|Also known as:||Terran, Tellurian, Earthon, Earthling, ape, Winterlack, Homo sapiens, Earthflesh|
|Biological type:||Sentient primates|
|Place of origin:||Earth|
|First seen in:||An Unearthly Child|
|Appearances:||Almost all stories in all media|
Humans were a species of sentient primates. (COMIC: The Monster Upstairs) Though humans could trace their evolutionary past to Earth, (AUDIO: Bloodtide, TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Hungry Earth) as could extraterrestrials like the Time Lord the Chancellor (TV: The End of Time) many billions of humans were born on other worlds, after humanity spread through the cosmos. (TV: The Ark, Colony in Space, The Sontaran Experiment, New Earth, et. al.) Humans became so widespread that they eventually came to emphasise their relationship to worlds other than Earth, choosing to think of themselves not as Earthlings, but as Venusians, Martians (PROSE: The Dalek Book[additional sources needed]), et cetera. Cassandra O'Brien considered herself the only "pure" human after the destruction of the Earth, all the others having "mingled." (TV: The End of the World, New Earth)
Earthbound or Earth-identifying humans went by many names over Earth's long history. For a time, they were commonly called Tellurians or Terrans — both derived from alternate names for Earth. (TV: Carnival of Monsters, The Two Doctors) Earthling was also sometimes used. Ape, a reference to humans' evolutionary cousins, was a pejorative alternative particularly favoured by Silurians and, especially in his ninth incarnation, the Doctor himself. (TV: Rose, Father's Day, The Hungry Earth)
Nevertheless, the Doctor had an especial affinity for the species, claiming at least once to be part human himself. (TV: Doctor Who, COMIC: The Forgotten) He also did twice become fully human. (PROSE: Human Nature, TV: Human Nature/The Family of Blood) The overwhelming number of his travelling companions were human. He also admitted in a Gallifreyan high court that he had a special affinity for Earth and its inhabitants, thereby determining the location of his Time Lord-imposed exile. Moreover, he would wax lyrical about the intrinsic spirit of humanity, revelling in their innate desire to explore, their "indomitability", and their ability to survive until at least the year 100000000000000. (TV: The Ark in Space, The Impossible Planet, The Waters of Mars, et al.)
Traits and abilities
Humans were special in the universe. Humanity had an instinctive need to protect their own genetic line. This could make some individuals resistant to control, such as cyber-conversion. (TV: Closing Time)
Like other creatures, humans generated pheromones, chemicals that used scent to subconsciously affect the responses of others. Enhanced pheromones, both natural and artificial, were capable of altering sexual behaviour in humans. These pheromones could be packaged in spray bottles or emitted by a body, such as the gaseous creature who possessed Carys Fletcher. (TV: Everything Changes, TV:Day One)
Innate psychic abilities were rare but not unknown. Many humans had telepathic powers, though in almost all cases it was weak or suppressed. (PROSE: The Left-Handed Hummingbird) Individual humans displayed psychic powers such as psychometry, telepathy, empathy, or time-sensitivity. (TV: Planet of the Spiders, Image of the Fendahl, The Unquiet Dead, Human Nature, Hide)
Unusual traits of humanity
- The human brain was the only source of a chemical that allowed restfullness. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)
- Jack Harkness said that humans were the only species who went camping. (TV: Countrycide)
- The Tenth Doctor claimed humans were the only species in the Mutter's Spiral who invented edible ball bearings. (TV: Fear Her)
- The I-Spyder Book of Earth Creatures stated that the humans were the only species native to Earth who voluntarily wore clothing. (PROSE: The Last Dodo)
- A gaseous entity that possessed a young woman fed on sexual energy. It considered the energy produced by the human male at climax superior. (TV: Day One)
Perceptions by other species
Other species ascribed a variety of traits to humans.
The Doctor praised the species for their "indomitable" spirit (TV: The Ark in Space, TV: Utopia) and for their daring explorer's spirit. (TV: The Impossible Planet). On the other hand, he also believed they possessed the potential for amazing cruelty (TV: The Christmas Invasion, 42, Planet of the Ood) and an innate talent for self-deception (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks); in his ninth incarnation, when frustrated, he sometimes even called them "stupid apes". (TV: Rose, Father's Day) Whether by accident or intent, most of the Doctor's many companions were human, specifically humans from Earth. (TV: An Unearthly Child, The Rescue, The Chase, The Myth Makers, The Daleks' Master Plan, The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, et al.)
Dalek Sec of the Cult of Skaro, after physically merging with the human Mr. Diagoras, noted that the human emotions he felt included ambition, hatred, aggression and "a genius for war"; he considered the species "so very Dalek" at heart. Sec also described humans as "the ultimate survivors", and Dalek Caan cited the fact that versions of New York City would continue to exist throughout history, as opposed to the Dalek race, which was nearly wiped out. (TV: Daleks in Manhattan)
Some aliens were dismissive of humans; the Rutans considered them "primitive bipeds of no value". (TV: Horror of Fang Rock) Others saw them as a potential threat or, in the case of the Shakri, as "pests" that deserved to be wiped out. (TV: The Power of Three) The Mantasphids, who referred to humans as "fleshy bipeds" and fought a war with them on Myarr, considered them dangerous but also amusingly stupid. (TV: The Infinite Quest)
History of human evolution
- For a detailed, human-focused history, see timeline. For the social developments and beginnings of humans, see Earth.
Humans evolved under the influence of a variety of species, such as the Silurians, who caused the development of racial fear, (AUDIO: Bloodtide), the Silents, (TV: The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon), the Fendahl, who caused the development of much of humanity's cruelty and capacity for evil (TV: Image of the Fendahl) and the Dæmons (TV: The Dæmons).
Humanity had official first contact with aliens in 2005, when the Slitheen infiltrated 10 Downing Street (TV: Aliens of London). After this, alien incidents became far more blatant. Another account states that first contact was the Arcturan Treaty of 2085. (PROSE: The Dying Days)
In the year 2009, the entire human race on Earth were temporarily transformed into genetic and physical duplicates of the Master and dubbed the Master Race. This was later undone by the Time Lord Rassilon. (TV: The End of Time)
In 2011, on Miracle Day, death ended for every human simultaneously when the Three Families filled the Blessing with the immortal blood of Jack Harkness, which altered humanity's morphic field and forced every human to continue living regardless of any injuries or illnesses. The Miracle was undone later that year when Jack Harkness and Rex Matheson filled the Blessing with Jack's mortal blood. (TV: The New World, Rendition, The Blood Line)
In 2058, humans began their interplanetary colonisation. By the year 2089, interstellar travel was invented. By 2100 humans had colonised a few nearby star systems beginning the species' great diaspora across the stars that lasted until the end of all ages. (TV: The Waters of Mars)
By the 51st century, humans engineered themselves advanced pheromones which made them naturally nice-smelling and attractive to others. (TV: Fragments) Humans had also developed time travel. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang, The Empty Child )
By the year 5,000,000,000, interbreeding and evolution had resulted in there being only one "pure" human left, Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17. Cassandra no longer had a recognisable human form however, due to the life-extending surgeries she had undergone. Although believed killed soon after the destruction of the Earth, (TV: The End of the World) she survived, only to die several decades later after a failed attempt at transferring her consciousness to Rose Tyler. (TV: New Earth)
Despite O'Brien being described as the last human (TV: The End of the World), the human race in some form continued. At some point in their history, the humans spent millions of years as gas. They also spent time as downloads before re-evolving into humanoid form.
Humans continued to exist until at least the year 100,000,000,000,000, becoming one of the universe's last surviving races; by this point, they had re-evolved to be virtually indistinguishable from the humans the Doctor encountered during the 21st century and earlier. At this time, humans on the planet Malcassairo were hunted by a race of humanoids called the Futurekind. Some believed that the Futurekind were what humans would later become, while others dismissed this idea. (TV: Utopia) This fulfilled a legend that humans would be one of three species left at the end of the universe, one of the others being the Sycorax. (COMIC: Agent Provocateur)
The last known humans, transported to what they called Utopia and under the influence of the Master, underwent another evolution into a machine-clad race which he called the Toclafane, after a Gallifreyan fairy tale. The Master conquered the Earth of the early 21st century with the Toclafane with the help of a Paradox machine. The Doctor, psychically supported by the good will of humanity of the 21st century, defeated the Master. He and his colleagues reversed time, erasing the invasion from history and sending the Toclafane back to their proper place in time. Whether this was the extinction of humanity or if they had survived was never clear. (TV: The Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords)
What defines humanity?
According to the Third Doctor, "the definition of the word humanity was always a rather a complex question". When asked, he identified as not originating from Earth, but did not deny his humanity in other senses. (TV: The Time Warrior)
Indeed, the term "human" was often loosely applied to non-human species that were humanoid or even simply sentient. According to Mesanth, "human" could refer to any human-like creature, so a more precise term like Earthon should have been used to refer to the Earth's inhabitants. (PROSE: Shining Darkness) The First Doctor used the term, including himself a Time Lord, the Daleks and the Thals, to contrast between plants. Barbara Wright, however, used it differently, applying it to Thals — being humanoid — but not Daleks. (TV: The Daleks) Even the First Doctor identified as a human occasionally, opting to group himself with the Earth species rather than the Sensorites. The First Elder also referred to the Doctor as a human during the same adventure. (TV: The Sensorites)
When Davros lost a good amount of his organic body and encased most of it in an Imperial Dalek-type shell, the Seventh Doctor mused that he had "discarded the last vestige of your human form". (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) The Second Doctor's excessive time travel in the TARDIS made him, in the eyes of the Daleks, "more than human". They therefore saw him unfit to be used to test inserting the Human factor into their species, choosing Jamie McCrimmon — a "pure" human — instead. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
The Third Doctor, shortly before regenerating into his fourth incarnation, suspected that the one who stole a deadly disintegrator gun was "more than human". After the defeat of the perpetrator, a robot named K1, Sarah Jane Smith reflected on how human it had seemed at the start. The Fourth Doctor agreed, saying it was "a wonderful creature, capable of great good, and great evil" — which was what he saw humanity to mean. (TV: Robot)
"Human" was also a measure of morality; "inhuman" was frequently used to scold immoral people. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks, The Seeds of Doom, Planet of the Spiders) In fact, even the Doctor had been shown to use "inhuman" as a synonym for "monstrous" on multiple occasions. (TV: The Sensorites, The Savages, The Wheel in Space, The Invasion, The Curse of Fenric) When Duggan applied the term to Scarlioni, he replied that "when I compare my race to yours, human, I take the word 'inhuman' as a great compliment." (TV: City of Death) When Martha Jones called the Daleks inhuman, they too replied that they were not human, referring to the Earth species. (TV: Daleks in Manhattan)