Unnatural History (novel)

From Tardis Wiki, the free Doctor Who reference

prose stub

Unnatural History was the twenty-third novel in the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures series. It was written by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman, released 7 June 1999[source needed] and featured the Eighth Doctor, Sam Jones and Fitz Kreiner.

This novel explained several issues concerning Sam Jones that were introduced in Alien Bodies.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

"They called it the Millennium Effect", said the Doctor. "But the millennium was only beginning."

San Francisco has changed since the start of 2000. The laws of physics keep having acid flashbacks. There are sightings of creatures from outside our dimensions, stranded aliens and surrealist street performers. The city has become a mecca for those who revel in impossible creatures — and those who want to see them pinned down and put away.

Sam's past is catching up with her — a past she didn't know she had. The Doctor is in danger of becoming the pièce de résistance in a twisted collection of creatures. And beneath the waters of the Bay, something huge is waiting.

With time running out, the Doctor must choose which to sacrifice — a city of wonders, or the life of an old and dear friend.

Chapter titles[[edit]]

Day Zero Minus Three

  1. I Was a Teenage Paradox
  2. If You Can Remember the Future, You Weren't Really There

Day Zero Minus Two

  1. Second String
  2. Bird of Paradox
  3. Licentious Moments

Day Zero Minus One

  1. The Unnaturalist
  2. Kraken Up
  3. The Memory Cheating Ain't What it Used to Be
  4. Abducted by Aliens
  5. Somewhere, Just Out of Sight, the Unicorn Are Being Gathered
  6. Kyra

Day Zero

  1. Stuffed and Mounted
  2. The Book of Lies
  3. Hero in Use

Night Zero

  1. Anything Not Nailed Down is Mine
  2. Anything I Can Pry Loose is Not Nailed Down
  3. What Lies, Behind Us
  4. Coming Unstrung


  1. Buying Time
  2. The City Killer

The i Doctors

  1. Impossible Creatures

Day Zero Plus Seven

Epilogue: The Other Woman


to be added





  • Griffin manipulates the Doctor's biodata, removing his awareness of violet and all the UV ranges.
  • Fitz states that there are several unconfirmed "cryptozoological sightings."


The Doctor[[edit]]

  • The Doctor once again uses the alias "Doctor Bowman".
  • The Doctor tells Sam (upon seeing her light up) that he gave up smoking "six or seven lifetimes ago".
  • The Doctor might have got caught skinny-dipping with a pretty female cousin of his in one timeline.
  • The Doctor contacts UNIT through General Adrienne Kramer concerning what's going on in San Francisco.
  • The Doctor summons a boy of the Faction Paradox using a ritual and an extract of his biodata.
  • The Doctor and his father's names were banned in one potential origin when they left Gallifrey.

Drugs and medicines[[edit]]

Fashion and clothing[[edit]]

  • Fitz wears a fedora and a long black coat while gathering information from his "contacts". He also wears small round sunglasses like John Lennon.
  • Fitz's hair is still growing back after his experiences with communist China.

Foods and beverages[[edit]]

  • The Doctor pours out a bottle of beer in Kyra Skye's memory.
  • Sam takes her coffee black; Fitz, white with two sugars.
  • Daniel Joyce offers Sam some tea. She says she prefers coffee.


  • The Doctor is not sure who is President of Gallifrey at this point, Romana II, Flavia or someone else.


  • The Doctor tells Sam (dark haired) "about being President Elect of the High Council of Time Lords, keeper of the Legacy of Rassilon, Defender of the Laws of Time and Protector of Galloway. Or something."
  • Sam is originally dark-haired. This original version of her lives in a King's Cross bedsit.
  • Sam has sex with Fitz.
  • Sam's parents have postcards and letters that Sam Jones had/will been sending to them from:
  • The Doctor tells Sam Jones (dark-haired Sam) that "his Sam" (blonde haired Sam):


  • Despite Fitz' months in Mao's communist people's collective in China, he never learnt how to read much Chinese.




  • Kyra Skye says she is a witch.


  • The Doctor cleared up the after effects of Daniel Joyce's visit to Youkali.

Individuals by profession[[edit]]

Psychic powers[[edit]]


  • A Kraken comes from the higher dimensions and floats in the void, almost twisting itself through incomprehensible space. It grazes on exotic matter, plumes of raw cosmological power, fountains of energy in the upper reaches that is undetectable in N-Space. It's big enough to flatten San Francisco.
  • The unicorns can teleport, but the scar prevents them from escaping San Francisco.
  • Griffin takes apart an artificial chimera making her simpler, so she is once again a dragon, a lion and goat.



  • The boy comments on "the whole post-destination thing with the Vervoids," and the way the Doctor "tricked the Dalek Empire into tangling their timeline so bad that their history collapsed under the weight of the paradoxes."

