Human Nature Reaction

Not sure whether the latest episode of Doctor Who – Human Nature – received a reaction or some srt of homecoming… plaudits have been universal – such as this quote from The Stage:

This is unlike any Doctor Who story you’ll ever see, yet at the same time it maintains its identity underneath, much like our central character.

Blogcritics’ Matthew Milam deals out praise for the usual susects, but in particular reserves some for guest villain Harry Lloyd:

The Family Of Blood begins to inhabit various members of the surrounding area of the school and one student, Jeremy Baines (Harry Lloyd), who possibly is the most frighteningly possessed character in science fiction history. Tell me that his eyes didn’t make you feel chills. He was probably much more effective in making kids run behind the couch than the Scarecrow men.

And as The Stage pointed out:

It’s hard to reconcile his performance as being from the same actor who plays Will Scarlett in Robin Hood. He’s so drably forgettable in Sherwood

I wouldn’t put it so harshly, myself…

The episode seems to have been popular with the viewers on this Bank Holiday weekend, with 7.1m tuning in, reports Outpost Gallifrey.

Meanwhile, (author and publisher of Doctor Who material) David J Howe’s blog states that:

David Tennant pulls another rabbit from the hat by managing to make Smith different from the Doctor. It’s a stand out performance as usual from Tennant and he makes it all look so simple and elegant.

And while we’re on the subject of writers, how does Human Nature writer Paul Cornell feel about the reaction?

It’s been particularly good to hear from my fellow Who authors, writers I admire in other fields, and to hear about small children pretending to be scarecrows. And sniffing. Which is bad. I’m just rather overwhelmed about the response, really. So thank you all very much.

The plaudits are justified. Unusually, we’ll end on a quote, again from The Stage:

Am I being too gushing? Possibly, but it’s a measure of how successful and beautiful this episode is at being both Doctor Who and breathtaking, Bafta-worthy drama. And I refuse to be an apologist for liking something so wholeheartedly.

The most startling thing about the episode is that the spectacle is achieved without resorting to much in the way of special effects. A light in the night sky here, a green blaster beam there; there are no CGI backdrops or monsters, and it’s a refreshing change. This shows up the best qualities at the heart of the Doctor Who concept, that all it needs to charm and scare us are some pitch perfect performances, heartfelt direction, great writing and bloody scary men in scarecrow suits.


Christian Cawley

About

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.


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