Book Club: Only Human

Time for another book! We are going to read together Only Human

Please discuss below - no need to finish it first, discuss as you go along but please add spoiler tags for anything that could be considered a spoiler!

If you’ve previously read the book and want to join in the discussion, that’s great too!

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Oh yoooo perfect timing. I just finished this book like a couple of days ago.

And maaaaan… it’s sooooo gooood. So breezy and fun. The highlights are definitely Jack and Das’s escapades in “present day” earth. Especially the part where Das almost gets with Jackie Tyler and Jack has to get him away from her. The one criticism I have is that I wanted more Jack. Since this is one of the few stories with the underrated TARDIS team of 9, Rose, and Jack, I’d love to have more interactions with them rather than Jack get sidelined. But really it’s barely even a critique when everything else in the story works.

Side-note: Isn’t it kind of weird that this was the only Who book with no author? Idk who wrote it but whoever it was, they must be a very great human with absolutely no qualms with a certain group of people. Wink wink nudge nudge.


This one is so good. By far the best book yet in the series. I could have read a whole book about Jack and the Neanderthal in the modern world. A great concept to have them both write a diary. The part with Jackie had me laugh out loud

I gave this one 4.5/5

Oh. The parts with Rose and the doctor were great two :joy:


I started reading this yesterday. I have somewhat higher expectations because I’ve heard it’s a great book. And so far, I like the premise and the characters.

I feel slightly awkward about reading and possibly liking this book, considering who wrote it. But I’m trying not to think about that too much!


I can’t seem to focus on a single book these days and keep getting sidetracked. Only a couple of chapters left in The Myth Makers and I can start this one.

Say what you will about the author himself but I generally like the writing presented to me in his books. To as large an extent that is possible I try to separate the art from the opinions of the artist, and if possible buy second hand so as not to show financial support to the artist.

I don’t have a lot of the NSAs in physical copy, but this is one of those I have. And I love this cover:

Happy reading :tardis:


I listened to the audiobook of this a while ago - I believe Anthony Head narrates, and he is very easy to listen to. As for the story, I actually remember what happens which is a good sign for me! It means something about it stood out enough to stick in my head, and I think that was the way the Neanderthal interacted with the modern world. I remember it was fun!


It’s been many years since I read this one but it is one I remember quite vividly and one I know I enjoyed. Certainly, as people have said, the Jack/caveman/Jackie stuff is fun but I also liked Rose and the tribe stuff.

It also features in my guide to the Stone Age on the TG site (#shamelessplug).


I finished this last night. By a long shot, this is the best NSA so far. The pacing is remarkably good, reminiscent of a revival-era TV episode, and the characters of the Doctor, Rose, and Jack are instantly recognizable. It’s a pity that Jack has such a minor role to play in the story, but his mission reports and Das’ diary entries are definitely the standout moments of the novel, as they make us look at our modern society very differently.

I love how the plot seamlessly blends the past, present, and future, showcasing a variety of cultural clashes among the various characters while also offering insights into human nature in the past, present, and potential future. The narrative is genuinely interesting and makes some good points about prehistoric humans versus modern humans and future humans.

Then we have the interestingly named villain, Chantal Osterberg (is she of Swedish or Scandinavian descent?) Her surname derives from “Österberg”, which literally means “Eastern Mountain.” Despite her basic baddie nature, her good motives make her the best villain in the range so far. The Hy-Bractors are genuinely frightening creatures.

The scenes involving Rose and the human tribe seemed somewhat unnecessary. On the other hand, I liked how the Doctor was rendered almost useless for a while by the drugs and how Rose spends some time in the novel with her head detached from her body. This one boldly goes where the TV show never would (or could), yet has some of the pop culture references and humour you’d find in an RTD-era episode (the brief encounter between Das and Jackie was funny).

Oh, and the scene at the beginning, where Jack staged a distraction by running around stark naked, hits very differently these days.

Interesting, well-written, fun, and memorable read. It’s an 8.8/10 for me!


I read this back in March 2022. Started the audiobook read by Anthony Head this evening. Say what you will about Gareth Roberts the man, but he often writes really good Doctor Who novels. Funny, enjoyable romps, but with something interesting to say (in this case about humanity). Anthony Head is an excellent narrator here and I’m think he’s tied for best with Nick “Voice of the Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Judoon, Nestenes, Zygons, Vlinx, etc” Briggs. I do find Jack’s “distraction” at the hospital more interesting than humorous, especially in light of recent events. At the moment, I’m at the point where they’re splitting the party. Looking forward to more.


Only Human is sooo much fun! I remember first reading it. Then the second time. Then the third time…
I think this is the second dw book I read in Chinese. See, my first dw story is actually A big Hand for the Doctor from Puffin eshorts (so technically my first doctor is Hartnell though I didn’t know things like regeneration and surely nothing about how these actors look like). After 12 Doctors, 12 Stories I proceed to tv eps and then New Series Adventures, from those with Chinese translations and Only Human is the first one in the ebook collection I got.


Why? What happened with Gareth Roberts?

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Ah… And I loved some of his works… (e.g. The Unicorn and the Wasp, The Lodger, Closing Time and The Caretaker)
But then, sometimes transphobes do write good stories and I still enjoy these eps. Just, such a shame… :pensive:


I think that you sometimes have to differentiate between an author and their work. I still enjoy reading my old Harry Potter books even if JKR does everything in her power to destroy that feeling. But I will not buy new copies of them.


I agree. Harry Potter is a huge part of my childhood and I love the books, so I’m not going to let JKR’s views ruin my love for her world. And Only Human is genuinely a great book as well!