Audio Review: Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles

PUBLISHED: 14:35 30 September 2010

Doctor Who - The Coming of the Terraphiles

Doctor Who - The Coming of the Terraphiles

Archant

By Michael Moorcock

By Michael Moorcock

(AudioGo, £16.99)

LETTING the rich, evocative, otherworldly prose of Moorcock seep into your consciousness creates images of exotic worlds the likes of which can usually only be found in dreams, as his words shape visions in your mind’s eye which truly immerse you in the work of fiction that is unfolding. This is no ordinary Doctor Who novel, this is a new book by one of the greatest post-war British writers of all time which just so happens to feature the time-travelling Eleventh Doctor and his companion Amy Pond, yet at the same time respects and builds upon the continuity and concepts laid down by the original TV show.

The story sounds simple, the TARDIS crew join a competition to win the fabled Arrow of the Law, but find themselves caught up in an adventure which involves disappearing space ships, the pirate Captain Cornelius and his crew, and the collapse of reality itself… In actuality, this belies the depth and character found within this novel, with Moorcock layering every chapter with rich detail and emotional resonance, carefully crafting his fantastical world in such a way that it seems breathtakingly real.

Acclaimed Brit actor Clive Mantle (Robin of Sherwood, Casualty) lends his dulcet tones to the audio reading, admirably bringing Moorcock’s story to life through his narration, and giving each of the characters their own identity through different voices, even doing his bit to capture Matt Smith and Karen Gillan’s performances as the Doctor and Amy.

Clocking in at almost 11 hours of playing time, this is a big book to get through, but worth every minute, leaving the listener thoroughly spoiled and ensuring any future Who authors are going to have to reach very high standards to come close to Moorcock’s achievement. An instant classic.

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