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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cross over or spin-off?
Cards on table: I am a big Dr Who fan and a Moorcock fan from the 70s / 80s devouring all the Eternal Champion books wherever I found them. When I heard of this novel I was both astounded and apprehensive - would this be a Dr Who novel written by Moorcock or a Moorcock novel with Dr Who in it?

Well the novel is littered with the Moorcock trademarks - arrows of...
Published on 26 Oct 2010 by Tony Jones

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "We're living in a permanent melodrama. I'm the madman in the box."
First the good news. After a disappointing run of cash-in audio adventures that were light on plot and ideas, The Coming of the Terraphiles is an honest-to-goodness novel - and has been published as such - running just short of 11 hours on nine CDs, complete with fully drawn characters and worlds and an ambitious plot written by a `hard' scifi writer with impeccable...
Published on 3 Nov 2010 by Trevor Willsmer


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cross over or spin-off?, 26 Oct 2010
By 
Tony Jones "Tony" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Cards on table: I am a big Dr Who fan and a Moorcock fan from the 70s / 80s devouring all the Eternal Champion books wherever I found them. When I heard of this novel I was both astounded and apprehensive - would this be a Dr Who novel written by Moorcock or a Moorcock novel with Dr Who in it?

Well the novel is littered with the Moorcock trademarks - arrows of law, law vs. Chaos, cosmic balance, multiverse and a character named Cornelius. We also need to bear in mind Moorcock's novel for the film Great Rock and Roll Swindle for which he (essentially) reproduced a Jerry Cornelius tale (though a good one!).

We then need to think back to the good Doctor - I am just listening to the Big Finish Key2Time series, and it is clear that the Doctor as well uses the language of law/order vs. Chaos, multiverse, the Key to Time itself is a balance, so actually the language is not that far away.

The novel itself is well paced, very readable and very funny. In fact I was most struck by the sense that the fantastic comic prose describing the bizarre archaic psuedo-cricket / darts / jousting games of the 'plot' (ignoring the hat) could as well have been outpourings of the pen of the most credible of Dr Who champions Douglas Adams.

As a Moorcock fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the look back to Earth history from the distant future - pure Dancers at the End of Time for those that know their Moorcock.

Why only four stars? Well I think too much was added to the Who universe to set the backdrop for the story; Amy was left as a cypher until suddenly taking her place as a key character for the final third; the Doctor himself seemed to have all the faults of the Matt Smith character (appearance over content) and didn't quite capture his strengths of timing and expression. I also didn't like the self-referential ending which also reminded me of the Runaway Train post-ending (i.e. setting up the story by going back in time after the story happened).

I leave though this thought - we've had the Coming of the Terraphiles, what price the Return of the Terraphiles?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "We're living in a permanent melodrama. I'm the madman in the box.", 3 Nov 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First the good news. After a disappointing run of cash-in audio adventures that were light on plot and ideas, The Coming of the Terraphiles is an honest-to-goodness novel - and has been published as such - running just short of 11 hours on nine CDs, complete with fully drawn characters and worlds and an ambitious plot written by a `hard' scifi writer with impeccable credentials. The bad news is that despite Clive Mantle's generally excellent reading, it feels like it's often a little too fully realised to work on audio, with the prologue and opening chapters taken up with so much florid backstory and character detail, often conveyed with plentiful nonsensical wordplay that even Edward Lear might have balked at, that the story seems to take forever to get started and often gets lost in the purple prose when it does. All too often it seems as if even the smallest of actions leads to yet more lengthy description and backgound that would work better on the printed page where you could read (and just as importantly, reread) at your own pace to keep your bearings. Moorcock too often seems more interested in engineering worlds than telling a story: you can't fault the detail even if it is overfamiliar, but you do find yourself wanting him to just get on with it at times.

At times this is more of a Moorcock novel complete with his trademark obsessions and characters - another variation on Jerry Cornelius, more Multiverses, more Arrows of Law - with the Doctor sidelined to a minor player who almost feels shoehorned in, never quite commanding the story and often feeling subordinate to it and the author's already long-established worlds. As such it may well disappoint or alienate some fans of both the series and Moorcock. Certainly it's hard to make a case for this working better as an audiobook than it does on the printed page: this one just doesn't seem quite right as a listening experience and not just because, like other readers before him, Mantle has difficulty with Amy's Scottish accent...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bland & Lacklustre Eleventh Doctor Novel, 15 Sep 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Doctor Who:The Coming Of The Terraphiles (Novel).

Product Info.
352 Pages
Paperback Edition.
Author: Michael Moorcock
Doctor: Eleventh Doctor
Companion: Amy Pond.

What's Up Doc.
The Terraphiles are a group obsessed with Earth's past & are dedicated to re-enacting ancient sporting events, The Eleventh Doctor & Amy Pond join them on a trip to Miggea, a star on the very edge of reality & avenue for a competition to win the fabled Arrow of Law.

But the Terraphiles' grasp of Earth history & customs is dubious to say the least & just getting to Miggea is going to prove tricky.

