Anton Hellinger is house-sitting for the friend of a friend, Cameron Hayes. He gets a phone call from someone named the Doctor, who asks him to retrieve a bag from the beach outside. Anton does so, and the Doctor, over the phone, gives him instructions on how to revive the girl inside, who is the Doctor's friend Lucie.
Once revived, Lucie stays at the beach house with Anton until the Doctor can pick her up. Several days later, the Doctor shows up, and Lucie and Anton tell him about a dead body they found in the beach house that later disintegrated. The Doctor questions Anton about Cameron, whom Anton has never met. Anton and Lucie do some investigating among Anton's friends, and they learn that everyone likes Cameron and no one has anything bad to say about him.
Some of Anton's friends casually mention that Cameron kills people, sucking out their essence, and none of Anton's friends seem bothered by the fact. Later, the Doctor tells Anton and Lucie that he thinks Cameron is a Concepton. Conceptons are abstract beings, and the Doctor theorises that Cameron became corporeal when Anton's friend Gwen made him up as a boyfriend. Cameron's existence is dependent on Anton's friends believing in him.
The Doctor, Lucie and Anton devise a plan. Lucie approaches Justine, Anton's (sort of) girlfriend, pretending to be Cameron's ex-wife. She tells Justine about how awful Cameron treated her. Justine eventually spreads the word to Anton's other friends. This allows the Doctor to capture Cameron, who slowly melts away as Anton's friends begin to doubt him.
- Eighth Doctor
- Lucie Miller
- Cameron Hayes
- Anton Hellinger
- Lucie's favourite musical artists are Scissor Sisters, Pink, Sugababes, Gnarls Barkley, Lily Allen, Gorillaz, Goldfrapp, OutKast and the Killers.
- Anton goes to see the new movie The Breakfast Club with the Doctor and Lucie.
- Donna and Blake play Raiders of the Lost Ark on VHS.
- A DJ plays "Echo Beach" by Martha and the Muffins.
- Lucie sings along to "Crazy for You" by Madonna.
- In the Troubadour, Anton dances to "Pump Me Up" by Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five.
- The song "Boys of Summer" plays on the stereo.
- Several musical artists are mentioned: R.E.M., Echo & the Bunnymen, the Rolling Stones, the Go-Gos, Duran Duran, the Human League, the Talking Heads, the Psychedelic Furs, Prince & the Revolution, Tom Tom Club, the Specials, the Replacements, Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills & Nash, a Flock of Seagulls and the Bangles.
- The Doctor, Lucie and Anton stop at the Hobart Arms hotel in Santa Monica.
- Linus owns a Porsche 928.
- Conceptons are creatures of the abstract that are given physical form by the fantasies of people.
- Anton gets burgers from Big Kahuna Burger. Anton and Lucie eat at Casa Lucey's.
- The Doctor name drops Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix and the Who.
- Lucie pretends to be a fan of the television show Dallas.
- Lucie is surprised to note that it's Christmas.
- This story features the first appearance of Lucie Miller in print.