Human Resources was the sixth and final story in the first series of the Eighth Doctor Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Eddie Robson and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller.
Because Blood of the Daleks was released in two parts, just as this story was, it was both the seventh and eighth releases of the series. It was co-produced with BBC 7. It was thus given two different cover artworks, which let it be marketed without spoiling what foes would appear in the story until their reveal. This was the first encounter with the Cybermen for the Eighth Doctor since Charlotte Pollard's departure story The Girl Who Never Was.
Lucie Miller's been headhunted to join the staff of Hulbert Logistics, a respectable blue-chip firm in Telford. Great prospects, competitive salary — you don't have to be mad to work here! But wasn't she made for better things, like travelling by TARDIS through time and space? The Doctor, meanwhile, has been fired — into a confrontation with the most terrifying of enemies...
Business as usual? Not at Hulbert Logistics, where staff are facing a menace far worse than the prospect of the office Christmas Party. Lucie's made some friends and the Doctor's met some old enemies. But just who will become the Headhunter's new apprentice? Welcome to the job interview from hell.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor is furiously trying to get the console to work when a Time Lord named Straxus suddenly appears. The Doctor reminds Straxus that the Time Lords rigged the TARDIS so it would only function when Lucie was aboard and now she's gone missing he's trapped and unable to help her. Straxus explains that Lucie has been pulled back to her natural point in space and time, although they're not sure how nor what is actually going on. He promises to restore the TARDIS to normal only if he retrieves Lucie, and gives the Doctor a Time Ring to find her.
Meanwhile, Lucie starts her new job at Hulbert Logistics, an office in Telford, believing that her travels with the Doctor were all a dream. The Doctor arrives at the office and restores Lucie's memories. She realises that this is the job she was meant to start before she was taken by the Time Lords. He decides to investigate and finds the staff working on military tactics. Lucie is fired from the job and is ejected from the office with another member of staff, Karen. The office is revealed to be the interior of a giant war machine on an alien planet, where they find a small group of other ex-employees.
Meanwhile the Doctor finds a dimensional corridor in the human resources department, which leads to an office on Earth run by a man called Todd Hulbert, who explains that he helps aliens fight wars by brainwashing humans to run the war machines. Believing the Doctor to be his latest 'client', he takes him to a conference on the alien planet to demonstrate his company's effectiveness as the current targets of his corporations have been hunted to near extinction. Believing Hulbert's plans to be unjustified, the Doctor sabotages the conference's defensive systems, only to discover that the war is being fought against Cybermen, who storm the conference room.
Hubert agrees to work with the Cybermen, against the Doctor's advice. The Doctor learns that these Cybermen are an earlier version of the Cybermen he will encounter on Telos, having not recognised the name of the planet. Lucie and the ex-employees meet the Headhunter, who explains she was hired by Hubert to track Lucie down in case a rival company was trying to reverse-engineer his brainwashing techniques. As she has no desire to see the Cybermen win, she agrees to help them. Lucie returns to the office with the other ex-employees and regains control.
Meanwhile, the Cybermen have summoned the office as it has a 100% success record, and they also intend to use the dimensional corridor to invade Earth. The office attacks the Cybermen whilst Lucie sneaks out and rescues the Doctor. They re-enter the office where Lucie shows the Doctor a device which she found in the office, which he recognises as a Quantum Crystalliser, a device which alters possible future timelines to ensure the best possible outcome for the user. They both return to the TARDIS and talk to Straxus who explains that the war had been engineered by the Celestial Intervention Agency to try to eliminate the Cybermen. The Time Lord also explains that the CIA predicted that Lucie would become a dictator who would interfere with mankind's progress, so they also used a Crystalliser to alter her past to prevent this, but eventually they had to pull her out of time into the TARDIS, as contact with another Crystalliser would lead to her timeline becoming dangerously unstable.
