Doctor Who novel: The Coming of the Terraphiles by Michael Moorcock

Coming of the Terraphiles

A review by Nalini Haynes

Matt Smith is the Doctor with Amy Pond as companion and no mention of Rory. The Doctor gets a call warning him of some catastrophe in the future, but the call is scrambled, nearly impossible to decipher. The Doctor takes the clues he can decipher, sets the TARDIS to the future and then into hiding while he and Amy join an intergalactic sports team to investigate.

The Terraphiles live in the far distant future, where Earth history has largely been forgotten and confused. The Terraphiles believe their society and sport is based on 14th to 20th century history, but their interpretation of that period is… amazing.  What must surely be intended to be cricket is hilarious.  Archers aim at the wotsit and hit the keeper… This must be read to be believed. A detailed description of the finals late in the book is described as a cricket match might be on the radio, for fans who enjoy spoofs.

Robin of Lockesely, Earl of Sherwood, develops a crush on Amy while Harry Agincourt woos Flapper. Flapper’s mother’s hat (worth $2 million) is stolen. Subsequent investigations cause the team to miss their spaceship. In order to reach the games on time the team has to catch a series of ships, many of them not intended to carry passengers.

Told as part space romp, part cricket commentary, the Coming of the Terraphiles is the best Doctor Who book I have read in the new series. Think Oh No It Isn’t, Jane Austin, The Importance of Being Earnest, Life the Universe and Everything, the Eleventh Man, and the Doctor Who Christmas Special (2010) all rolled into one. I must confess the last Doctor Who book I read was Sting of the Zygons upon which I swore off reading any more of the new series. My resolve promptly crumbled upon learning that Michael Moorcock had written a Doctor Who book. Minotaur had this book wrapped in plastic, which is a fair indicator of quality, desirability and collect-ability in my opinion.