TV in Review: Doctor Who, “Human Nature”
June 17, 2012 2 Comments
“Human Nature” is one of those episodes of Doctor Who which start with action. As in, the Doctor and Martha are dodging lasers in the very first second.
It’s a very different approach from the straight-forward action of the last episode, though, as we are presented with the more fantastical side of the series. Less than a minute in, we’re watching the Doctor and Martha interact as if they were a teacher and house-maid in 1913, and their regular time-traveling shenanigans are just a dream.
DOCTOR WHO: Sometimes I have these extraordinary dreams. I dream I’m this adventurer, this daredevil — a madman. The doctor, I’m called. And last night I dreamed that you were there, as my — companion.
The Doctor gets to dress up as a teacher, droning on about Napoleon, while Martha gets to scrub floors. Not necessarily a fair trade, although the Doctor is a bit dim-witted as he’s forcibly forgotten his past, some of which he writes down as fiction, as “A Journal of Impossible Things.”
The device which transformed the doctor — a so-called “chameleon arch,” is a nifty plot device which reminds me of the ways in which J.K. Rowling would magically discover just the right spell for just the right occasion with Harry Potter. Which is just fine by me, as it’s not about the hard science but about the fun. Although I’m not quite sure why Martha didn’t hold onto the watch which contains the essence of the Doctor, considering that he’s no longer in charge of all his faculties?
There’s a lot to like in this episode. With Martha remembering their reality and the Doctor not, it allows the writers to play with their closeness and our fears of it being disrupted.
DOCTOR WHO: Don’t let me abandon you.
There’s a boy with remarkably dark eyes who has the power of knowing things, whether he wants to or not.
There’s an actual falling piano. (I thought they only existed in cartoons.)
There are some intriguing enemies with the aliens inhabiting some humans…
…and also taking over scarecrows…
Strong creep factor there, at a minimal cost to the wardrobe department.
The aliens are introduced slowly into the episode, and once we’re nearing the end and realize that there won’t be enough time to relish in their downfall, we also realize that this must be a two-parter. And it is, which in this case is a very good thing, as I’m enjoying it. Pardon me, while I head off now to watch “The Family of Blood.”
The BBC first aired Season 3, Episode 8 of Doctor Who on May 26, 2007.
Polentical: TV in Review: Doctor Who, “42″ (Season 3, Episode 7)