This was the beginning of an arc of stories featuring an amnesiac Doctor trapped on Earth. This arc of novels and short stories were effectively a soft reset/reboot of the Eighth Doctor line of stories. With the destruction of Gallifrey and an amnesiac Doctor the writers were able to begin a new-ish line of stories featuring the Doctor without as much of the arcs and history that had carried the series up to The Ancestor Cell.
But things are changing: Lord Urton is preparing to reopen the mine; the Society for Psychical Research is interested in the fissure; Roger Nepath and his sister are exhibiting their collection of mystic Eastern artefacts. People are dying. Then a stranger arrives, walking out of the wilderness: a man with no name, no history.
Only one man can unravel the mysteries; only one man can begin to understand the forces that are gathering; only one man can hope to fight against them. And only one man knows that this is just the beginning of the end of the world.
Only one man can stop the Burning.
to be added
- Eighth Doctor
- Roger Nepath
- Colonel Wilson
- Reverend Matthew Stobbold
- Professor Isaac Dobbs
- Lady Urton
- Lord Urton
- Alistair Gaddis
- Betty Stobbold
- Captain Brookes
- Sergeant Griffiths
- Patience Nepath
- Sir William Grant
- Fire elemental
- The Doctor has a note left in his pocket by Compassion which reads, "Meet me in St. Louis, February 8, 2001. Fitz."
- Middletown was halfway between Ambleton and Branscombe-sub-Edge.
- This is the first story in the "Eighth Doctor on Earth Arc".
- The novel plays with the imagery that usually surrounds the Doctor's arrival and description (i.e. someone looking mournfully at a body, or a wild haired gentleman making unusual conversations at dinner). The Doctor actually arrives paragraphs before the reader realises he's there at dinner.
- The Doctor revisits Reverend Stobbold's daughter Betty in PROSE: Father Time.
- The origin of the fire elemental is explained in PROSE: Time Zero.