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Unnatural History
Series: Doctor Who -
BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures
Release Number: 23
Doctor: Eighth Doctor
Companions: Sam Jones, Fitz Kreiner
Enemy: Griffin the Unaturalist, Faction Paradox
Setting: San Francisco, 2002
London, 2002
Author: Jonathan Blum & Kate Orman
Publisher: BBC Books
Publication: June, 1999
Format: Paperback Book, 281 Pages
ISBN: ISBN 0-563-55576-9
Previous Story: Dominion
Following Story: Autumn Mist


Publisher’s Summary

'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.


  • The Doctor's biodata contains 17 conflicting streams.
  • Griffin removes the Doctor's ability to see the colour violet (although later the Doctor fixes this).
  • Uses the alias 'Doctor Bowman'.
  • Can't remember etiquette and gets confused between "twenty-first century America and the planet Quinnis in the fourth universe."
  • Tells Sam (upon seeing her light up) that he gave up smoking "six of seven lifetimes ago".
  • Might have been ten years old.
  • Might have got caught skinny-dipping with a pretty female cousin of his.
  • Is not sure who is President of Gallifrey, Romana or Flavia.
  • Mentions Tubby Rowlands
  • Last dropped acid in 1968.
  • Got flashbacks for decades from Jo Grant's hayfever tablets.
  • Cleared up the after affects of Daniel Joyce's visit to Youkali.
  • No longer has a shadow.
  • Born 15th April 1980.
  • Here parents are Allan and Margaret Jones.
  • Went to school at Coal Hill School, Shoreditch.
  • Is dark haired.
  • Live in a King's Cross bedsit.
  • Smokes Benson and Hedges cigarettes.
  • Has needle injection scars on her arms.
  • Gives the Doctor a back massage, he rather enjoys it.
  • Then Sam tries to seduce him.
  • Has sex with Fitz.
  • Still gets flashes of memory from the 'other Sam'.
  • Goes around to all her other self's friends telling them she got accepted by Amnesty and was going to New York.
  • Knows her other self and Fitz "shagged like rabbits".
  • No longer finds that idea "that a few years from now she could be anywhere, doing anything" exciting.
  • Uses the alias 'Fitzwilliam Fort'
  • Wears a fedora and a long black coat while gathering information from his 'contacts'.
  • Wears small round sunglasses like John Lennon wears.
  • Has meditated on top of Mount Tamalpais.
  • Fitz's hair is still growing back after his experiences with communist China.
  • Despite his months in Mao's communist people's collective in China, he never learnt how to properly read Chinese.
  • Gives up cigarettes to be the 'nice one', the good companion for the Doctor.
  • Has sex with Sam.
  • Eldin Sanchez
  • Kyra Skye
  • Can see/read the 'ley lines' of San Francisco.
  • Discusses psychokinesis and Snoopy when she first meets Fitz.
  • Came to San Francisco during the 'Summer of Love' when she was 18.
  • Is a witch.
  • Is killed by Griffin by folding her through the higher dimensions.
  • Professor Daniel Joyce
  • Has a tattoo on the cuff of his sleeve that he looks like he has tried to get rid of.
  • Has a wife called Anne.
  • Got a spare beryllium chip for Wagg following the Doctor's theft of his first one.
  • Has a red headed assistant called Larna.
  • Griffin - the Unnaturalist
  • Is from one of the higher dimensions.
  • Manipulates the Doctor's biodata, removing his awareness of violet, including all the UV ranges.
  • Takes apart of a chimera making it more simple, so it is just a dragon, a lion and goat.
  • Is from somewhere near the Needle.
  • Calls the Doctor 'granddad'.
  • Comments on "The whole post-destination thing with the Vervoids." and the way the Doctor "The way you tricked the Dalek Empire into tangling their timeline so bad that their history collapsed under the weight of the paradoxes.".
  • Uses a Blinovitch generator to create copies of himself and time travel using the energy built up from crossing his timestream.


  • The Doctor contacts UNIT through General Adrienne Kramer concerning what's going on in San Francisco.
  • Fitz states that there are several unconfirmed "cryptozoological sightings..
  • 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.
  • Daniel Joyce does work under the Advanced Research Projects at Berkely.
  • The Doctor summons the Little Brother of the Faction Paradox using a ritual and an extract of his biodata.


  • Introduction to Quantum Esotericism by Watkinson and Thripsted discusses the Book of Lies.

Foods and Beverages

  • 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 states she prefers coffee.


  • Sam's parents have postcards and letters that Samantha Jones had/will been sending to them from:
  • The Doctor tells Sam Jones (dark haired Sam) that 'his Sam' (blonde haired Sam):
  • Stopped the smugglers of Nephelokokkugian and the Dalek invasion of Tuvulu.
  • Battled the tyrant queen of Hyspero.
  • Returned a Triceratops infant to its mother.


