TARDIS Index File

Human Nature (novel)

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Human Nature
NA38 humannature
Adapted into: Human Nature
Doctor: John Smith (Seventh Doctor)
Companion(s): Benny
Main enemy: The Aubertides
Main setting:
Key crew
Publisher: Virgin Books
Writer: Paul Cornell
Release details
Release number: 38
Release date: 18 May 1995
Format: Paperback Book; 16 Chapters, 256 Pages
ISBN 0-426-20443-3
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Virgin New Adventures
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Human Nature was the thirty-eighth novel in the Virgin New Adventures series. It was released as an ebook on the BBC's website in November 2002. Its good reception prompted Cornell to rewrite it for the third series of BBC Wales' Doctor Who. It was split into a two parter with the titles: Human Nature and The Family of Blood.

Publisher's summary Edit

1995 Virgin Books Edition Edit

"Who’s going to save us this time?"

April, 1914. The inhabitants of the little Norfolk town of Farringham are enjoying an early summer, unaware that war is on the way. Amongst them is Dr John Smith, a short, middle-aged history teacher from Aberdeen. He’s having a hard time with his new post as house master at Hulton College, a school dedicated to producing military officers.

Bernice Summerfield is enjoying her holiday in the town, getting over the terrible events that befell her in France. But then she meets a future Doctor, and things start to get dangerous very quickly. With the Doctor she knows gone, and only a suffragette and an elderly rake for company, can Benny fight off a vicious alien attack? And will Dr Smith be able to save the day?

2015 BBC Books Edition Edit

Hulton College in Norfolk is a school dedicated to producing military officers. With the First World War about to start, the boys of the school will soon be on the front line. But no one expects a war – not even Dr John Smith, the college’s new house master…

The Doctor’s friend Benny is enjoying her holiday in the same town. But then she meets a future version of the Doctor, and things start to get dangerous very quickly. With the Doctor she knows gone, and only a suffragette and an elderly rake for company, can Benny fight off a vicious alien attack? And will Dr Smith be able to save the day?

An adventure set in Britain on the eve of the First World War, featuring the Seventh Doctor as played by Sylvester McCoy and his companion Bernice Summerfield. This book was the basis for the Tenth Doctor television story Human Nature / The Family of Blood starring David Tennant.

Chapter titles Edit

  • Prologue
  1. Don't Forget To Catch Me
  2. Maius Intra Qua Extra
  3. Boudiccan Destruction Layer
  4. Good and Bad at Games
  5. Hurt/Comfort
  6. A Deal With God
  7. Friends and Other Lovers
  8. Everything Changes
  9. The Fine Purple, the Purest Gold, the Red of the Sacred Heart, the Grey of a Ghost
  10. What's Bigger on the Inside than on the Outside?
  11. Castling
  12. Knock Knock
  13. Let Me Tell You Something That's True
  14. Cat Heaven
  • Epilogue

Characters Edit

Main characters Edit

Other characters Edit


In the beer tent

The boys at Hulton Academy

People of Farringham

School teachers

Soldiers outside the time barrier

Time Lords in a possible future of Gallifrey

Seen orbiting the planet

References Edit

Anatomy and physiology Edit

Astronomical objects Edit

Biology Edit

Foods and beverages Edit

  • Benny drinks six pints on the planet Crex.
  • John hates pears.

Individuals Edit

Languages Edit

  • Cruk is a swear word (which Benny uses often).

Literature Edit

Occupations Edit

Organisations Edit

Personifications of concepts Edit

  • Death collects Smith as a life owed by the Doctor.

Species Edit

  • The Aubertides are from the planet Aubris. They're shape shifters and reproduce asexually via buds on their backs.

Religion Edit

Time Lords Edit

  • Time Lords dream of what it is to be able to fly or be a different sex or to have a child.

Notes Edit

In fandom the canonicity of this story has been queried. However the differences generally outweigh the similarities. See also Human Nature (novel) Talk page.
  • A prelude to this novel was published in DWM 226.
  • There is a sequence where Greeneye meets Bernice whilst pretending to be the tenth incarnation of the Doctor, just not the Tenth Doctor portrayed by David Tennant.
  • This novel was the second novel (The Dying Days was the first) to be re-released by the BBC on their website in ebook form in November 2002. It was accompanied by extensive background notes from author Paul Cornell and new illustrations from artist Daryl Joyce. The ebook has been unavailable since late 2010.
  • The novel was reprinted as part of The History Collection in February 2015, with a new cover and introduction by Cornell.

Continuity Edit

Illustrations Edit

  • Includes seventeen illustrations from the e-book by Daryl Joyce, originally published on the BBC's website.


External links Edit

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