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Human Nature
Series: Doctor Who -
Virgin New Adventures
Release Number: 38
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Companions: Benny
Enemy: Aubertides
Setting: Augon System, Crex
Earth, near-Farringham, April, 1914
Author: Paul Cornell
Publisher: Virgin Books
Publication: May, 1995
Format: Paperback Book, ? Pages
ISBN: ISBN 0426204433
Previous Story: Sanctuary
Following Story: Original Sin


Publisher's Summary

'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 Academy for Boys, 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?



Main Characters

  • Is now 32 years old.
  • Drinks six pints on the planet Crex
  • She isn't convinced she'll ever have children.
  • Benny's still struggling with the loss of Guy de Carnac though she doubts she loved him.
  • Pretends to be Smith's niece.
  • Joan gives Wolsey to the Doctor so he'll never be alone on his travels.

John Smith

  • Smith is a history teacher.
  • Proposes to Joan.
  • Hates pears.
  • Is 48, from Aberdeen.
  • His (faked) credentials claim he is from the Flavian Academy of Aberdeen.
  • Has some cricketing skills.
  • Writes children's stories such as: "The Old Man and the Police Box" about a world called Gallifrey and a strange inventor who teaches about police boxes.
  • Is a Science teacher.
  • Her husband Arthur died in the war.
  • Doesn't like teaching at the school.
  • Alexander Shuttleworth
  • Benny's landlord

Other Characters


  • August
  • Greeneye
  • Wants to shag Benny.
  • Pretends to be the Tenth Doctor. (Just not the Tenth Doctor David Tennant version)
  • Laylock
  • Serif
  • Aphasia
  • Hoff

In the beer tent

  • Jac, Sarah, Lucy

The boys at Hulton Academy

  • Timothy Dean
  • Gets infected with the Doctor's Time Lord DNA and gains two hearts and a respiratory bypass system.
  • He is hung by his classmates, the bypass system saves him.
  • He eventually dies in 1995 with many children and grandchildren.
  • Hutchinson
  • Senior captain)
  • Alton (a Time Lord)
  • Phipps
  • Anand
  • Tim's friend
  • Captain Merryweather
  • Abbot, Andrew, Clive, Ian, Hadliegh-Scott

People of Farringham

  • Jill and Jenny (two housewives)
  • Mrs Windrush (housewife)
  • Mr Hodges (greengrocer)
  • Constance Harding (suffraget)
  • Mr Sangster (runs the art shop)
  • Alec (works at the Museum)
  • Sergeant Abeland (police officer)
  • Constable Bickerston (police officer)
  • Nathan Bottomley (black smith)
  • Horace (telephone box operator)
  • Richard Hadleman

School teachers

  • George Rocastle, MBE (headmaster)
  • Mrs Denman (biology)
  • Mr Challpner
  • Mr Moffat (bursar)
  • Miss Robertson

Soldiers outside the time barrier

  • Major Wrightson, Stanley, Torrence


  • John Smith and Joan Redfern work at Hulton College School.
  • Death collects Smith as a life owed by the Doctor.
  • The Aubertides are from the planet Aubris, they're shape shifters and reproduce asexually via buds on their backs.
  • The Aubertides state that Earth is in the arm of Mutter's Spiral in the Stellarian Galaxy, whilst Gallifrey is at the core.
  • Time Lords dream of what it is to be able to fly or be a different sex or to have a child.
  • Cruk is a swear word (which Benny uses often).
  • Interventionists are mentioned by Greeneye, these are members of the Celestial Intervention Agency.
  • The Doctor takes the pod to the Monks of Felsecar.


In fandom the canonicity of this story has been questioned, however the differences generally outweigh the similarities, see also Human Nature (novel) Talk page.


  • Death takes Smith as the life the Doctor promised her (for Ace's) in NA: Love and War).
  • In DW: The Enemy Within the Doctor kisses Grace twice, in Human Nature he kisses Joan 6 times.
  • Benny is still thinking of Guy de Carnac's death in NA: Sanctuary.
  • Wolsey departs the TARDIS with Benny in NA: The Dying Days.

External Links

  • The BBC website's E-book version of Human Nature
  • The Doctor Who Reference Guide detailed synopsis of Human Nature
  • The Whoniverse - The Discontinuity Guide to: Human Nature
  • Prelude to Human Nature as published in DWM #226

Virgin New Adventures
Previous Release:
Next Release:
Original Sin

This article uses material from the "Human Nature (novel)" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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