage to hold on to this level of quality and make the second part equally thrilling.
  • simply brilliant! the story, the performances, and the direction all top notch. this is quite possibly one of the best episodes of doctor who ive seen in 30 years.

    simply brilliant! the story, the performances, and the direction all top notch. this is quite possibly one of the best episodes of doctor who ive seen in 30 years.

    i was very happy to see jessica hynes. i greatly enjoy her work and her performance was excellent. i have never seen her in a dramatic role before and i must say she shines as the matron, joan.

    what can i say about this episode that wont spoil it? the villains possessed a creppifying inensity that got a grip on me and wouldnt let go. the ending of the episode had me on the edge. i can barely wait till next week to see the conclusion.
  • 'I dream I’m this… adventurer. This daredevil. A madman. The Doctor, I’m called' (Spoilers)

    So far, the series has- in my opinion- been quite consistent when it comes to the first part of two-part stories. Quite frankly, they have been brilliant. The Empty Child, The Impossible Planet, Daleks In Manhattan and now Human Nature. In a boys’ boarding school in 1913, schoolteacher John Smith has strange dreams about being an adventurer known as the Doctor, even involving his maid Martha as his assistant. However, the truth is something stranger than this fiction: being pursued by a dangerous alien group known as the Family, the Doctor has used a chameleon arch to become human to hide from them, using the persona of a teacher at a boys’ school. But with strange lights in the sky, scarecrows coming to life and the Family in hot pursuit, Martha realises that the cover might have to be blown. But where is the watch that contains the Time Lord essence? Atmospheric, creepy and compelling, this is an excellent episode all round.

    There aren’t many shows which will change the role their lead actor takes from one week to the next, but Doctor Who has done it before and so do it again. David Tennant only plays ‘The Doctor’ in a few scenes; for the rest of the time he is ‘John Smith’. An ordinary human. And it’s nice to see the… ordinariness that Tennant can do. Usually the Doctor is quite a larger-than-life character but here, he is quieter and it works. Freema Agyeman knocks it out of the park again as Martha- having to deal with the knowledge of who John Smith really is and also dealing with his infatuation with another woman. Plus she gets to slap him, which is a great scene and handled really well.

    Other performances are great too with Jessica Hynes (formerly Stevenson) a standout as Nurse Joan Redfern. Forthright, definite and warm, she makes a great foil for Smith and their scenes together really shine. Also good are Thomas Sangster (better known for his role in Love Actually) as quiet pupil Latimer who seems to have a gift of foresight and makes a decision that could have ramifications for everyone and Harry Lloyd (Will Scarlett from Robin Hood) as schoolboy Baines, who gets possessed by a member of the Family after stumbling across their crashed spaceship. Even when he’s being sinister and creepy- which he does so well- he is still surprisingly sexy!

    There are some great continuity references- many previous adventures (eg. School Reunion, The Girl In The Fireplace and The End Of The World) are referenced in sketches in John Smith’s journal- along with several representations of previous incarnations of the Doctor- and there are flashes of previous monsters (such as the Daleks, Cybermen, the Ood and the Empress of Racnoss) when Latimer foolishly opens the watch. The scarecrows look genuinely unnerving and creepy and move in a really freaky way- the stuff of nightmares if you are so inclined. There is a spectacular scene where the Doctor prevents disaster befalling a mother and baby from a falling piano by use of a cricket ball and the final siege at the dance is great. Presented with an impossible dilemma- does Smith save Joan or Martha?- it ends on a real cliffhanger. Cannot wait to see next week’s episode. Let’s just hope it’s as good as this start promises.
  • England, 1913. A schoolteacher called John Smith dreams of adventures in time and space. The Doctor and Martha head to a boarding school to hide out from an alien race, but unusual events threaten their cover.

    Wow, what a fast paced episode, one minute the doctor and Martha were diving for cover in the Tardis, the next he was awake in 1913 and the doctor was only a dream. Only Doctor Who could create villains that can smell a Timelord!! The first 10 minutes were a bit confusing, but it was explained-well mostly, there is still a second part. It was really interesting to see the doctor as a human, with human emotions. The scarecrows were fairly scary- particularly the one that looked like it had blood on it, and the family of blood still remain a mystery, although they clearly stole some time travelling technology, but their guns did look a bit rubbish, but I guess you cant have it all. Martha Jones was excellent in this episode, trying to assimilate to 1913 as well as keeping an eye on the doctor; she is definitely a companion now. The doctor has fallen in love, well sort of, and it is fairly cute. The younger boy (Tim Latimer, the cute one from love actually) seems to have a role to play, because he not only has the Timelord part of the doctor, but can also see a bit into the future. But the big question is how the doctor will escape the final scene; will he choose Martha or Joan? I can’t wait.
  • The Doctor and Martha are forced to hide out in the 1930's, but the Doctor loses more than his freedom...

    From the start, this episode managed to pull you in! The Doctor and Martha been shot at in the Tardis one second, and then John Smith wakes up with no knowledge of his persona. This episode had it all, love, action, mystery and humour! An excellent opening to the two parter, and I hope that the next part manages to live up the this first part.

