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"Faction Against Character Theft"
"The Natural History of Fear", by Jim Mortimore, coming after Philip Martin's disappointing "The Creed of the Kromon", is far more the type of weird and wonderful story one might expect from Big Finish's controversial Divergent Universe arc.
At some stage, the Doctor, Charley and C'rizz arrived in Light City, where the people act like robots in thrall to the all-powerful State: not the sort of society that the Doctor would normally tolerate for very long. Now, however, the Editor (Paul McGann) is the ultimate arbiter of the State and actively seeks to suppress any trace of individual thought amongst his people. Said people, including a pair of obedient citizens who sound very much like the Doctor's two companions, love the State and the State loves them.
It appears that the Doctor and his friends have been drawn into the society of Light City and undergone personality revision, like so many of its people, and as the characters they have become go through the trials and tribulations of their daily lives, the question becomes how they are going to regain their true memories and identities and escape from the nightmare they have found themselves in: particularly the all-powerful Editor, whose love of the State seems unassailable. Of course, there's a fantastic twist at the end, which will probably delight and frustrate the listener in equal measure.
The performances from regulars Paul McGann, India Fisher and Conrad Westmaas are bang on target, as are most of the supporting players. However, newcomer Westmaas' voice isn't very recogniseable after only one previous performance, tending to get lost amongst the remainder of the male cast.
"The Natural History of Fear" dares to be different and is generally a great success. However, listeners must be prepared for an ending that may alienate them to the rest of the story.