17

In series 3 episode 8, Human Nature, the Doctor undergoes a painful biological transformation, making himself human and hiding away in early 20th-century England in order to escape the attention of the Family of Blood. Before doing so, he records a message and leaves it for Martha on the TARDIS. From the transcript of this episode:

(Martha turns on a recording the Doctor made earlier.)
DOCTOR [on scanner]: This working? Martha, before I change, here's a list of instructions for when I'm human. One, don't let me hurt anyone. We can't have that, but you know what humans are like. Two, don't worry about the Tardis. I'll put it on emergency power so they can't detect it. Just let it hide away. Four. No, wait a minute, three. No getting involved in big historical events. Four, you. Don't let me abandon you. And fi -
(She fast forwards it.)
MARTHA: But there was a meteor, a shooting star. What am I supposed to do then?
DOCTOR [on scanner]: And twenty three. If anything goes wrong, if they find us, Martha, then you know what to do. Open the watch. Everything I am is kept safe in there. Now, I've put a perception filter on it so the human me won't think anything of it. To him, it's just a watch. But don't open it unless you have to. Because once it's open, then the Family will be able to find me. It's all down to you, Martha. Your choice. Oh, and thank you.

We see points one to four, some wibbly-wobbly stuff in the middle when she fast-forwards, and then twenty-three. Does a full recording exist, including what the Doctor is really saying in that wibbly-wobbly bit? There must have been something actually said there, to give Martha some material to fast-forward through.

26

In-universe, we don't know the answer. Most of the twenty-three points we never get to see.

Out of universe, David Tennant was (obviously) speaking for a minute or two on the part of the tape that Martha (Freema) fast-forwards through, but he wasn't in-character as the Doctor and was just speaking to fill up time, as this part of the tape was never run properly in the show. This is probably the most hilarious 'deleted scene' there's ever been in Doctor Who, and here it is in all its glory:

This working? Martha, before I change, here's a list of instructions for when I'm human. One, don't let me hurt anyone. We can't have that, but you know what humans are like. Two, don't worry about the Tardis. I'll put it on emergency power so they can't detect it. Just let it hide away. Four. No, wait a minute, three. No getting involved in big historical events. Four, you. Don't let me abandon you. And five. Very important, five. Don't let me eat pears. I hate pears. John Smith is a character I made up, but I won't know that. I'll think I am him, and he might do something stupid like eat a pear. In three months, I don't want to wake up and be human and taste that. And six. Now I have to talk for around about a minute without hesitation, deviation, or whatever the other thing is. It's like that panel game on Channel Four, like Rory just pointed out. However, I'm going to move on and say number seven, and talk about my other favourite band, which is the Housemartins. I don't know if anyone remembers the Housemartins, but the best gig I ever went to was at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in about December, it must have been 1990, and the Housemartins were playing, and it was quite simply the best gig I've ever been to. They split up quite soon afterwards; I don't know what that tells you about that particular event. I'm sitting in the TARDIS now, and I'm going to wind up soon, but not before I make a few strange noises with my mouth that will go somewhere along the lines of bingle bongle dingle dangle yikkety-doo yikkety-dah ping pong lippy tuppy too tah. And twenty-three. If anything goes wrong, if they find us, Martha, then you know what to do. Open the watch. Everything I am is kept safe in there. Now, I've put a perception filter on it so the human me won't think anything of it. To him, it's just a watch. But don't open it unless you have to. Because once it's open, then the Family will be able to find me. It's all down to you, Martha. Your choice. Oh, and thank you.

Perhaps this practice at "talk[ing] for around about a minute without hesitation, deviation, or whatever the other thing is" stood David Tennant in good stead when he appeared on the real "Just a Minute" radio show in 2015, and made an instant mark for himself by successfully speaking for an entire minute without being interrupted (a rare feat on the show) in his very first attempt during his first appearance. (Source.)

  • 1
    Thanks for the laugh. But, wait... "Rory"?!?! And, wait... "Don't eat pears"? That's totally, totally, what's the word. Timey wimey. – Mr Lister Dec 30 '15 at 14:47
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    @MrLister Yes, so obviously the next question is "who is this Rory?" ;-) – Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '15 at 14:51
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    And now, Capaldi's Doctor's final "advice" to Clara, "never eat pears", suddenly makes a lot more sense. Brilliant. +1 – tilley31 Dec 30 '15 at 16:12
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    Rory is probably Rory Taylor (imdb.com/name/nm0853114) . According to the full cast and crew credits on imdb (imdb.com/title/tt1000254/fullcredits) the only rory there is Rory Taylor who was director of photography and apparently a camera operator so likely is the person telling David Tennant what he should be doing in that scene for it to look right. – Chris Dec 30 '15 at 16:24
  • Haha... David Tennant was awesome especially for speaking weird things. Matt Smith for body flexibility... – Baby Yoda Jan 10 '16 at 15:57
7

Although the filmed list has improvised gibberish in the middle, it's based directly on the list the Seventh Doctor gives Benny in the 2002 New Adventure novel "Human Nature" (page 47) on which that TV story is based.

Benny fumbled in her bag and pulled out the list, which she took a quick peep at beneath table level.
Things Not To Let Me Do
1: Commit suicide, if for some reason I want to.
2: Do physical harm to anyone, if you're aware of it.
3: Eat meat, if you can.
4: Eat pears. I hate pears, I don't want to wake up and taste that.
5: Leave the area, or you, behind.
6: Get involved in big sociopolitical events.
7: Hurt animals, especially owls.
8: Develop an addiction.
9: Anything impossible.

That's as close as we'll come to the full in-continuity list: we can see that items 2, 4, 5, 6 on the novel's list are directly adapted for the TV story's items 1, 3, 4, and 5 respectively. Pears were dropped from the TV broadcast supposedly because the BBC was afraid it'd make kids stop eating them; the suicide and animal cruelty items were probably dropped for watershed reasons.

This is, so far as I can tell, the origin for the running gag that the Doctor doesn't like pears.

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