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Published on February 18th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Human Nature: “Tragic Romance”

John Smith and Joan Redfern in Human NatureDoctor Who has turned up in a few lists of late – most interesting of them outside of the world of politics (more on that later today) was this St. Valentine’s Day tribute to the most tragic romances in “geek fiction”.

Who are you calling “geek”, Wired.com?

Anyway… there are a couple of tragic romances in Doctor Who since 2005, from the forced separation of the Tenth Doctor and Rose to Martha’s unfulfilled love for the Time Lord. I think we can agree, however, that Paul Cornell’s Human Nature, however, tops both of these.

The Doctor (as John Smith) & Joan Redfern — In one of the most heartbreaking episodes of David Tennant’s run on Doctor Who, titled “Human Nature,” the Doctor is forced to forget himself and become fully human in order to hide from aliens seeking to steal his Time Lord powers. After adopting the guise of a teacher named John Smith in England a year before the start of WWI, he falls in love with the school nurse, Joan Redfern.

But the aliens ultimately catch up with him, and (in the next episode) to save her and everyone else, the Doctor is forced to restore his true nature and memories, and leave behind the love he had found.

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About the Author

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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