The Doctor arrives on Earth in 2025 to visit Linda Grainger, but he discovers that everyone on Earth seems to know him. Not only that, but things don't seem to have changed much since the 1990s, and the Doctor wonders where are the innovations that will eventually lead humans to explore beyond their solar system.
He goes to visit Linda, hoping she can explain, but instead he meets with her father John. John explains that there has been no innovation or invention for decades, and when an alien species called the Benanki claimed Earth as part of their empire, humanity was content to welcome them. John says that his father Edward Grainger and the Doctor are to blame: several years ago, Edward wrote his memoirs detailing his experiences with the Doctor, which over time made people complacent — they expected the Doctor to solve all their problems.
The Doctor decides to go back in time and prevent Edward from writing his memoirs. He gets a job as Edward's assistant, and does everything he can to distract Edward, including tampering with his memories so Edward won't remember having met him before.
He finally tells Edward the truth, that he can't publish his memoirs or Earth will be doomed. Edward accepts this and asks the Doctor to take away his memories of his times with the Doctor.
The Doctor has saved Earth's future, but there is always a price: John will not have any future.
- Edward's memoirs were titled My Life With The Doctor.
- The Doctor mentions Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Mozart, Beethoven, the Beatles, Shakespeare, Schiller, Pushkin, Brunel, Newton, Einstein, George Best and Shane Warne.
- The Doctor uses the alias "Smith".
- The stories in Short Trips: The Centenarian revolve around Edward Grainger, a man who has met the Doctor more than a dozen times over the course of his life.
- Edward recalls meeting the white-haired Doctor during his childhood, (PROSE: Echoes) the fair-haired Doctor in China, (PROSE: Falling from Xi'an) the Doctor who brought two friends to Edward's fiftieth birthday party, (PROSE: Dear John) the Doctor in New York, (PROSE: The Lost) and the one in the White Rabbit during the war. (PROSE: Incongruous Details)
- Edward recalls the stories told by his friends about a fair-haired man with a colourful coat. (PROSE: Old Boys)
- During the Year That Never Was, Martha Jones told stories of the Tenth Doctor around the world while the Doctor was imprisoned by the Master. (TV: Last of the Time Lords)