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The Doctor gains a License to Thrill in a future dystopia.
on 20 April 2002
Trading Futures is another novel featuring the Eighth Doctor. Set in a near (but easily recognisable) future, it is a pastiche of James Bond incorporating some wry comments about the world we live in today.
This world is seen mostly through the eyes of Anji Kapoor, the Doctor's female companion. With a background in finance (referred to very heavily in past novels) she is the obvious conduit for the author's message.
It is unfortunate that she is a dull, lifeless figure, unrecognisable as a human being. It is a cause of some wonder to this reader that the Doctor has not ejected her into space long before now.
The Time Lord himself is well portrayed here - frequently centre stage and in the thick of events, proof that a playful eccentric can function in an ever maddening world.
Trading Futures features a wide range of locations and the action scenes and supporting characters are recognisiable archetypes sketched in with skill. The relative brevity of the text is also refreshing.
It is unfortunate that the Doctor's other companion Fitz is sidelined into an unintersting sub-plot. He has been the shining light of the novels for three years now and the lack of interest some authors have for him is heart-breaking.
This is a delightful confection for the most part.
In a run of recent very good novels including Palace of the Red Sun and Amorality Tale, this may seem a trivial work, but it brought this reader several hours of delight.