MY TWO MAIN AIMS IN writing Embrace the Darkness was to create a scary story and a story that could only work on audio. As it turned out, those two aims fed well off each other. If it's totally pitch black, the main sense the characters rely on is hearing. As listeners of an audio play, that's all we have; so immediately the listeners' experience gets that much closer to the characters'. There is, hopefully, more a sense of sharing an experience rather than just hearing it.
As for the scary side of things, the darkness and the audio medium both allow for a level of gruesome content which would perhaps not sit so well in the Doctor Who genre visually. Unpleasant things that make us squirm can happen without a blatant visual representation of them turning the preceedings into 'shock-horror'. Here, audio allowed me to deal with terrors of the mind rather than revulsion at the visceral. Well, that's the theory, anyway...
In practice, the story was recorded during one of the worst weeks of my life; featuring a costly road traffic accident, terrifying personal relationship traumas and the mother of all colds. Maybe some of that darkness is in there too.
This is the first story I've written and directed for Big Finish for which I haven't handled the post-production editing and music. Unfortunately, Dalek Empire (or my 'concept album' as it has been humorously called by writer Paul Ebbs) crowded out my schedule. Luckily for me, this log-jam coincided with my old friend Jim Mortimore expressing an interest in returning to audio. Jim and I worked together for many years on the Audio Visuals plays, so it was great to see him back, bristling with new audio ideas. If he were writing this, he would no doubt tell you that it was no picnic working with me. I have a strong sense of what I want to achieve in any work I do, and having someone else (for a change) essentially re-interpreting something that was firmly fixed in my imagination was difficult for me... and, as a result, for him too. Put simply, Jim just hasn't done it the way I would have. What he has done, however, is very new, very different and very exciting. He never believes me when I tell him, but Jim has a touch of the genius about him. I hope you will be able to embrace the darkness he and I have created.
Nicholas Briggs, January 2002