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     Home »  The David Tennant Era »  S3-Epi8 'Human Nature'
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    S3-Epi8 'Human Nature' Views: 6052
     Wednesday, May 30 2007 @ 06:51 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  rocko] Does anyone know if the book contains a better reason for leaving the watch out in the open?
    In the book, it's not a watch. It's a red orb—a Biodatapod—that looks like a cricket ball "without seams to indicate how it could've been made". And it's kept in a hidden compartment in a tree reasonably close to the school's cricket field. In the story, the aliens are directly after this Pod, rather than specifically the Doctor himself. Or to put it another way, if they can't have him, they're quite happy to steal his essence. The description of Benny's initial attempt to restore the Doctor's Time Lord nature is really rather wonderful:

    'Bernice, where are you taking me?' Smith protested, shaking off her arm. They were marching through
    the orchard that bordered the school, a vast, overgrown river of fruit trees that was part of the Marcham
    Estate. They had already ventured too far off the footpath for Smith's liking. This was almost certainly
    trespassing.

    'To...' Bernice stopped and turned slowly, pointing at strange red marks on three trees. She settled on the
    middle one. 'This particular tree. Sit down under it. We're about to recreate a moment in history.'

    Smith sat, cross-legged, under the tree, looking rather embarrassed. 'Which one?'

    'Newton and the apple.' Benny put her foot up on a low branch and started to climb up the tree.

    Smith looked quickly away. 'Those trousers are rather immodest.'

    Benny frowned as she climbed. 'I'm not used to you noticing things like that. Ah, here we are.' The crown
    of the tree was swollen, as if a growth of some kind was inside. Following the instructions in the Doctor's
    note, Benny had put the red sphere there and watched as the tree's wood had grown to encompass it in
    seconds. Apparently, Time Lord biodata had that effect on living things, making them a bit like Time
    Lords. A Time Lord-ish tree wouldn't be as disturbing as a Time Lord-ish person, or even sheep. Benny
    wondered if the tree's bark rings were forming question marks or something. Indeed, in the brief time that
    she'd handled the Pod, Benny herself had felt an odd sense of presence to the thing. For the same reasons,
    the sphere couldn't be kept in the TARDIS. It would mess up the telepathic circuits.

    She pulled the TARDIS key from her pocket, and, dangling it over the tree, slapped the swollen wood
    three times with her hand.

    The wood flowed back like liquid, to reveal -
    - an empty, ball-shaped cavity.

    Benny swore six times. 'And is that really ladylike language?' asked Smith.

    'Shut up,' Benny snapped. 'Whether you know it or not, we're both in a great deal of trouble.'
    Note how these few lines, by comparison to the filmed story, neatly hide the device, explain why it can't go in the TARDIS, and add a bit of, well, magic to story. I like the metaphor of the watch, better than the "Shada"-esque orb, but I still think the watch should've been hidden like this.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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     Wednesday, May 30 2007 @ 07:20 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical] Note how these few lines, by comparison to the filmed story, neatly hide the device, explain why it can't go in the TARDIS, and add a bit of, well, magic to story. I like the metaphor of the watch, better than the "Shada"-esque orb, but I still think the watch should've been hidden like this.


    I couldn't agree more.. Thanks for that- I may have to buy the book now!

    Did you say "74,384,338 to 1 against"? That's my lucky number!
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     Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 03:24 PM EDT


    Far to much data to get a decent quote out of, but in the discussion between Darth and Taras about the Watch here is a thought. Why is he not more curious about it since he shetched it OPEN in the sketchbook? It is indeed "Human Nature" that if he drempt about it that he would be courious enough to open it.

    Cheers,
    M.

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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     Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 05:44 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  merlin_mccarley]

    Far to much data to get a decent quote out of, but in the discussion between Darth and Taras about the Watch here is a thought. Why is he not more curious about it since he shetched it OPEN in the sketchbook? It is indeed "Human Nature" that if he drempt about it that he would be courious enough to open it.

    Cheers,
    M.

    The thing is, he IS curious about it, just every time he goes to touch it, he is compelled to put it down and dismiss it.

    Maybe he did open it off screen. Who knows.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 07:43 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]And so the question remains: If the Doctor has managed to elude them, long enough to set up shop at this school, what then draws them to the area?


    I thought it was the dreams. In the dreams, Smith's subconscious digs up memories, which are bits of the Doctor's identity which had deliberately been buried. If they don't stay properly buried, then the Doctor isn't properly hidden.

