The Doctor and Amy have received word that Freddie Force and his Antimatter Men are up to no good. In order to be in the right place at the right time, the Doctor decides to hook up with some old chums of his – the Terraphiles, a subculture of far-future history nerds who enjoy LARPing it up in as close a reconstruction of Earth as they can accomplish – though the only historical sources they have is an idiosyncratic collection of boys’ adventure fiction and sports stories from the 1920s. At Miggea, the Arrow of Law will be challenged for and won in a tournament, and the future of the cosmos relies on the Doctor and Amy ensuring the right parties win – and making sure that Captain Cornelius and the Pirates of the Second Ether weigh in on the right side.
This, then, is the premise of Michael Moorcock’s The Coming of the Terraphiles, his Doctor Who tie-in novel. The history of such novels is a long run; during the series’ original run, they tended to be brief novelisations of the televised serials, pitched at a reading level of around 9-12 in keeping with the series’ target audience. Rather than being directly published by the BBC, these were licenced products issued by Target Books. During the long hiatus after Sylvester McCoy’s tenure in the role came to an end, the book series found itself in the hands of Virgin Books after they bought out Target’s parent company; realising that in the absence of a TV show in current production the Who audience was aging, Virgin started putting out a series of books for older readers presenting entirely new stories – the New Adventures line continued the Seventh Doctor’s story and allowed the authors to bring some of the plot arcs seeded during the McCoy era to fruition, whilst the Missing Adventures line would tell brand-new stories of earlier Doctors.