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You may wish to consult All-Consuming Fire (disambiguation) for other, similarly-named pages.

All-Consuming Fire was the eighth story in Big Finish Productions' Novel Adaptations range. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Guy Adams and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Lisa Bowerman as Bernice Summerfield.

It is notable for incorporating the versions of Holmes and Watson from the Big Finish audio series, as portrayed by Nicholas Briggs and Richard Earl, into a Doctor Who story.

Publisher's summary[]

The Library of St. John the Beheaded contains the most dangerous books in all creation so when some of them are stolen who else should the Vatican call but Sherlock Holmes?

Immediately, one of the possible suspects seems more suspicious than others. He has no traceable background, refuses to give straight answers and hides behind a pseudonym. However, Holmes and his loyal friend Watson soon realise this suspect is also their greatest hope: war is brewing and an Old God is rising, to save humanity they need the Doctor as much as he needs them.


to be added



The Doctor[]

  • The Doctor visited the Library of St. John the Beheaded 500 years ago.
  • The Doctor is lodging in Hampstead with Professor George Litefoot. Watson is familiar with him as an eminent pathologist.
  • The Doctor compares the spontaneous combustion to Bleak House by Charles Dickens, where Krook is found burnt to death in his room. He cites supposed real-world examples including Grace Pett in 1744 and James Hamilton in 1835, but says they are unsolved mysteries rather than proving spontaneous combustion.
  • The Doctor remembers meeting Siger Holmes whilst touring India with his granddaughter 45 years ago.
  • Bernice recalls the Doctor once bought her and Ace a round of drinks on Briff.
  • The Doctor invites Holmes to travel with him.

Bernice Summerfield[]

  • Bernice disguises herself in a male form under the name of "Bernard Summerfield" in order to appear inconspicuous in Victorian India.
  • Bernice is attracted to Watson and goes on a date with him.


  • Watson is taken aback by Ace's rubber jumpsuit.
  • Ace quotes "top of the world, ma" from Jimmy Cagney. Watson does not understand the reference.

Holmes and Watson[]

  • Mrs Hudson is visiting her sister in Carlisle. Holmes refers to her as his landlady.
  • Holmes and Watson are contacted by the Pope.
  • Watson remembers serving time in Afghanistan.
  • Watson has worked with Holmes for several years. He wonders if he has spent too much time with him.
  • Holmes mentions his brother Mycroft and the Diogenes Club.
  • Watson says that Holmes throws things when he is grumpy.




Deviations from the original novel[]

  • The audio version does not have a framing story with an Arthur Conan Doyle novel within a novel, however sections of the story are narrated as a first-person monologue from Watson's perspective. This narrative device was used in both the original novel and Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes stories. Other sections of the story are narrated by Holmes (part two) and Bernice (part three). Generally, Big Finish only usually use this device in their Companion Chronicles series.
  • The name Azathoth was changed to Azazoth.
  • Whilst the First Doctor and Susan do not appear in this adaptation of the story, they are referred to. The same can be said of Siger Holmes. Additionally, the Third Doctor's appearance in the Diogenes Club is also removed, as is the organisation's involvement, and the surrounding discussion about the Doctor's curious nature with Mycroft in the adaptation.
  • The appearances and involvement of Mrs. Hudson have been removed in the adaptation. Having been replaced by with Watson mentioning to Holmes that Hudson has left London to visit her sister in Carlisle when he becomes enraged by her tampering with his lodgings and their contents.
  • The confrontational scene with Maupertuis and the revelation of his ties with Azathoth/Azazoth takes place in a brothel in the original novel, whereas in the audio adaptation it takes place in an underworld drinking club (Holmes and Watson arrive in disguise in the latter). Subsequently his accomplice is completely different.
  • There are no cats present during the interview with Mrs. Prendersly in the original scene*, along with the aftermath set in a bar below Scotland Yard being removed during the adaptation. Subsequently, the involvement of Inspectors MacDonald, Lestrade, Abberline, and Bradstreet, along with Walter Dew, Sergeant Cribb, and an unnamed barman are removed.
    • The original epilogue and that of the adaptation have a great number of differences due to this change, and the narrative of a novel within a novel of the original story.
  • A subplot of Azathoth attempting to convert Ace and Watson (and them encountering a partially converted Fakir) is removed.
  • Species indigenous to Ry'leh mentioned in the novel are not carried over in the adaptation. Additionally, the subplot including the outer surface of Ry'leh beyond the dome of ice is briefly mentioned, as opposed to its vivid description in the novel.
  • The major involvement of Mycroft Holmes and the Diogenes Club is removed entirely, instead being reduced to the reference mentioned before by Holmes, who adds that Mycroft is sick due to gout.
  • Likewise, the involvement of James Moriarty in the story is also completely removed.
  • Ace's violent reaction to Watson grabbing her arm (and subsequent reference to Glitz) is removed.
  • The entire sequence of the Doctor, Holmes and Eaton travelling by steamer ship to India, including Watson's discovery that the Doctor doesn't sleep is removed.
  • A conversation between the Doctor and Benny comparing and contrasting Holmes and Watson's reaction to and ability to cope with being on an alien world (the Doctor opines that Holmes is perfectly suited to London because of his encyclopedic knowledge of it, he'd flounder on an alien world due to that very encyclopedic knowledge while Watson, who takes things as they come, would cope better) was removed, replaced with Watson breathlessly commentating via his narration on his amazement and later the Doctor praising Holmes on how he could cope with anything because of his intelligence.
  • Where the novel featured the transformed Sherringford Holmes attempting to kill Watson to avenge Azathoth's death and being killed in direct combat by Sherlock to save his friend, the audio does not explicitly feature Sherringford's death, although he is implied to have died when the army was transferred to San Francisco.

External links[]