For reality is falling apart, ships are disappearing, & Captain Cornelius and his pirates are looking for easy pickings as the Doctor & Amy have to find out who is so desperate to get the Arrow of Law that they will kill for it.

Timelord Thoughts.
Writer Michael Moorcock writes his first ever full length Doctor Who novel here & with the greatest respect to such a high profile writer & one of the greatest living fantasy writers of Great Britain I found this Eleventh Doctor novel to be quite disappointing as the tone & pace of this novel are very lacklustre & what started out a good introduction in it's first chapter soon turned into incoherent nonsense & appalling written dialogue.

There are huge plot holes & inconsistencies for instance this adventure supposedly takes place before he Time of Angels when actually it takes place after Cold Blood as Amy had forgotten that she's engaged so therefore the story must happen after Rory has been erased from time.

The story doesn't capture the light hearted tone of the Eleventh Doctor era or even capture the essence of the Eleventh Doctors wacky zany incarnation while Amy Ponds character who is usually so feisty is written subdued throughout this story like she's been put into a trance & this story doesn't feature these two main characters enough or give them anything substantial to do & why the Jadoon appear in a small appearance for no apparent reason as it adds nothing at all to the overall plot is completely baffling.

Overall, The Coming Of The Terraphiles is a disappointment, the plot completely drags & nothing really seems to happen in this story which could've easily have been 100 pages less, Moorcock promises clever writing who trys to inject some scientific fantasy jargon with words like 'gravity' & 'physics' into the mix but he doesn't deliver on those promises giving us instead a boring badly paced bog standard adventure that's best avoided.

Timelord Rating.
3/10
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity, 23 Mar 2011
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Let me begin by saying I have been a fan of Doctor Who for many years - I followed the classic series and then was overjoyed when it returned to the screen in 2004. I have also read widely of the works of Michael Moorcock and have greatly enjoyed his dark surreal fantasy novels with fascinating characters, anti-heroes such as Elric and Corum. I was therefore, after my initial disbelief, very excited to hear that the BBC had commissioned Moorcock to produce a DW novel.

Unfortunately this failed to satisfy me as EITHER a Doctor Who or Michael Moorcock novel - yet alone both. Doctor Who references were minimal, while characterisation of both the 11th Doctor and Amy was poor. From a Michael Moorcock perspective there were myriad references to "the multiverse" and the battle between "law and chaos", but it was a far cry from the intelligent writing I associate with Moorcock.

The setting was comedic and nonsensical, the characters farcical and the conceptual science bizarrely ridiculous. An awful lot of time was spent playing weird sports events which the rules and terms were never really adequately defined so it was very hard to keep track of who was winning and how they were doing it.

To my mind Moorcock has taken the worst elements of Doctor Who and his own writing rather than the best. From Doctor Who he incorporated the sometimes childish plots and characterisation that is occasionally present in the series but none of the rich history that the series has established, from his own writing he took some of the bizarre conceptual theories but none of the depth of characterisation or sense of epic adventure.

I really regret that this is the case. I was looking forward to this so much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The affair of the stolen hat, 21 April 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
A Doctor Who novel. Featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy [set at an unspecified point somewhere in his first season]. It's a completely original tale that never appeared in any other medium before book publication.

It runs for three hundred and forty three pages. It's divided into twenty eight chapters. Plus a prologue and an interlude.

In something of a coup for bbc books, this was written by legendary British fantasy and science fiction writer Michael Moorcock.

There are some tie ins to his other work, but you should be able to get into this without having read any of that.

Some mild adult references might not make it entirely suitable for younger readers.

The story sees the universe starting to face chaos, and reality is coming apart. The only thing that can save the day is the arrow of law. A famous artefact. The Terraphiles are a group of beings obsessed with the legends and stories of Earth. They will dress in ancient Earth styles and re-enact Earth ways. Such as cricket matches.

The Doctor and Amy have to join them on a journey where they will compete for the Arrow. All of reality, in the meantime, is hanging in the balance on the outcome of this contest.

Franchise fiction usually has strict rules that those writing it have to abide by, not least that it has to feel like an episode of the programme in question. Doctor Who original fiction of old, from the early 90's to the middle of the last decade, did often try to push the boundaries of that and do stories that were, as they say, too broad for the small screen.

This is another attempt at similar.

You would think that having a writer of Michael Moorcock's pedigree would guarantee a result that would be something special.

Alas, no.

The Doctor and Amy scenes are very good. Especially considering that this came out during their first season so nobody had seen too much of them at the time. He does get Amy exactly right. Also the Doctor, who you might think could easily be the fourth with slight rewrites, but is pretty genuinely the Eleventh.

But the rest of the book isn't so great by comparison.

The first third is written in a very pseudo PG Wodehouse style - in some way reminiscent of Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time series crossed with Wodehouse - this is initially charming but the total lack of incident in the first third starts to grate. After a while the style just gets irritating as a result, and the narrative only perks up when the Doctor and/or Amy are in the scene.

The second third does expand the narrative, and take the characters on a very imaginative journey. But this is also rather lacking in event and simply doesn't grab as a result.