  • The location of the Scar is the alleyway where the Doctor was shot.

Races and species

  • A Kraken comes from the higher dimensions and floats in the void twisting itself through almost incomprehensible space. It grazes on exotic matter, plumes of raw cosmological power, fountains of energy in the upper reaches that is undetectable in normal space. It's big enough to flatten San Francisco.
  • The unicorns can teleport, but the Scar prevents them from escaping San Francisco.


  • The Doctor uses a 'Time Lord message pod', a white cube to send to the Time Lords, requesting help. It appears to be intercepted (an impossible thing according to the Doctor) by the Faction Paradox.
  • He expected a reply when "Once the epistopic interfaces of the space-time continuum are properly aligned."
  • Datagel is compact "but if you rupture the cell your computing power oozes out through the cracks."
  • The Henches (the 'men in grey') are fom BioHazCorp and were supposed to be delivered to a warzone on Teso Peope.


  • The Faction Paradox agent takes an old memory of the Doctor's:
  • The fruity scent of karamine pudding.
  • When the Doctor was barely a loomling.
  • When his father was present in a Great House.
  • He'd caught a cobblemouse.
  • Mr Saldaamir is present.

Theories and Concepts

  • 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.



  • Whilst writing Unnatural History both Kate Orman and Jon Blum didn't deliberatly make it part of 'The War arc' however:
    "When it comes to the Faction Paradox / War stuff, there is one big bit of foreshadowing for "Ancestor Cell" -- but we had no idea that we were foreshadowing it, we intended that bit as a red herring at the time! There were, however, deliberate bits of foreshadowing for the Earth arc, which went onto the drawing board while we were writing the book."[1]
  • There are suggestions in various fan-reviews that Daniel Joyce is Professor Chronotis (from Shada), but there are only (very vague) hints; he has a tattoo on his arm which could be a mark of an exiled Time Lord. The house that he gives the Doctor a key to has some vague similarities to Chronotis' rooms from Shada.
  • Following a deal with the Faction Paradox their Representative (the Little Brother) 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?"
This can refer to The Other, but also several elements of MA: Cold Fusion.
  • "Maybe you didn't use to have a father."
  • "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 can actually refer to several things, the Second War in Heaven, which does involve the Enemy. However it can also refer to the Last Great Time War.
  • "Maybe you weren't always half-human."
First mentioned in DW: Doctor Who: The TV Movie.
  • "Maybe you weren't always a Time Lord."
DW: Silver Nemesis suggests something of the sort, a scene cut from DW: 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."
DW: The Pilot Episode mentions the 49th century, an 'enemy overrunning your home' can be anything from the Enemy (first mentioned in EDA: Alien Bodies) to the Daleks (who destroyed his home, first mentioned in DW: Dalek.
  • "Maybe there's no one left on Gallifrey..."
Quite possibly refers to the Time Lords abandonment of Gallifrey seen in BNA: 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."
EDA: The Ancestor Cell and The Gallifrey Chronicles both cover this concept.


  • The events of the Mars 1997 mission were covered in NA: The Dying Days.
  • The events of EDA: The Eight Doctors occured, only without Sam or the Doctor's involvement. (the first time around)
  • Fitz's talks about his time in communist China with Sam (dark haired), also his hair is still growing back following the events of EDA: Revolution Man.
  • When the Little Brother of the Faction tries to tell the Doctor of his future exploits he says "No spoilers." a statement that would come back to him in DW: Silence in the Library, but also because he doesn't want to know about the future he first learned of in EDA: Alien Bodies.
  • EDA: The Gallifrey Chronicles suggests who exactly Daniel Joyce and his wife are.
  • The events of DW: Doctor Who: The TV Movie began the anomalies throughout San Francisco.
  • The Doctor was last in San Francisco in EDA: Vampire Science.
  • EDA: Alien Bodies first introduced the concept of an alternate version of Samantha Jones, who smoked Benson & Hedges cigarettes and had dark hair.
  • Blinovitch (of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect) was mentioned / demonstrated in DW: Day of the Daleks.
  • Also in The Infinity Doctors the Doctor thinks that his father might be a professor at Berkeley.

External Links

  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Unnatural History
  • The Whoniverse - The Discontinuity Guide to: Unnatural History


  1. Jonathan Blum on 'Ask Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum' - The Doctor Who Forum at Outpost Gallifrey (Page 12) (ezyboard membership required)

BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures
Previous Release:
Next Release:
Autumn Mist

This article uses material from the "Unnatural History" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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