The Natural History of Fear (#54)

Big Finish Main Range

Boring. A lot of doublespeak, like a cross between 1984 and A Clockwork Orange. It’s a bit of strange trip down a totalitarian state that controls the minds and emotions of its people. The state wants all of its citizens to be happy. The persistence of memory. Ahhh, nice quotes pulled from the conversations and soliloquies by the Doctor. Or is it the Doctor? This is almost like a Dr. Who audio not written for Doctor Who. Which is what it pretty much is, ultimately.

It’s a bit convincing that the Doctor is the Editor, gone underground, destroying his memories, protecting the state and destroying Charley. Like they’re coming back to themselves with no escape. It’s very well written to cover up the people and reality that is very changeable. The Doctor as a hero? A society revealed? It’s all very well written and tied in. However, like in The Sixth Sense, where there’s a hook, a spin-around, surprise at the end. And much like that movie, it’s a bit disappointing.

The Editor, the Conscience, the Censor. All leading the society forward, allowing revolution to keep things moving. Guiding the society to a new social and political order. An 8-legged race of beings that are in a society that is moves into revolution. Ending on a why. I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if I actually realized, from the beginning, who was who and what role they were playing. It does play to the changing nature of what it means to exist and what it means to be a personality. What is reality but who we think we are? That is the best of this story. With the babble-speak at the beginning, it put me off. I got bored. Things start to get interesting in part II, then part III is better, then part IV the best and definitely most interesting. But by then, it was a matter of just getting through the first parts to get to the ending.

Then again, it’s a change, a different take on the new universe. So for that, I would give it a four jelloid rating. Do I put it in the classification of very good or just good? Despite feeling disconnected from the story, I would be willing to give it a 4 jelloid rating if it made me feel more. But the ending returns me to the beginning and the plodding moments of the talking, talking, talking. And I am never, ever sure how the title fits in, either. So I must, in the end, give it a mere three jelloid rating.

Paul McGann, India Fisher, and Conrad Westmaas

Writer: Jim Mortimore

Director: G-Russell

Release: February 2004

Laura Vilensky 2019