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< 53. The Creed of the Kromon
55. The Twilight Kingdom >

54. The Natural History of Fear

Rating Votes
10
38%
61
9
23%
38
8
15%
25
7
7%
11
6
6%
10
5
4%
7
4
6%
10
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.4
Votes
162
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/16/17 2:15 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I remember this story being announced. Big Finish made a big deal of the fact that Paul McGann really loved the script. I remember being worried about this. As a reader of Virgin and BBC Doctor Who novels, I was not a fan of Jim Mortimore. While "The Natural History of Fear" shares with many of Mortimore's novels the trait of conspicuously failing to fit comfortably into an ongoing series,, it is never the less a brilliant standalone story.

This is one of those stories where listening to the previous stories doesn't actually help. It's helpful to be up-to-date with what's going on in the range, and it's helpful to be able to recognize Conrad Westmaas's voice, but the story is still going to be mysterious and confusing. It's designed to be. Part of the mystery of the story is not knowing who these characters are, and what relationship they have to our regular characters. Have they been brainwashed somehow and given roles in Light City? On a first lesson, it's simply unclear.

The relationship between memory and identity if one of the themes of the story, and we quickly learn that both are easily editable in Light City. People who commit "thought crime", such as asking questions, are "revised". Light City quells rebellion by erasing and re-programming the individuals who rebel. The story bears some resemblance to other totalitarian dystopias of science fiction, but Mortimore's story approaches these ideas in its own way. There are also themes regarding media and censorship, the use of entertainment to encourage loyalty to the state, and so on. This has to be the most thematically rich story Big Finish has ever done.

And it's also damned entertaining, with an amazing cast full of great performances.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: EightsGirlReview Date: 6/12/17 4:01 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Wow! Just wow! I cannot recommend this audio enough. Set in the Divergent Universe, this sees the Doctor, Charley, and C'rizz in a zone called Light City. Like the other reviews say, it's a very Orwellian place. What happens from here, one must simply listen. I was blown away by the end.

Paul and India are brilliant in the roles they play (yes, it's more than just the Doctor and Charley.) One scene in particular had tears rolling down my face before I even realized I was crying. The emotion was just that overwhelming.

One reason I loved this audio so much was the deeper meaning to the story. I don't want to give it away but it's incredibly thought provoking.

I can't say it enough: go listen, enjoy, and repeat. This is definitely an audio one must listen to more than once.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 3/10/15 3:49 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

I can't say too much about this story except that it is absolutely brilliant. The story is one that you have to listen to twice to completely understand the complex narrative. The plot involves Light City in the Divergent Universe which is a dystopia. Light City is filled with censorship and other Orwellian themes present in his book 1984. The Cast list does not give any character names and the story depends on it being told in the audio medium. I can not recommend this enough so give it a quick listen.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/10/15 10:17 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

To say the Natural History of Fear is unusual even by Doctor Who standards is putting it mildly. This Eighth Doctor story could be considered “Doctor light” and “companion light” although Paul McGann and India Fisher are in it plenty but not playing the same characters they usually do.

This is a story that takes the Divergent Universe story arch and shows what could be done with as we are thrust into Light City, a bright and shining place where citizen’s lives are strictly regimented and questions prohibited. It’s a nightmarish Orwellian vision of newspeak, mind control, and mental reprogramming with characters changing identities frequently.

This society uses broadcasts to control the masses and anyone who goes out of line is revised by the Editor (played by McGann). This story is probably one of the best Dystopian Doctor Who stories ever told and it does so through its radical departure from the typical formula.

For the second time (the first being in Scherzo) in McGann’s third season of audio dramas, Big Finish opted for a throught provoking experimental story and the results are nearly as good. The story lacks a lot of the action and more comfortable signature tropes of Doctor Who but manages to be interesting and thought-provoking with some great concepts played out. This is a very solid high concept story.