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No Future (New Doctor Who Adventures) Paperback – 17 Feb 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dr Who; First Edition edition (17 Feb. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0426204093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426204091
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Someone has been toying with the Doctor's past, testing him, threatening him, leading him on a chase that has been altered once again. Black Star terrorists organize riots in the streets. As usual, it's up to the Doctor to protect the world - but he can't even protect himself.

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Format: Paperback
Paul Cornell hates No Future (it seems only fair to start a review by getting the author's opinion out there).
Too much continuity. Too much plot. An attempt to tell the ultimate Who story, that never really achieves its many aims. And on some level its hard not to agree with him.
The cover seems to promise a Doctor Who set against the background of the Punk era, but the punk element is quickly replaced with a gritty Pertwee era UNIT story with Benny's band along for the ride. Set up in the previous book as some who will save the world, Danny Pain, though still an interesting character feels very much like a stock Cornell character haunted by a past mistake. Everything people dislike about the older Ace is on display here and her continued arguments with the Doctor and Benny start to get irritating. And the continuity, while at least to a purpose rather than just thrown in, is reaally just a way of harmonising the UNIT era with the real world.
So what's left to like about the book? Well first of all Cornell succeeds in re-inventing two classic Who villians; the main antagonist going from a naughty child on tv to a bitter, hate filled schemer, his every moment dominated by revenge on the Doctor (plus he actually gets a name)and the second a badly executed 70s monster, that Cornell turns into a real threat (he pulls of a similiar trick with another forgotten monster in the audio play Seasons of Fear). As the above review notes, Ace's arch had essentially been done by earlier writters and this book manages to resolve all her issues and point her in a different direction. Cornell can always write Bernice and the Seventh Doctor brilliantly and the scene inside the Mediasphere, where they encounter various 70s British tv institutions is great fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 8 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Finally we get to discover who has been 'meddling' with time and mucking up The Doctor's timelines; frankly it's a bit of a disappointment.
No Future continues where the third of the last three novels in the New Adventures series left off. Someone is manipulating the TARDIS' inhabitants in order to gain revenge for something The Doctor did in a previous incarnation.
To be honest, Paul Cornell had been boxed into a corner by the previous novelists: Ace couldn't have really become any more homicidal and Benny had to make a decision whether to stay or go - and whilst we're quoting THE CLASH we may as well mention the setting, London in the summer of 1976 - punk is in full swing, the country is ripe for revolution and someone is taking pot-shots at the Queen...
We soon discover there is another renegade Timelord on the loose who is attempting to bring (real) anarchy to the UK, whilst disposing of The Doctor and stealing that which is closest to his hearts.
In summary: a fast-paced adventure with some entertaining prose and plenty of old enemies (and friends) to keep fans of the classic series happy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Fine End To The Alternate History Arc 15 Mar. 2009
By Matthew Kresal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No Future represents the end of the Alternate History arc of the New Adventures novel. While it has a mixed reputation in fan circles I came to it with an open mind about how good it would be. That said I had high hopes considering the fact it was written by favorite Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell and I wasn't disappointed.

Cornell takes five novels worth of character development for the seventh Doctor, Benny and Ace to an incredible conclusion. The manipulative seventh Doctor is pushed to his own personal edge of destruction, Benny suffers a bit of an identity crises and Ace confronts the pain she's been suffering from since the New Adventure Love And War (also written by Cornell incidentally). In particular Ace's relationship with the Doctor and Benny is at the forefront of No Future especially during chapters twelve through fifteen. In those chapters the readers are left seriously wondering if the relationship between the Doctor and his companions as come to the ultimate breaking point. No Future proves once again that Cornell knows how to get into the heads of his lead characters.

Then Cornell brings back the UNIT family. It seems fitting that the Alternate History arc started off with an alternative UNIT and ended with a return to the UNIT family. Cornell brings back The Brigadier, Benton and even Mike Yates and shows that while the stories have grown up the UNIT family has as well even managing to create a true sense for loss when one of those characters meets an (apparent) end. Cornell also manages to flesh out the other characters of the novel as well including the villains of the story, new members of the UNIT family and the various punks roaming around a rather odd version of 1976 London.