    Nor, I would wager, is he entirely exposed. But it's possible that the dream we see in the beginning, because it is the freshest memory, would cause the most significant lapse in the Doctor's disguise so far and therefore be the point at which the Family would most easily detect him.

    tawm.net: read it. (please?)
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     Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 09:59 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  merlin_mccarley] Why is he not more curious about it since he shetched it OPEN in the sketchbook? It is indeed "Human Nature" that if he drempt about it that he would be courious enough to open it.
    And the problems with the watch continue. That's a good point, specially as he's scribbled "pocket watch is significant" all over the page. I mean, sure, the point of the diaries is that they are sketched from memory, so he's hardly doing a still-life study of the watch actually opened. But it is, I think, unexplained why he wouldn't have fiddled with the watch more given how "significant" it was.

    However, one could perhaps, although rather hesitantly, surmise that the script covers this point in that the perception filter might be telling him that, though a pocket watch is significant, the one on his mantle is not.

    That's very shaky, though, cause the pretitles make it pretty clear the watch in his dream actually is the watch on his mantle.

    Again, the damn thing should've just been hidden. At the very least, its presence in the room should've been covered by a tiny little line suggesting that the watch was "broken for years" to explain why he wouldn't have thought to open it.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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     Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 10:04 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Tawm]
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]And so the question remains: If the Doctor has managed to elude them, long enough to set up shop at this school, what then draws them to the area?


    I thought it was the dreams. In the dreams, Smith's subconscious digs up memories, which are bits of the Doctor's identity which had deliberately been buried. If they don't stay properly buried, then the Doctor isn't properly hidden.

    Nor, I would wager, is he entirely exposed. But it's possible that the dream we see in the beginning, because it is the freshest memory, would cause the most significant lapse in the Doctor's disguise so far and therefore be the point at which the Family would most easily detect him.
    Interesting possibility. But how would the Family smell a dream? Plus, the Family later on determine that he is in fact "plain, simple human", even after his mind has been stimulated by the sight of the sonic screwdriver, a device that would've surely made his dreams resurface.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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     Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 11:15 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]Interesting possibility. But how would the Family smell a dream?

    I can't say for sure, but it does seem that they can "smell" things that don't seem "smellable," especially thoughts. This is (presumably) why the Doctor had to change his memories and personality rather than just his biology.


    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]Plus, the Family later on determine that he is in fact "plain, simple human", even after his mind has been stimulated by the sight of the sonic screwdriver, a device that would've surely made his dreams resurface.

    True, he would remember having dreamed the sonic screwdriver, but remembering a dream is not like having a dream. Those are two entirely different types of brain activity. It apparently takes REM sleep for the Doctor to truly remember himself, and perhaps during those moments the Family can more easily "smell" his thoughts.

    tawm.net: read it. (please?)
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     Saturday, February 09 2008 @ 09:41 PM EST
    I know this is much later, but I was rewatching this episode a few days ago and picked up something I don't think anyone's mentioned. In the beginning, when The Doctor and Martha are fleeing:

    THE DOCTOR: They're following us.
    MARTHA: How can they do that, you've got a time machine.
    THE DOCTOR: Stolen technology, they've got a Time Agent's vortex manipulator. They can follow us wherever we go, right across the universe- (pause) they're never going to stop.

    We know a Time Agent who's lost two years of his memories. I wonder if this episode is ever going to be brought up if/when we finally learn more about Jack's past.

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     Sunday, February 10 2008 @ 03:16 AM EST


    So far, they seem to have forgotten about Captain Jack's forgotten memories... I suppose one day they will incorporate it into a Torchwood and/or Doctor Who story... but so far, it seems to be forgotten.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Sunday, February 10 2008 @ 10:01 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  Louis]

    So far, they seem to have forgotten about Captain Jack's forgotten memories... I suppose one day they will incorporate it into a Torchwood and/or Doctor Who story... but so far, it seems to be forgotten.

    Cheers,
    Louis


    Well I'm sure they'll cover it - if only to sell the Time Agent's vortex manipulator toy Wink

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Tuesday, November 11 2008 @ 11:26 AM EST
    So, a week or two ago my wife wanted to watch a Tennant ep (her Doctor), so I randomly put on the DVD disc with Blink and we watched it. Last night we felt like watching more Doctor Who, so I just played the same disc since it was already in my DVD player. It was Human Nature. The episode starts, and Martha tells John Smith, "See? It's November 10, 1913" which made me laugh since yesterday was November 10, 2008. The rest of the story is set on November 11th, so feel free to watch it today, too. Big Grin

    The ending with Tim as an old man, is that ceremony a Veterans Day/Armistice Day ceremony? That's what I thought at first, but I tend to associate the poppy pins with Memorial Day. Maybe that's just a US thing.

