Human Resources

Can Doctor Who work without a Love Story?

It would seem to the new production crew that it can’t. But we know that it can don’t we?

For years the show has revolved around friendship, there no denying that. Sometimes it would seem that Love was in the air but never mentioned, unless it was a companion getting married off for their exit from the show.

The new series told an interesting tale for the Life of Rose Tyler, and soon we’ll learn about Martha. But will her story be the same? Donna’s relationship could have been taken both ways, however I’d say it was more of a friend in need situation on both their parts.

The question remains, can Doctor Who work without the love story in today’s world? Big Finish seem to think that it can.

Despite the fact that Big Finish had a Doctor/Companion loves story long before the new series did – specifically the relationship between the Doctor and Charlie, where he wasn’t afraid to say he loved her – they decided to launch their new series of BBC7 radio dramas with a much different relationship to anything we’ve seen before in the show’s history.

It could be said that Lucie Miller’s character is very similar to Donna’s. After all they both mysteriously appeared in the TARIDS throwing the Doctor off guard. Neither one of them wanted to be there and both thought that they were better then the Doctor. They couldn’t be bothered to hold back their feelings on any subject.

But what makes them different?

Over time, longer then one adventure, Lucie learned to enjoy the Doctor’s company. She had no trouble jumping into any situation to help out the little people, even when she thought the Doctor wouldn’t. It even appears as though Lucie secretly trusts the Doctor, but because of the way she was treated when they met, she feels she should throw up the defenses and pretend she doesn’t. In the end it appears that Lucie may even continue to travel with the Doctor, where Donna felt she wasn’t cut out for such a life.

But what of “Human Resources” you say? Oh yes, I can hear you telling me to get to the point and I assure you this is very relevant, but if you want I’ll move on to some other aspects of the play.

Paul McGann has really lucked out with this story and you can tell that he and Sheridan Smith really enjoy each moment that share together in the recording studio. In fact, throughout the eight part series it’s easy to see how much fun the entire cast had with the plays.

One of the most brilliant moments of the series is in Part One of “Human Recourses” when The Doctor tries to save Lucie by infiltrating the company that she has been “captured” by. He ends up getting a job, corner office, a new suit, business cards and a cell phone. All of this and without the aid of Psychic Paper, or for that matter, even trying to achieve any of those goals. If nothing else check out this play for the shear enjoyment of that situation.

Let’s not forget the Cybermen though. Once again Nick Briggs portrays the second most known and deadly villains the Doctor has ever faced. There is little in the story as to their physical description, but with years to draw from, it’s not hard to conjure up an image of the metal monsters.

Throughout out their history in the show one constant in their life has been change and this story is no different. Nick Briggs has come up with a very ear catching mix of the voices from the new series and the speech patterns of their very first TV appearance ever.

But why listen to another Cybermen story when you think you’ve heard them all? Well, why not? But a better answer would be that the Cybermen find themselves in a very different situation to anything that they have ever been in before and for once could they be in the right?

“Human Resources” ends the run of new plays aired on BBC7, and it promised to answer the questions posed thought-out the series of why Lucie Miller is stuck with the Doctor. Indeed it does just that, and you may be surprised by the answer.

At first I wasn’t sure of the idea of having this series of plays run for the 45-50 minute New Series episode lengths but in the case of “Human Resources” the time is well spent. The Story never feels rushed – which can be said about all in the series save one- and the writing is solid. I find myself looking forward to following the continuing adventures of the Doctor and Lucie Miller in the next series of BBC7 plays – which I hope their will be – just as much as I look forward to the new series on our TV screens.

Hold on, did I answer the question? Can the show work without a love story? This eight part series is poof that Doctor Who can still return to its roots. Through these adventures we have watched the Doctor and Lucie grow into friends, not best friends, but then these things take time.

Brian A Terranova


Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.

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