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Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles by…
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Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Michael Moorcock (Author), NA (Artist)

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281972,549 (2.88)8
The Terraphiles are a group obsessed with Earth's past and dedicated to re-enacting ancient sporting events. The Doctor and Amy join them on a trip to Miggea, a star on the very edge of reality, and venue for a competition to win the fabled Arrow of Law. But the Terraphiles' grasp of Earth history and customs is dubious to say the least, and just getting to Miggea is going to prove tricky.For reality is falling apart, ships are disappearing, and Captain Cornelius and his pirates are looking for easy pickings. And the Doctor and Amy have to find out who is so desperate to get the Arrow of Law that they will kill for it.… (more)
Member:Sutekh_USyd
Title:Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
Authors:Michael Moorcock (Author)
Other authors:NA (Artist)
Info:Random House UK (2011), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
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Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles by Michael Moorcock (2010)

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Michael Moorcock's Doctor Who novel has for its protagonists the eleventh Doctor (the one played by Matt Smith) and Amy Pond (but no Rory). The central characterizations are solid, but it doesn't pick up much else from the Doctor Who narrative other than a couple of references to the Time War and the relatively amicable presence of some Judoon. On the other hand, as the subtitle Pirates of the Second Aethyr indicates, it does connect to Moorcock's Eternal Champion hyperwork by means of Moorcock's "Second Ether" trilogy--which I haven't read. Jerry Cornelius puts in a guest appearance too. I've only read thirty or forty of Moorcock's books, many of them several decades ago, and I felt sure I missed quite a few passing intertextual references.

The "Terraphiles" are fans of and competitors in the "Renaissance Tournaments" of the fifty-second millennium, which purport to revive the sports of Old Old Earth, albeit in a quite muddled and relatively unrecognizable form. There is talk about whether a "broadsword" should be more or less than three feet wide. One of the principal games involves cracking nuts with hammers. And there is a lot of archery, with arrows routinely caught by hand. Moorcock supplies just enough description of these events that I was completely stumped at attempting to visualize them. He did manage to communicate the pacing and drama of the competitions, however. The whole scenario of a far-future affection for a dimly perceived human past also put me a bit in mind of some of my favorite Moorcock books, the "End of Time" series, as well as a number of Doctor Who episodes in which interstellar humanity have distorted understandings of their history.

In The Coming of the Terraphiles, the multiverse is imperiled by the "black tides" unleashed by a defect of the Cosmic Balance. It needs a component restored to it, and the Doctor is sure that it is connected with the Silver Arrow of Artemis that serves as the trophy for the recurrent galactic Terraphile championships. The Doctor joins the Gentlemen, a Terraphile sporting team, in order to travel with them to the grand tournament. The incarnation of the Eternal Champion peculiar to the Doctor's continuum turns out to be Bingo Lockesley, captain of the Gentlemen, which is something of a twist at the end of the book. I for one was relieved that it wasn't the Doctor.

This book wasn't entirely silly, but it was certainly silly enough. Moorcock didn't let down Doctor Who, nor did he mess up his own sprawling metatext. Still, I wouldn't suggest it as an introduction to either. It's the sort of indulgence that a veteran author should be permitted, but one that really needs an experienced fan to appreciate.
2 vote paradoxosalpha | Jan 17, 2019 |
One of the more intriguing Doctor Whos, this story by Michael Moorcock takes the eleventh doctor and Amy Pond to places they have never been.

It keeps most of the traditional elements of the Doctor and spiuns them together with the more off-the-edge storytelling of Moorcock as we meet characters from Moorcock's various story arcs as they intertwine with the Doctor's attempts to bring the multiverse back into balance between Law and Chaos - the Doctor identified here as an agent of Chaos rather than Law as you might assume.The description of the games got a bit tedious at times but so long as you can slide over those, it ishn't a bad read. ( )
  JohnFair | Aug 9, 2015 |
This book was just plain horrible. I couldn't stand it at all and it tarnished my love of Doctor Who. It felt like a half finished sci-fi story that they decided to just change a couple names to make it Doctor Who then release it without finishing it.

So I'm not going to finish it. It can rot on the shelf forever. The Doctor was written badly, the story was confusing and the supporting characters no thicker than the pages they were written on.

Do Not Read ( )
  Shirezu | Mar 31, 2013 |
I picked this up as a Doctor Who fan and was, unfortunately, deeply disappointed. That this is a Doctor Who adventure is merely incidental. The 'Doctor' character could have been any moderately intelligent character and Amy seemed very unlike her TV character. I didn't find the plot particularly engaging but I did enjoy the grand vision of the multiverses and their surreal inhabitants which would possibly lead me to read more Moorcock out of curiosity. As a Dr. Who adventure though this is a big disappointment. ( )
  Zaddyman | Oct 15, 2012 |
At first I thought that my negative reaction to this book was just a matter of not being familiar with Moorcock's work and maybe this was just another version of the delightful British humor that I enjoyed so much in Douglas Adams. However, the more I think about it, the more I feel that this is just not a very good book: neither great SF nor a great Doctor Who adventure. As a Doctor Who adventure, it failed miserably (despite the endorsement of Neil Gaiman, whose work I typically love). This story would change very little if some other character took the Doctor's role, and Amy was reduced to a bewildered sycophant. Not my Doctor; not my Pond. ( )
  jr231 | Aug 11, 2012 |
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The Terraphiles are a group obsessed with Earth's past and dedicated to re-enacting ancient sporting events. The Doctor and Amy join them on a trip to Miggea, a star on the very edge of reality, and venue for a competition to win the fabled Arrow of Law. But the Terraphiles' grasp of Earth history and customs is dubious to say the least, and just getting to Miggea is going to prove tricky.For reality is falling apart, ships are disappearing, and Captain Cornelius and his pirates are looking for easy pickings. And the Doctor and Amy have to find out who is so desperate to get the Arrow of Law that they will kill for it.

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