The plot is an interesting one. Not only does this novel wind up the Alternate History arc but acts as a sequel to elements of the UNIT TV stories plus TV stories like The Time Meddler and The Invasion Of Time. Like other Doctor Who stories (novels and otherwise) such as War Of The Daleks that are heavily based in the continuity of the series, if you don't know much about the series you are likely to get a bit lost in the midst of the continuity references. Unlike War Of The Daleks though No Future doesn't cheat its audience with by rewriting a good chunk of Doctor Who continuity for the sheer thrill of it. There is a moment though towards the end of the novel does feel like a bit of a cheat for what it does to the Brigadier just to fit into continuity. Yet it is one bad moment in an otherwise good novel.

While it is top heavy with continuity references, No Future is an otherwise good Doctor Who novel. With its excellent characterization of the seventh Doctor, his companions, the UNIT family and the other characters Cornell creates one of the most emotional Doctor Who novels ever. If you are fan and know quite a bit about the continuity of the series then there should be plenty to enjoy, especially if you have read the other novels of the Alternate History arc. It might not be on the same level of Human Nature but No Future is a good novel all the same.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Doctor Who goes punk! 25 May 2001
By M. Konczewski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Okay, I admit it--I'm a sucker for almost anything with punk rock in it. The idea of a Doctor Who story set in the turbulent years of the British punk era sounded great. After finishing it, it wasn't quite as great as I'd hoped. The biggest problem is that this story is the end of a story arc, and story arcs always have a problem trying to beat the hype.
Cornell does a fine job with the character of the Doctor and the Brig, but Ace comes across as a bitter border-line sociopath. Benny is given the thankless role of pretending to be a Poly Styrene-clone. There's also the problem of trying to fit this story into the Who timeline (the Brig should have been retired from UNIT by the time of this story), but that's only of concern to hardcore Who nitpickers (like me!).
A good, not great story.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Another New Adventure for the in-group only 1 Feb. 2002
By Kevin W. Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This may be the epitome of the sort of New Adventure book that New Adventure haters hate, with references that can only be understood by reading other New Adventures, all-too-clever fannish inside jokes, and a violent, angst-ridden Ace who bears no resemblance to the basically cheerful soul from the television series. It's a far cry from the same author's Revelation, which is one of the few New Adventures I've found worthwhile.
Like Kate Orman's book, this does nothing to make me reconsider my decision to stop reading the New Adventures.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
No Present 1 Nov. 2002
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Oh dear. I really didn't like NO FUTURE at all. I didn't find it to be offensively poor, but it tried to do too many different things, and I couldn't make myself care about any of them. A scant few days after reading it, and I simply can't think of much of anything that stuck out in my mind. Everything was so underdeveloped that it just went in my brain and then just went right back out of it. Well, it will make for a short review anyway.
There's so much going on here that it's difficult for me to recall enough about any one particular item to discuss. The book begins with a punk band filled with anarchists, but they (save Danny, who becomes a bit faceless) and the rebellious spirit all but disappear part of the way through. There some interesting stuff done with the UNIT characters, but then they're replaced in favor of the Broadsword division. The Broadsword division is set up in an interesting way, but there simply isn't enough time left to give them the development that they need. NO FUTURE feels like a rough draft, or a brainstorming session.
Interestingly enough, the one thing that the book does spend a lot of time on, Ace's "murderous plans" that the back cover mentions, is actually done extremely well. If there's a single reason to read this book, then it's to see the resolution of several character storylines that had been running through the NAs for quite some time. It's a shame about the rest of the book really. It almost seems as though the entirety of the non-character sequences were written purely to place the Doctor, Ace and Benny into the situations that Cornell wanted them in. When they actually get to those places, the book is great. But the actual plodding around to get to them was too boring and too scattershot to be really enjoyable. It's like taking a long car ride to a wonderful beach in a cramped and smelly automobile, only to arrive half an hour before sunset. The reward at the end of the journey is quite good in itself, just not enough to make up for the problems encountered en route.
It's a pity that so much of the book simply doesn't work. Individually there are a lot of elements that were done better in other Cornell books. The perceived betrayal, the revamp of the Brigadier/UNIT, the interaction between the characters, and the desire to break the rules of society are almost all familiar elements. We know that Cornell can do them better because he either had done them better or would go on to do them better. They just weren't given enough of a chance, so consequently they all seem underdeveloped. Reading other books in the Cornell back-catalog would be a great way to see what he's capable of doing on these same topics. You just won't find that same greatness here.
(Oh, and the cover is hideous. For some reason, everyone except the person I assume to be Benny has weird teddy bear fur sticking out of the top of their heads. I assume that person is Benny purely based on the fact that she's obviously using the force to levitate a can of beer out of the audience. And who can blame her? If I suddenly morphed into Liza Minelli, I think I'd be driven to drink as well.)
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