    I'm going "Full Circle" and putting my avatar back to what it was when I first joined. :)
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     Monday, January 05 2009 @ 07:16 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  Linquel]The ending with Tim as an old man, is that ceremony a Veterans Day/Armistice Day ceremony? That's what I thought at first, but I tend to associate the poppy pins with Memorial Day. Maybe that's just a US thing.
    Well, that makes sense, actually. In the US, we have two official "veterans' appreciation" holidays: Memorial (formerly, Decoration) Day in May and Veterans (formerly, Armistice) Day in November. The UK/Commonwealth have only one official day: Remembrance Day in November.

    Remembrance Day and Veterans Day (US) are on the same day, but they're not the same thing. In the UK, it's a broadly inclusive holiday which celebrates wartime sacrifice, both military and civilian. Its original WWI trappings (that is, being officially celebrated at the exact time of the armistice coming into effect) are still present, but it has grown since its inception to be the "catch-all" military holiday.

    It's really quite different than the US holidays. Here, one way of thinking about the two holidays is that Memorial Day is when you honor the dead, while Veterans Day is for the living. Veterans Day, like Remembrance Day, originally started out as "Armistice Day", but it was rather specifically for the veterans of World War I. Only after the Korean War did it become a holiday for all veterans.

    Because of this fundamental difference between Remembrance Day and Veterans Day (US), the symbolism of the days are also different. As they represent the only kind of flowers that would grow on the battlefields/military graveyards of France, poppies are worn in the UK on Remembrance Day. To the extent that they have a prominence in the US, they're worn more on Memorial Day.

    The main historical reason for the different evolutions in the US from the Commonwealth is that Memorial Day predates Armistice Day. We already had a "day honoring sacrifice" — thanks to some recently-freed slaves re-interring Union corpses from a mass grave in Charleston at the end of the Civil War. But the Commonwealth (somewhat inexplicably) had no such holiday. Thus, when we wanted to add a holiday to commemorate the end of World War I, the only way to go was to make it about those who were still living.

    The poppy thing has an interesting life, though. It was actually started by an American employee of the YMCA (back when the YMCA was more than just a gym). She read this poem by a Canadian in a copy of Ladies Home Journal which contained the lines, "In Flanders fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row", and determined that she would always wear a poppy thereafter to commemorate the war dead. She then used her influence amongst veteran's organizations to get the symbol recognized. Her biggest success in America came at an American Legion conference, where they officially adopted it as their "national remembrance symbol". But at that conference was a French woman who took the idea across the Atlantic. This woman served as the conduit of the idea from the US to Britain. She got French widows living in America to make millions of poppies. She had these poppies shipped to France, and subsequently sold in London. One of her buyers was Field Marshall Douglas Haig, who loved the idea. As the head of the British Legion, he easily got the poppy confirmed as the national British symbol of remembrance.

    Oddly, today the American (and one would guess, French) connection is generally unremembered in the UK, and the tradition has all but died out in the US — except, of course, at the American Legion.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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     Monday, January 05 2009 @ 07:26 AM EST
    Wow, weird how you come to a threat to mention one thing, but end up on an entirely different tangent.

    Anyway, as might be remembered (or at least re-read in the thread), one of my big problems with this adaptation was the whole watch thing. Not the concept of the Chameleon Arch, but just the pure symbology of the watch, particularly as the cricket ball of the book was more interesting.

    Well, as things have panned out with it since this episode, clearly I was wrong. The watch, as a perfectly ordinary device, can, as we've seen in "The Next Doctor", be used to comedic and dramatic effect. I'm not sure a cricket ball would have worked quite as well.

    The other thing is that I note it works backward in DW history. For instance, in the TVM, why is a watch amongst the 7th Doctor's effects? He's not wearing a fob watch at all before his death. Sure, it's reading WAY too much into the authorial intent of the TVM scriptwriter, but it's still fun being able to say, y'know, that's actually the watch in the TVM.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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     Monday, January 05 2009 @ 02:08 PM EST
    I haven't seen anybody mention this but the book version is available on the BBC's "Doctor Who" website (in the archives).

    If anybody wants to read the book and compare it to the show you can go here

    It's available as an on-line book, or can be downloaded as a PDF file or a PDA version.

    I've seen many people compare the two but no where to see the book for those who have not read it yet.

    Enjoy

    "Make your last move, Doctor. Make your LAST move." The Celestial Toymaker to the Doctor in "The Celestial Toymaker: The Final Test"
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