Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



prose stub
You may be looking for its TV adaptation.

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. One of the most highly regarded New Adventures, it formed the basis of Paul Cornell's two part story Human Nature / The Family of Blood for the third series of BBC Wales' Doctor Who.

Publisher's summary[]

1995 Virgin Books Edition[]

"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[]

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.


to be added


Main characters[]

Other characters[]


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


Astronomical objects[]


Foods and beverages[]



  • Cruk is a profanity which Greeneye and Benny often use.




Personifications of concepts[]

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


  • The Aubertides are from the planet Aubris. They are shape-shifters, and reproduce asexually via buds on their backs.
  • The Doctor has created a clay model of a Zygon.

Time Lords[]

  • The Doctor claims that Time Lords dream of what it is to be able to fly, be a different sex or to have a child.


  • Bernice describes herself as the current occupier of the Proxima University Chair Of Archaeology and holder of the Martian Gallantry Medal.


  • A television adaptation of this story appeared in the 2007 series of Doctor Who, entitled Human Nature/The Family of Blood, with several changes in the story.
  • A prelude to this novel was published in DWM 226.
  • The novel features a sequence where Greeneye meets Bernice whilst pretending to be the tenth incarnation of the Doctor. Coincidentally, the television adaptation featured the Tenth Doctor as portrayed by David Tennant.
  • This novel was the second to be re-released by BBCi on the official Doctor Who website in ebook form, in November 2002. It was accompanied by extensive notes and commentary from author Paul Cornell and new illustrations from artist Daryl Joyce. The ebook featured minor differences from the original text, most notably the censorship of Joan's use of the N-word. It became inaccessible in 2010.
  • The novel was reprinted as part of The History Collection in February 2015, with a new cover and introduction by Cornell.
  • This novel marks the first time the Doctor is shown to kiss someone romantically, though he is someone else at the time. The Doctor would not be shown to kiss someone on screen until the following year when the Eighth Doctor kisses Grace in the TV movie.



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

Additional cover images[]


External links[]