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Lost soul of literature revels in the adventures of the Doctor

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Doctor Who: The Coming Of The Terraphiles

Michael Moorcock

BBC Books, £16.99

I DOUBT very much indeed that anyone who wasn't already a fan of Doctor Who would pick this novel up; and equally desire that all the Doctor Who fans who do so will go on to read the rest of Michael Moorcock's astonishing oeuvre.

Moorcock is a conundrum, even a lost soul, in contemporary English language literature: he is both avant-garde and pulp; a writer who won the Guardian Fiction Award, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. All his works are self-conscious variations on a theme: the nature of heroism and the necessity of anarchism.

This novel is no different, and manages to be both a Doctor Who novel and a Michael Moorcock novel. Moorcock claimed, not without some accuracy, that "since the Tom Baker series, a lot of my ideas crept into the stories and so in many ways I'll be writing a story which already echoes my own work".

In his story, the 11th Doctor and Amy Pond come across a group of future humans whose hobbies involve participating in what they think of as traditional English games - cracking the nut with the sledgehammer, skipping the landlord and "wotsit", a game involving "whackits" and "arrers".

Moorcock gets the Englishness of Doctor Who very well, and part of the plot involves a Wodehouse-esque hat-theft. The other part is more Moorcockian: the universe is unbalanced between order and chaos, and the heroes have to right it.

But is it a good novel? Those who like this kind of thing will like it (there are, after all, characters called Mr Tr'r'r'r and a wonderful villain, the schizophrenic Major Frank and Freddie Force - two monsters in one body).

Those who'll never read it might contemplate its message: "It's the only way we can understand reality... by the shamanistic power of humanity to tell a story that is an absolute lie beneath which hides an absolute truth."

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  • APA 6th ed.: Kelly, Stuart (2010-11-14). Lost soul of literature revels in the adventures of the Doctor. Scotland on Sunday p. 10.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Kelly, Stuart. "Lost soul of literature revels in the adventures of the Doctor." Scotland on Sunday [add city] 2010-11-14, 10. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Kelly, Stuart. "Lost soul of literature revels in the adventures of the Doctor." Scotland on Sunday, edition, sec., 2010-11-14
  • Turabian: Kelly, Stuart. "Lost soul of literature revels in the adventures of the Doctor." Scotland on Sunday, 2010-11-14, section, 10 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Lost soul of literature revels in the adventures of the Doctor | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Lost_soul_of_literature_revels_in_the_adventures_of_the_Doctor | work=Scotland on Sunday | pages=10 | date=2010-11-14 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 October 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Lost soul of literature revels in the adventures of the Doctor | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Lost_soul_of_literature_revels_in_the_adventures_of_the_Doctor | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 October 2019}}</ref>