Things finally come to a head and develop in the last fifty pages. But all in a somewhat rushed and uninvolving manner. By which point it's rather hard to care about any of the supporting cast.

All in all something of a disappointment. The books in this range that try to stick more closely to the established format may not be great literature, but at least they end up usually being better reads than this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deeply disappointing, 26 April 2013
By 
Why 2 stars? One star would imply it could not be worse, and three stars would imply it was, under some circumstances, worth buying. This is not.

A nonsense story in which the crucial action takes place in background and the key events are related in info dumps in the last 20 or so pages.

Some people have referred to this in the same context as Douglas Adams. At best this is "Cargo Cult Adams": built to look superficially like a DA book, but is in reality meandering dross. It is repetitive, nonsensical, slow, and devoid of a single decently drawn character.

Do not buy this book. As someone else has commented, it represents both the worst Dr Who and the worst of Moorcock.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Coming of the Terraphiles, 28 Mar 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
When I first discovered Michael Moorcock's writing many years ago, I found a new world of exciting opportunities in reading. The History of the Runestaff, the Elric sequence, the Dancers at the End of Time - wow, these books were a revelation to me in my reading. I have read and re-read so many of his books now that it was a real thrill to find that he has written a book in my favourite series of all, the wonderful Doctor Who. The book seems to have gathered rather mixed reviews already on Amazon, so I was really not too sure what to expect.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make peace with this book either as a Michael Moorcock book (which, by the way features not only Jerry Cornelius but other elements of Moorcock's universes) or as a Doctor Who book (while the Eleventh Doctor and Amy are not my favourite Doctor Who team by any means, I have read them characterised much more strongly). So, the book rather fell between two stools for me.

I think if you have not read Moorcock's works previously, much of this book would just pass you by completely. But if, like me, you have read Moorcock's works and were reasonably familiar with both his style of writing, and his previous creations, you would find this ultimately unsatisfying.

A pity - not all Doctor Who stories can appeal to all Doctor Who fans, and there are certainly some clunkers I have not enjoyed in the past (Paradise Towers, Mindwarp spring to mind). There are elements in this story which should fall within the Doctor Who realm, and could well be incorporated into a good Doctor Who story, but while this may well appeal to some, I find myself unable to give it much of a positive review.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Coming of the Clashing Styles, 24 Oct 2014
Michael Moorcock is one of the greatest living fantasists. Choosing him to write a novel for 'Doctor Who' was inspired. In the course of this novel, Mr. Moorcock brings his own interests to the Whoniverse. Once again, we read about the conflict between Law and Chaos, the existence of the Multiverse, and a gaggle of adventurers who must struggle to preserve it. Cracking stuff.

Regrettably, 'The Coming of the Terraphiles' is flawed. Mr. Moorcock writes beautifully about the multiverse, but he hasn't quite captured the voices of established characters. Fans of 'Doctor Who' will know the cadences of the Eleventh Doctor and of his companion Amy Pond. I doubt that any could hear Matt Smith or Karen Gillan recite the dialogue in this book.

In summary, I would suggest that only fans of Michael Moorcock and of 'Doctor Who' should try this novel. Anyone who isn't a fan of either should steer clear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful The worst Dr Who spinoff book ever, 25 Dec 2013
By 
Tom "Tom" (Austin,TX USA) - See all my reviews
Awful The worst Dr Who spinoff book ever. Very disapointing and I cannot understand what on Earth possessed the series editors to allow this rubbish to appear as a Dr Who official book. Utter rubish. ITS IN THE LADY's STUPID HAT and somehow the last chapters spent on this rubish allows the Dr to save the Universe Oh words fail me. Pathetic rubish. Moorcock must have been having a laugh at fans.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly written, simplistic, bandwagon jumping, and overall disappointing, 17 Feb 2011
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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I have read a few of the tenth doctor novels before this one, but gave up as they seemed too childish for an adult audience (maybe this is obvious?), however this eleventh doctor novel's release in a larger hardback format led me to believe it might be something different.

The Doctor and Amy Pond join the 'Terraphiles' - a group of lovers of old Earth from the distant future - to compete in a sport which is cobbled together from vaguely remembered and misinterpreted parts of modern day sports. Along the way, they have to save the universe.

I found this book to be really hard to read. The style is quite simple, with the text describing the action but lacking any real connection with the characters - there was no real attempt to align the narrative with Amy's (or anyone else's) point of view for more than a few paragraphs at a time, and this made it hard to empathise with them. The plot is insanely complicated and given that I had trouble I would expect young children to be completely lost. Characters appeared and disappeared throughout and although a small core were memorable most seemed to be there for no real reason.

Moorcock manages to make this a cross-over with the worlds of his own novel series, which seems a surprising move for BBC Books to allow into the brand, and this combined with the awful narrative leads me to suspect that there was very little proof-reading and they were desperate to have a novel with some sort of 'name' attached.

Overall I'm afraid that I can't recommend this book - even the characterisations of the Doctor and Amy seem completely out and I couldn't picture them in most of the scenes or speaking the lines.
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Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles by Michael Moorcock (Audio CD - 14 Oct 2010)
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