All-Consuming Fire

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All-Consuming Fire
All-Consuming Fire.JPG
AuthorAndy Lane
SeriesDoctor Who book:
Virgin New Adventures
Release number
Seventh Doctor
Ace, Benny
PublisherVirgin Books
Publication date
June 1994
Preceded byTheatre of War 
Followed byBlood Harvest 

All-Consuming Fire is an original novel written by Andy Lane and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The novel is a crossover with Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective Sherlock Holmes featuring the characters of both Holmes and Doctor Watson,[1][2] and also with H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.[3] A prelude to the novel, also penned by Lane, appeared in Doctor Who Magazine issue 213.[4]


"I've been all over the universe with you, Doctor, and Earth in the nineteenth century is the most alien place I've ever seen."

England, 1887. The secret Library of St. John the Beheaded has been robbed. The thief has taken forbidden books which tell of mythical beasts and gateways to other worlds. Only one team can be trusted to solve the crime: Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

As their investigation leads them to the dark underside of Victorian London, Holmes and Watson soon realise that someone else is following the same trail. Someone who has the power to kill with a glance. And they sense a strange, inhuman shape observing them from the shadows. Then they meet the mysterious traveller known only as the Doctor—the last person alive to read the stolen books.

While Bernice waits in 19th-century India, Ace is trapped on a bizarre alien world. And the Doctor finds himself unwillingly united with England’s greatest consulting detective.

Susan Foreman, the First Doctor, the Third Doctor, and the Fourth Doctor have cameo appearances.

Audio version[edit]

Big Finish Productions released an audio dramatisation of the book in December 2015 alongside an audio dramatisation of Theatre of War. The audio play reunited Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Lisa Bowerman as the Seventh Doctor, Ace, Bernice. Nicholas Briggs also reprised his role as Sherlock Holmes, one he had previously portrayed in Big Finish's Sherlock Holmes audio series.


Editor Peter Darvill-Evans told Lane that Holmes and Watson would become the Doctor's new companions in the New Adventures line. Lane said, "Even when I finished the book it was still on the cards – hence the ambiguous ending."[5]

Holmes and Watson reappear in the 50th New Adventure, Happy Endings by Paul Cornell, brought into the present to attend Benny's wedding, Holmes subsequently helping the Doctor's companion Roz Forrester investigate recent drug activities. They make further appearances in Erasing Sherlock by Kelly Hale, in the Faction Paradox range of Doctor Who spin-off novels, and in the Iris Wildthyme anthology Miss Wildthyme and Friends Investigate from Obverse Books. Holmes' creator Arthur Conan Doyle appears in the Virgin Missing Adventures novel Evolution by John Peel, where it is implied that he based some elements of the fictional Holmes on the Fourth Doctor.

As well as Sherlock Holmes, the novel includes appearances by Sherlock's older brother Mycroft, who first appeared in "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", and another yet older brother, Sherringford (sic) along with a cameo from their father, Siger (Siger and the similarly named Sherrinford were invented by Holmesian scholar William S. Baring-Gould to resolve an apparent contradiction in the canon).

Amongst the cameo appearances of existing fictional characters is a mention of Diogenes Club agent Charles Beauregard, from Kim Newman's Anno Dracula and Diogenes Club stories, which are themselves filled with similar cameos. Also mentioned is Professor Litefoot from The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

In the acknowledgements for The Empire of Glass, Lane notes that All-Consuming Fire was his own version of Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates.

Bernice would finally meet Mycroft Holmes in the 2008 audio adventure The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel. He was voiced by David Warner.


Readers of Doctor Who Magazine gave the novel a rating of 76.61% (from 1165 votes).[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cole, Tom (17 February 2012). "Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and our favourite fictional crossovers". Radio Times. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  2. ^ Wilkins, Alsdair. "22 Cases of Sherlock Holmes in Science Fiction". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  3. ^ Hinton, Craig (6 July 1994). Doctor Who Magazine (214).CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  4. ^ Doctor Who Magazine (213). 8 June 1994.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  5. ^ "Licence to Kill", by Matthew Jones, Doctor Who Magazine No. 252 (May 1997), p. 30
  6. ^ "The best (and worst) of Virgin", by Dave Owen, Doctor Who Magazine, No. 265 (May 1998)

External links[edit]