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  • Doctor Who: Human Nature

  • A 7th Doctor novel
  • By: Paul Cornell
  • Narrated by: Lisa Bowerman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Summary

An unabridged reading of the 7th Doctor novel by Paul Cornell, which formed the basis for the 10th Doctor television story "Human Nature/The Family of Blood".

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?

©2015 BBC Worldwide (P)2015 BBC Worldwide

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Fear makes companions of us all

What did you like most about Doctor Who: Human Nature?

Human Nature is an excellent story. You can easily see why it was dramatised in 2007 with David Tennant's 10th Doctor.

One of the elements I enjoyed most of all - SPOILERS! - was the scene in which the companion Bernice Summerfield accidentally informs a friend of a friend in the village of the forthcoming First World War. This friend's reaction to the news that someone for whom they care deeply will die in the first charge at the Somme was an excellent dramatisation of the different stages of grief in microcosm and yet you could see despite the fear that he was willing to do what he could to help her.

This also explained one of the novel's main themes which I enjoyed: Even when people are faced with tough choices which may hurt them as individuals or be the easy way out they should do the right thing whatever that may be.

Have you listened to any of Lisa Bowerman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have listened to several of Lisa Bowerman's audio performances for the company Big Finish. In those performances she does not play all the parts but I still feel that in comparison to some of her work this shows her versatility with parts and voices and tone - be it the emotionally charged sequences with Smith and Joan Redfern, the desperation of Benny to have her Doctor return and Tim to have the bullies ignore him and lastly the anger of McCoy's Doctor once he returns. On a related note I must congratulate Bowerman for doing a far more true to life and intense 7th Doctor than I was expecting.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Aside from the previously mentioned accidental revelation, one other moment which tugged at my heart strings was the sequence during the climax where Benny - and later on Tim - try to convince Smith to become The Doctor again with all the carnage around them. It moved me to see that in an attempt to discover what makes us human, all that occurred was devastation and bloodshed, with love in the centre of it all.

Any additional comments?

This book is excellent. Some may prefer the modern television version but it is a great piece by itself and it is always good to see both the original and the reinterpretation. 10/10.

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Brilliant!

Loved hearing the book that was the inspiration of one of two part TV adaptations for the tenth Doctor and Martha. Fabulously read by Lisa Bowerman. A really good listen. Would recommend to any Doctor Who fan.

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Excellent

Read really well.
Would recommend it to anyone.
Kept you gripped to the end.
V enjoyable

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  • Stevo
  • 23-11-15

Naturally Good

Human Nature by Paul Cornell is the book which the Tenth Doctor TV episodes 'Human Nature' & 'Family of Blood' are based on, but the book is way better! For me this is one of the best Doctor Who novels ever published, and the audiobook version read by Lisa Bowerman is magnificently good, bringing Paul Cornell's novel of humanity to life.

This is a Seventh Doctor story with Bernice Summerfield as his companion, and was originally published as part of the New Adventures range in 1995 when there was no Doctor Who on the TV. The plot of this book is similar to the TV adaptations of course, but the details are quite different, so this book can be enjoyed separately from the TV episodes without any real conflict... unless you are a person who wonders how the same story can fit in to Doctor Who continuity twice, with two different Doctors!

Human Nature is a Doctor Who story about love, war and the emotions that make people tick, which features real characters not cardboard cut-outs. I thought the alien villains were a bit weak when it comes to being fearsome, but that is only a small minus to an otherwise excellent story.

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  • Stephen W Osborne
  • 04-11-16

Lisa Bowerman rocks a good story

Yes, Human Nature would later become the episodes Human Nature / The Family of Blood on television featuring the 10th Doctor and Martha. This was the original novel. Which was better? By leaps and bounds, the greatly re-worked TV episodes. Not that the novel isn't good, but the later version took the bare bones idea and made it great. Here we have sort of the same plot, just with Benny and the 7th Doctor. Some of the characters are the same, and the story is similar. It just worked better with 10 and Martha. That said, Lisa Bowerman provided top notch narration, and her impersonation of Sylvester McCoy is charming.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-08-22

Oh my Telos you need this book NOW

This book is amazing! I was skeptical at first, seeing as how I had already seen the David Tennant episode, which I adored, but I was worried the book would be too similar to enjoy it as it’s own thing.
Well, how wrong can a man be! This book is a masterpiece in its own right, expanding on characters who were reduced to plain stereotypical bulling side characters on tv, for the sake of time. Somehow John Smith and Joan’s relationship is more beautiful than in the episode, and, you know what, I really should stop comparing this book to the season 3 episode, since this came first and is, as I say, superior to it (sorry other Tennant fans, you heard me right). If you get the book, the tragic story made all the more real by an arguably more distant Doctor to change back to will make the end seem bittersweet and I swear I’ll never stop crying about the epilogue. 20/10 only downside is the music occasionally being a bit misused. You’ll see what I mean. Definitely recommend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-01-22

Masterful

Liz Bowerman's reading was lovely, highly emotive, and she blended into different characters seamlessly. Paul Cornell's classic really shines here, a story with his usual spiritual touches that link Doctor Who to the infinite, as well as to the human passions of the heart(s).

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  • Celestine
  • 01-10-16

confused

very confused about this one. did not understand the last 3 chapter s