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Reviews for The Natural History of Fear

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Twisting & Turning -but about C'Rizz?

By:Clive Wright, Jersey
Date:Monday 22 March 2004
Rating:   6

With the introduction of C'Rizz I was hoping for something to build and understand the charater more, I was disappointed.

The story itself was good but with C'Rizz just started should have been left until we knew the creature more.

Like other recent stories this held you, with twists and turns, delving into personal belief and the will to be individual, which is intertaining.

Good but what about C'Rizz

However I don't know C'Rizz any better and still hope he turns out interesting.

Disjointed but refreshing...

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA
Date:Tuesday 29 August 2006
Rating:   8

I found it rather difficult to get a good sense of a plot as this story proceeded. The repeated "revisions" of the characters made for second- and third-guessing about what was actually going on, and made me really wonder how it would all be resolved. At the end, we learn that it all really isn't resolved, and that we've been completely duped during the entirety of this story, which in a way is rather irritating. Still, the style and structure of the writing and story are innovative and refreshing; something like this was quite welcome after the horrible story that preceeded it (The Creed of the Kromon). Also, extra points are given for the dialogue, which I personally found to contain a rich commentary on and criticism of the fundamentalist mindset (particularly the mindset present in Christian fundamentalism - indeed, these references do seem to pop up in Big Finish stories from time to time). It may also be true that the script features a reincarnation theme throughout, and as such it's an interesting commentary on that as well. I think there's a depth to the writing that some will pick up on but others may miss. Paul McGann gets the majority of the inspired lines, and he does well with them.

Overall, The Natural History of Fear got my attention because it did something different, and is not just another mediocre, forgettable story.


By:Paula, Johnstown, PA, USA
Date:Monday 12 November 2007
Rating:   9

To this point, the Big Finish audios have been advancing in how they use their medium to the greatest effect. They outdo themselves this round, because the audio-only format sets up a fantastic punchline that adds some depth to the universe (did you really think everything was _just_ about the Doc and company?) and completely catches the listener by surprise. Seriously. You won't see this one coming. Others may disagree, but I thought this one worked out beautifully.

I could give more explicit praise, but I just might hint at the conclusion that puts the whole mystery into place. Don't go into this one with any preconceived notions. Just observe what happens, and step back to consider the setup just after the trap springs. Enjoy!

My Personal Favorite

By:Jake Johnson, Last Seen In, United States
Date:Thursday 3 March 2011
Rating:   10

This audio is what I consider to be a masterpiece. On the first listen-through, this seemed like a good, Orwellian tale with some nice twists.
But this audio goes deeper. The meanings of each scene could change when you associate different scenes with them. THis entire audio is a puzzle, one without names and without definite solution. That is what makes this worth every listen through.
This is definitely not the audio of choice for someone who's trying to relax and stop thinking, nor is it one for someone expecting C'Rizz to be developed, nor is it for anyone who dislikes experimental works. But even to them, I'd suggest it. Every part of this play is a mystery, and it's a mystery that someone that one can still ponder on the hundredth listen.

Truly Brilliant

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 3 November 2012
Rating:   9

"The Natural History of Fear" may put off many listeners because it is not really Doctor Who at all. So, let us remove the entire Doctor Who apparatus from this story and listen to it for what it is. At that level, this is one of the best pieces of dystopian science fiction to appear in quite some time. The premise seems to be "What if the BBC bureaucracy were to run the world?" People's lives are "edited" so that they become entirely different people with entirely different lives. Their entertainment is a constantly reworked series of adventures on other worlds, in essence "Doctor Who" on endless re-runs. (This touch in turn provides a very clever way to have the world of this story connect to the Doctor Who characters). The whole arrangement is designed merely to keep operations running, and every day is "high productivity day." What makes this really work is the dialogue. Political theory mixes with personal tragedy, political rivalry with psychological realism. India Fisher is marvelous at sounding genuinely distressed, a person who believes absolutely in the values of her culture ("I love the State"), but finds her world falling apart in spite of it. Paul McGann gets a real range of emotion and motivation in this one. The ending was to me a complete surprise, but entirely logical and consistent with what was presented. I subtract a point only because using the Doctor Who actors sets up an expectation for the listener that this story could not possibly deliver. Otherwise, an impressive performance.


By:Matt Saunders, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Date:Saturday 25 May 2013
Rating:   10

I quickly got bored of this series. I liked the 8th Doctor as an exciting hero who beats monsters - not the Doctor who now lives in a totally mad and annoying universe. I tried to listen to these again, but got as far as this one - though good, it gets v annoying after a while, as did the two before. A bit, dare I say it....boring...try it once, but don't go back. Listen to a later 8th Doctor story - much, much better. :)

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