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Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles Hardcover – 14 Oct 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 01 edition (14 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846079837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846079832
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"He is a giant. If you are at all interested in fantastic fiction, you must read Michael Moorcock" (Tad Williams)

"The greatest writer of post-Tolkien British fantasy" (Michael Chabon)

"Moorcock has the bravura of a nineteenth-century novelist; he takes risks; he uses fiction as if it were a divining rod for the age's most significant concerns" (Peter Ackroyd)

"The most important successor to Mervyn Peake and Wyndham Lewis" (J.G. Ballard)

"Delicious. The modern genre's most original voice has invited the Doctor into his multiverse for an adventure sparkling with wit and peril... Authentic Moorcock. Authentic Who. An essential read." (Stephen Baxter)

Book Description

BBC Books' first Doctor Who 'Special', written by fantasy and sci-fi giant Michael Moorcock

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( 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.
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By Jeff on 22 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came to this as a Moorcock as well as a Dr Who fan, but one that has never read any previous Dr Who novels. Throughout the story, I struggled. I read and could visualise the main character as the Doctor but it had that strange detective story slant and featured other obvious Moorcock characters. A similar sort of weirdness as when I read the Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently novels; To me he was obviously Tom Baker Doctor Who but with a different name and background. Overall, I liked it but as the headline says - weird!
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Format: Hardcover
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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