Prelude Human Nature was, as the name suggested, a prelude to Human Nature by Paul Cornell. It was a short scene which did not appear in the published novel, and featured Alexander Shuttleworth and Joan Redfern. It was notable for introducing the character of Wolsey, a cat who travelled with the Seventh Doctor in the Virgin New Adventures series.
Alexander Shuttleworth has come to give a lecture to Joan Redfern's WI group in Farringham on the subject of bronze age archaeology. Before he does so, however, he enjoys a bit of cake, and a bit of scrutiny, provided by the other women in the group. Meanwhile, an off-hand comment by one of the women about Joan's widowhood sends Joan into deep thought about her lost husband. This then triggers another thought — one of a dream she had about her new colleague, the mercurial Dr John Smith.
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- Consistent with the novel, the spelling Boadicea is used because the speaker isn't John Smith who prefers the spelling Boudica.
- There is no punctuation in the title as printed in DWM.
- Shuttleworth knows Wolsey by name, and the cat displays affection for him.
- It's here, and not in the the main book itself, that we find out that Joan's husband died in the Boer War.
- We explicitly find out here that Joan hates being a science teacher.
- Cornell's depiction of John Smith refers to his "charmingly mobile face" — a valid way of describing an obvious trait Sylvester McCoy gave the Seventh Doctor.
- The events actually take place during the events of PROSE: Human Nature.
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- The entire text of the piece at the Doctor Who Reference Guide