The year is 1645, and Edinburgh is in the grip of the worst plague in its history. Nobody knows who will be the next to succumb – nobody except the Night Doctor, a masked figure that stalks the streets, seeking out those who will not live to see another day.
But death is not the end. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole discover that the living are being haunted by the recently departed – by ghosts that do not know they are dead. And there are other creatures lurking in the shadows, slithering, creeping creatures filled with an insatiable hunger.
The Doctor and his friends must face the terrifying secret of the Street of Sorrows – that something which has lain dormant for two hundred million years is due to destroy the entire city...
Catherine is suffering from the plague and the person knocking on the door is the Night Doctor. Thomas and Isobel are reluctant to allow the Night Doctor entry but they do so anyway. The Night Doctor inspected Catherine silently before leaving, only to return roughly two hours later to take her away with him. The Night Doctor carried Catherine away to an unknown location without giving her parents a chance to say goodbye.
Meanwhile the TARDIS arrives in Edinburgh, and Bill Potts excitedly exits the TARDIS into a dark alley only to be met with the smell of rotting vegetables. She is joined by the Twelfth Doctor and Nardole. The trio are caught by the 'old bailey' being out past curfew and give chase. The Doctor and Nardole, and Bill split up and Bill is taken in by an old woman called Betsy and her friend Agnes.
- Twelfth Doctor
- Bill Potts
- Anabelle Rae
- Catherine's Ghost
- John Smith
- The Psycholops
- Richard Holmes
- Nardole wears a Tam O'Shanter, kilt and Sporran when visiting Scotland.
- A soldier suggests that Bill looks "Barbary" and "must have come off a ship in Leith".
- Nardole claims to have Scottish heritage, descending from the clan "MacNardole".
- With Sir John Smith already a real person in Edinburgh, the Doctor instead adopts the alias of 'Doctor Robert Louis Stevenson'.
- Canongate Street is mentioned.
- The Doctor points out the Heart of Midlothian and St Giles' Cathedral.
- Nardole is described as wearing a "Minnie the Minx" beret.
- The Doctor hints that he is involved in the creation of Hogmany and the Edinburgh Festival.
- This novel was released several weeks before Nardole joined the Doctor and Bill in the TARDIS as a regular companion.
- The Doctor is no longer blind during his travels with Bill and Nardole. (TV: Oxygen, The Pyramid at the End of the World, The Lie of the Land)
- The Doctor scolds Nardole when he attempts to mimic the regional dialect of the place they are visiting. (TV: Tooth and Claw, The Shakespeare Code, The Unicorn and the Wasp, COMIC: A Rose by Any Other Name)
- The Doctor predicts that Bill will ask him why they can't help the people suffering with the plague, then predicts that her next question will be as to why they can't just save one person; he answers that it would mean changing history. Donna Noble previously asked similar of the Tenth Doctor, when he gave into her request and saved Lobus Caecilius. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)
- He goes on to state that "If one person lives who should die or dies who should live... well, who knows what might happen". He had recently saved Ashildr from death, leading to disastrous consequences. (TV: The Girl Who Died, The Woman Who Lived, Face the Raven) Similar disasters had also been caused by saving others from fixed deaths, such as Pete Tyler. (TV: Father's Day)
- Nardole uses Tarovian martial arts. (TV: The Lie of the Land)
- The Doctor compares the Psycholops's empathic nature to the Isolus. (TV: Fear Her)
- Whilst in the TARDIS Bill picks up and ends up wearing a "black leather bomber jacket covered in patches for various space missons" (TV: Dragonfire, et al.,)
Additional cover images
Editions published outside Britain
- Published in Italy by Armenia in 2017 as a paperback edition.
- Official Plague City page at Penguin Books
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Plague City at The Whoniverse