Time travel[[edit]]

  • The boy uses a Blinovitch generator to create copies of himself and time travels using the energy built up from crossing his timestream.

Theories and concepts[[edit]]

  • The paradox agent takes the Doctor's Volkswagen Beetle as payment for information, intending to take it back in time and melt it down, ensuring that its own steel would be used in its construction: a paradox.
  • Kyra Skye is killed by Griffin by folding her through the higher dimensions.
  • The Wild Hunt is part of the scar's healing process, energy washing out in a reverse ripple. When it hits Sam she experiences alternate timelines and if the energy catches her up in it minutely alters her biodata (although it only transforms her if she in the same location as an alternate version of herself; as an example, while in her room she transforms into a drug addict in need of her next hit who has remained in the room since arriving in San Francisco, where other versions of her have left the room).
  • The Doctor initially speculates that blonde Sam could have been created when his unstable biodata after his last regeneration latched onto dark Sam and transformed her into his 'perfect' companion; Joyce dismisses this idea as the Doctor could never have had that kind of impact on someone he would never have met without that biodata manipulation taking place in the first place, but his words suggest that it could have happened if the Doctor was influencing the biodata of someone he was more familiar with.



  • Whilst writing Unnatural History both Kate Orman and Jon Blum didn't deliberately make it part of the War arc, though it did contain accidental foreshadowing for PROSE: The Ancestor Cell. However, there were intentional references to the Earth arc, which was being planned at the time.[1]
  • There are references to various characters and events from PROSE: The Infinity Doctors. Professor Joyce works at Berkeley — in The Infinity Doctors the Doctor thinks that his father might be a professor at Berkeley. Larna from The Infinity Doctors is implied to be Joyce's assistant. Parkin's later PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles would show Larna beginning a partnership with Ulysses and Penelope Gate, implied to be the Doctor's parents.
  • Following a deal with the Faction Paradox, their representative asks the Doctor some interesting questions about his past:
  • "Is this the version where they banned all mention of his name, and yours, for consorting with aliens? Or the one where he got every record of himself deleted from the files?"
  • "Maybe you didn't use to have a father." In PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible and PROSE: Lungbarrow, the Doctor is stated to have been born from biologically but from a Loom.
  • "Maybe you're living in the middle of a time war. Maybe there's an Enemy out there... who's rewriting you when you're not looking." This refers to the War in Heaven introduced in PROSE: Alien Bodies.
  • "Maybe you weren't always half-human." The Doctor's half-human status was first mentioned in TV: Doctor Who.
  • "Maybe you weren't always a Time Lord." TV: Silver Nemesis suggests something of the sort; a scene cut from TV: Remembrance of the Daleks suggests that the Doctor is "more than just another Time Lord".
  • "Maybe you originally came from some planet in the forty-ninth century. Fleeing from the Enemy who'd overrun your home." TV: "The Pilot Episode" mentions that the Doctor is from the 49th century.
  • "Maybe there's no one left on Gallifrey..." This likely refers to the Time Lords' abandonment of Gallifrey seen in PROSE: Dead Romance.
  • "Maybe they all left. Or maybe the whole planet's being destroyed, and undestroyed, and destroyed, and you just caught them at the wrong moment." PROSE: The Ancestor Cell and PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles both explore this concept.
  • "Or maybe someone wanted us to handle it." An excerpt of the Book of Lies in Unnatural History shows Rassilon making a deal with Faction Paradox to erase the events of PROSE: Lungbarrow from Gallifreyan history. This explains the "small improvements to the pattern of history" that Rassilon used the Eighth Doctor to make in PROSE: The Eight Doctors, as well as clarifying why Flavia is President in that novel and why the Eighth Doctor is travelling with Sam rather than Grace Holloway.[2]
  • The Boy's mention of a "greyness" destined to fall over the universe is a reference to the end of the universe seen in Lance Parkin's The Infinity Doctors. Implications in Parkin's Father Time and Miranda link this greyness to the post-War universe. Mark Clapham's Analysis, a short story published in Walking in Eternity, shows the amnesic Eighth Doctor's premonitions of a lifeless grey "nothing." Clapham is the author of Hope, which takes place in the same future seen in Father Time and Miranda.
  • Many fans speculated that Daniel Joyce is Professor Chronotis, but Blum denied this on Usenet, saying Joyce was much more connected to the outside world than Chronotis, and the only connection between the two was that Robert deLaurentis, whose character John Smith heavily influenced Joyce, was in turn inspired by Shada.[3] DeLaurentis was thanked in the notes of the book.
  • Many fans were upset with the portrayal of the Faction in the book, but Blum explained on Usenet that he actually collaborated with Lawrence Miles on this portrayal, agreeing that there were multiple different aims and attitudes within the group.[4]


External links[[edit]]