    The Doctor's book was a true trip down memory lane for us as viewers, the best part being the fact that he had drawn a portrait of Rose, which is great to know that he hasn't forgot her. His romance was also cool, but sad that it wont last...
  • And now for something completely different

    At first I was very confused.
    I saw them saying that they were being chased bu something through time and then Doctor Who woke up and didn't seem to remember being Doctor Who. And Martha told him he was being silly when he asked what the date was. I didn't like it at all and didn't understand when Martha talke about travelling the stars even though she pretended she didn't know.
    Then , thankfully, it was all explained and I loved the fact that it had unraveled so neatly. What a brilliant way to do things. And I love the way they can do things from a completely different angle every week. I liekd the love actually boy and hated the creepy boy.

    Can't wait for next week. I say the first couple of seconds of teh advert for next week **(stop reading now if you didn't) **

    and he had a wife and kid and it looks like years later. Poor Martha, how will they get out unscathed, who knows, but they will, they always do.

    Tht is my one fault with doctor Who (and even more Torchwood). I'd like people to unexpectedly be killed off in mid-season and be left genuinely wondering "are they going to die?" rather than just "how will they get out of it?"
    I really want Owen to die on Torchwood (or any of them really) but mainly Owen I hate him.

    Anyway, Doc who is the best
    Its goodbye from me...
  • This review may be a bit shoddily written since I'm still recovering from the fact that they used possibly the worst song ever "My humps" in dr who confidential

    "my humps, my little lady lumps, check it out..." just why? Anyway, enough my whinging about a genre of music that I hate with a fiery vengeance, on with my review.
    The doctor becoming/being like/wanting to be/something else to do with a human is a strong issue in Doctor who legacy. Paul Mcgann's stint in hollywood was partly hated due to its americanisation, but it was called blasphemy when it was claimed that the doctor was "half human". Now I'm not part of this population, despite its flaws I enjoyed the movie. I don't really care about people crying sacrilige when the Doctor was saying that he was "scared" in 42. The whole human thing I didn't mind, I didn't really get the point of it to begin with, but I didn't mind it.
    Anyway, I haven't read the novel "human Nature" and probably won't get a chance to now, since now its been adapted it'll probably become impossible to find a copy of, but i did enjoy the story. Though at some points you can tell that the part of John Smith was originally written for Sylvester McCoy's Doctor, David Tennant has done an excellent job at transforming his character into the man known as John Smith. Different to the Doctor but not unlike him.
    Anyway, unlike with the shakespeare code, this etting was much more believable. It was a bit over posh in some places but it was a believable setting, from the actors to the buildings, furniture, this episode was very well put together and really well thought about.
    Despite the fact that this is a well put together period piece, my one problem with this episode lies with the confusing way the story plays out. Not that its always generally a bad thing, but I did get slightly confused as to what had happened to the doctor until we were actually told what had happened. But still, confusion can be a great technique if the right amount is portioned out.
    This episode was pretty creepy at points, the living scarecrows were weird but you can't help thinking that thei presence was a bit pointless in the overall plot of the story. They were a great idea, and really well portrayed, but they could have done more than just capture people and take them back to the family, but i suppose they'll probably get more of a stab at the action in part 2 (bit disappointing cliffhanger, but good nonetheless)
    Anyway, I'm running out of words to say so I'll just finish bluntly. Me likeyed it muchly, can't wait for part 2
  • A fantastically creepy, yet enchanting, episode - it ranks alongside some of the best Who has to offer.

    Featuring a captivating plot, and an excellent cast, this episode deserves the accolade of the best 'David Tennant’ episode so far. With some eerie looking adversaries and a great period setting, this episode reminded me of the classic ‘The Pyramids of Mars’. And, just as I did back in 75, it was great to see my kids ‘hiding-behind-the-sofa’.
  • Just finished wartching it.

    i finished watching the episode literally 2 minutes ago but I had to write a review. Very good episode. I've been looking forward to this episode and the next the most out of this season I think and it mostly lived up to expectation. I wasn't too sure about the aliens though but I suppose not much can live up to villains like the daleks, cybermen and even the Ood (no idea how thats spelt) which were all shown in flashes.

    I didn't really understand the flashes that the litte boy had but they were a good sort of add on to the plot. The scarecrows were pretty cool although again not my favorite bad guys.

    I watched the preview after the episode (stop reading if you dont watch them on principle or something) and what I don't get is how he's supposed to have kids and get married and stuff. How many years are they going to fit into one episode?? Can't wait to find out...
  • oh god, what's happened to the doctor?

    about a minute in you can tell that this isn't your average docotr who episode. when you see the docotr wake up in a boarding school in 1913 with no memory fo who he is apart from some dreams he is having. his assistant martha also seems to have lost her memory. about half-way through the epiosde amrtha fidns the tardis and her meory is restored. the docotr however still has no idea who he is and trouble is brewing since soem aliens are trying to track the docotr down and they have landed. We also see the doctor have a roamntic realtionship with one of the maids. The eposde ends with a great cliffhanger when the docotr has to coose between martha's life or the maid's life. I can't wait for next week!
  • A very proper Close encounters of the 20th Century kind

    The Doctor and Martha are on the run from the family blood and have traveled back in time to 1913 England to face off against an army of scarecrows who strangely, I found both creepy and cheesy.

    Who would of guessed the Doctor would have become a teacher when he gained his humanity and fall in love with a matron. Poor Martha when will she get over that futile crush.

    Plus who is this mysterious time traveling child that can seemingly read peoples minds.

    So who will survive Maid or Matron????, great character development, ruthless sinister bad guys who are a much better family of villain then the Slaveens (my spelling????) from season one. Cannot wait until the second half of this tale.