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Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles Paperback – 4 Aug 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Reprint edition (4 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849901406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849901406
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 664,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A marriage made in heaven, or perhaps Gallifrey. As a teenager Michael Moorcock was my favourite author, and Doctor Who my favourite TV programme. Why no one has ever put the two of them together before I don't know" (Charlie Higson)

"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)

"A combination of Moorcockian multiverse and Wodehousian Comedy filigreed into something magical and unexpected. It's Doctor Who written by the most important living British fantasist, and it's as good as I'd hoped, and much funnier" (Neil Gaiman)

"Delightfully good-humored... an authentically Moorcockian take on both Doctor Who and that most whimsical of themes - the coming of ultimate chaos and the annihilation of the universe itself!" (Alastair Reynolds)

"We are astoundingly lucky to have Michael Moorcock. In his range, his skill, invention and his passion he exemplifies the very best of more than one literary tradition" (China Mieville)

Book Description

The paperback edition of fantasy and sci-fi giant Michael Moorcock's Doctor Who epic

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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: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading this I had the feeling that having secured Michael Moorcock to write a Doctor Who novel the editor was just too in awe of hin to say "Listen, Michael, this is rubbish." And it is rubbish: it reads like something found in Douglas Adam's waste bin but without a plot or characterisation. Michael Moorcock should be ashamed.
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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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