Human Resources (audio drama)
|Big Finish Productions audio drama|
|Range||Eighth Doctor Adventures|
|Release number||1.7 & 1.8|
|Executive producer||Nicholas Briggs|
|Length||2 50-minute episodes|
|Release date||11 February 2007 and
18 February 2007
Human Resources is an audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. This audio drama was produced by Big Finish Productions and was broadcast in two parts on BBC 7 on 11 February and 18 February 2007 and was the last to use David Arnold's arrangement of the Doctor Who theme.
In the TARDIS the Doctor is given a time ring by a Time Lord to rescue Lucie. Meanwhile, Lucie starts her new job at Hulbert Logistics, an office in Telford, believing that her travels with the Doctor were all a dream. The Doctor arrives at the office and restores Lucie's memories. She realises that this is the job she was meant to start before she was taken by the Time Lords. He decides to investigate and finds the staff working on military tactics. Lucie is fired from the job and is ejected from the office with another member of staff, Karen. The office is revealed to be the interior of a giant war machine on an alien planet, where they find a small group of other ex-employees.
Meanwhile, the Doctor finds a dimensional corridor in the human resources department, which leads to an office on Earth run by a man called Hulbert, who explains that he helps aliens fight wars by brainwashing humans to run the war machines. Believing the Doctor to be his latest 'client', he takes him to a conference on the alien planet to demonstrate his company's effectiveness as the current targets of his corporations have been hunted to near extinction. Believing Hulbert's plans to be unjustified, the Doctor sabotages the conference's defensive systems, only to discover that the war is being fought against Cybermen, who storm the conference room.
Hubert agrees to work with the Cybermen, against the Doctor's advice. The Doctor learns that these Cybermen are an earlier version of the Cybermen he will encounter on Telos, having not recognised the name of the planet. Lucie and the ex-employees meet the Headhunter, who explains she was hired by Hubert to track Lucie down in case a rival company was trying to reverse-engineer his brainwashing techniques. As she has no desire to see the Cybermen win, she agrees to help them.
Lucie returns to the office with the other ex-employees and regains control. Meanwhile, the Cybermen have summoned the office as it has a 100% success record, and they also intend to use the dimensional corridor to invade Earth. The office attacks the Cybermen whilst Lucie sneaks out and rescues the Doctor. They re-enter the office where Lucie shows the Doctor a device which she found in the office, which he recognizes as a Quantum Crystalliser, a device which alters possible future timelines to ensure the best possible outcome for the user. They both go in the TARDIS to talk to another Time Lord who explains that the war had been engineered by the Celestial Intervention Agency to try to eliminate the Cybermen.
The Time Lord also explains that the CIA predicted that Lucie would become a dictator who would interfere with mankind's progress, so they also used a Crystalliser to alter her past to prevent this, but eventually they had to pull her out of time into the TARDIS, as contact with another Crystalliser would lead to her timeline becoming dangerously unstable. Realising that the Time Lords have manipulated her life Lucie takes the Quantum Crystalliser and runs back to the office. The Doctor realises that the Time Lords mistook Lucie for Karen when they pulled her out of time due to them both having job interviews on the same day, and Karen is the one destined to become a dictator.
The Headhunter tries to talk Lucie into using the Quantum Crystalliser to get revenge on the Time Lords. The Doctor arrives and explains the situation to her. She gives him the Crystalliser, but is shocked when he gives it to the Cybermen. However, the Cyberman who uses it instantly suffers total systems failure and is killed. The Doctor explains that the Quantum Crystalliser has been programmed to ensure that the Cybermen are defeated, so he increases the range on it, causing all of the Cybermen to be killed, and rendering the device itself useless. Whilst the Time Lords return the office workers home and Karen decides to become the Headhunter's new assistant, the Doctor and Lucie leave to new adventures.
- The Doctor — Paul McGann
- Lucie Miller — Sheridan Smith
- Headhunter — Katarina Olsson
- Hulbert — Roy Marsden
- Straxus — Nickolas Grace
- Jerry — Owen Brenman
- Karen — Louise Fullerton
- Malcolm — Andrew Wisher
- Cybermen — Nicholas Briggs
- The Cybermen in this story post-date The Tenth Planet and The Invasion, as one of the Cybermen mentions the death of Mondas, the Doctor's defeat of the advance Earth invasion party and his encounter with them on Planet 14 (which was mentioned in The Invasion). At this point in their development the Cybermen have not yet colonised themselves on their new home world of Telos as demonstrated when they fail to recognise the reference via the Doctor. In Beyond the Vortex, Nicholas Briggs mentions that the Cybermen voices in the story were a mix of the ones used in the 2006 series and The Invasion.
- The Time Ring first featured in Genesis of the Daleks and also features in the next Eighth Doctor season finale, Sisters of the Flame/Vengeance of Morbius.
- The Headhunter first started chasing Lucie in Blood of the Daleks. She returns in the Series 2 story Grand Theft Cosmos, alongside Karen from this story.
- Straxus returns in Sisters of the Flame/Vengeance of Morbius.
- The Doctor refers to the Cyberman as "more machine than man". This is how Obi-Wan Kenobi describes Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi.
- Straxus is also the name of a mighty Decepticon warlord who originated in the Marvel Comics Transformers comic.
- Only six weeks after the broadcast of this audio, actor Roy Marsden appeared in Doctor Who again, televised in "Smith and Jones" in the role of Mr Stoker.
- Straxus also appears in the Bernice Summerfield audio play The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel - this time played by Peter Miles.
- "Digital Doctor". Doctor Who Magazine (374): 6. 2006-10-11 cover date. Check date values in:
- "Doctor Eight for BBC7". BBC Doctor Who website. bbc.co.uk. 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2006-09-18.