Realising that the Time Lords have manipulated her life Lucie takes the Quantum Crystalliser and runs back to the office. The Doctor realises that the Time Lords mistook Lucie for Karen when they pulled her out of time due to them both having job interviews on the same day, and Karen is the one destined to become a dictator. The Headhunter tries to talk Lucie into using the Quantum Crystalliser to get revenge on the Time Lords. The Doctor arrives and explains the situation to her. She gives him the Crystalliser, but is shocked when he gives it to the Cybermen. However, the Cyberman who uses it instantly suffers total systems failure and is killed. The Doctor explains that the Quantum Crystalliser has been programmed to ensure that the Cybermen are defeated, so he increases the range on it, causing all of the Cybermen to be killed, and rendering the device itself useless. Whilst Straxus (who was injured and may regenerate) returns the office workers home, Karen decides to become the Headhunter's new assistant. The Doctor offers to return Lucie home now the TARDIS has been restored to normal, however Lucie chooses to stay with him. With that, the two set off for new adventures.
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Lucie Miller - Sheridan Smith
- Headhunter - Katarina Olsson
- Hulbert - Roy Marsden
- Straxus - Nickolas Grace
- Jerry Cooper - Owen Brenman
- Karen Coltraine - Louise Fullerton
- Malcolm Glass - Andy Wisher
- The Cybermen / Cyber-Leader - Nicholas Briggs
- The Cybermen have migrated from Mondas to Lonsis. The Cyber-Leader has not even heard of Telos, consistent with the claims made by the Second and Twelfth Doctors that the Telosian Cybermen were native to Telos, a result of parallel evolution.
- The Shinx are a race of traders from Shinnus.
- Del Boy and Rodney from the television series Only Fools and Horses are mentioned as characters that are frequently quoted by clients who have picked up Earth's television signals in deep space. The Doctor responds to this by saying "Lovely jubbly," a quote often said by Del Boy.
Cultural references from the real world
- Malcolm mentions about Red Nose Day when he was being locked in the cupboard.
- This audio drama was recorded on 26 and 30 August 2006 at The Moat Studios.
- This story featured the last regular use of David Arnold's theme arrangement until AUDIO: The Great War in 2012. It would be replaced by a revised variant of Delia Derbyshire's arrangement for the remainder of the 8DAs.
- It also saw the dropping of the narrated opening and closing credits.
- This is the only story to date from The Eighth Doctor Adventures range to feature the Cybermen.
- This two-part finale marked the beginning of a few traditions in the New Eighth Doctor Adventures series finale range. Firstly, the following three series finales would all feature one of the Doctor's deadliest enemies. Secondly, all four series end with a 2-part story, and thirdly, they are all significant to the character of Lucie Miller and her relationship with the Doctor.
- On the Cover for Part 1 Nickolas Grace is incorrectly credited as Nicholas Grace.
- This story was released on two separate CDs and downloads.
- The Headhunter recently kidnapped Lucie Miller. (AUDIO: No More Lies)
- The Time Lords send the Doctor on the mission of hunting down Lucie and give him a Time Ring. The Fourth Doctor was also given a Time Ring on his mission to avert the creation of the Daleks. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- Lucie mentions the Tomorrow Twins. (AUDIO: Horror of Glam Rock)
- The Sixth Doctor previously encountered the Shinx in Manchester in February 2008. (AUDIO: The Condemned)
- These Cybermen escaped to Lonsis following the destruction of Mondas and reference the Doctor's part in its destruction. (TV: The Tenth Planet)
- The Cybermen are aware of the incident on Planet 14. (TV: The Invasion)
- When lying about his details to Hulbert, the Doctor mentions that he is "without friends or protection". (TV: An Unearthly Child)
- Official Human Resources (Part 1) page at bigfinish.com
- Official Human Resources (Part 2) page at bigfinish.com
- Human Resources (Part 2) Transcript
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Human Resources at The Whoniverse
- DisContinuity for Human Resources at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide