The Fires of Vulcan was the twelfth monthly Doctor Who audio story produced by Big Finish Productions. This was the third full story to feature Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor but the first audio story to feature Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush, a role which she last played in the non-canonical Children in Need sketch Dimensions in Time in 1993. This was also writer Steve Lyons' first contribution to an audio story; he has also contributed to a number of novels and short stories.
Arriving in Pompeii one day before the disaster, the Seventh Doctor and Mel find themselves separated from their ship and entangled in local politics. With time running out, they fight to escape from the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. But how can they succeed when history itself is working against them?
At an excavation in the ruins of Pompeii in 1980, Professor Scalini informs an officer of UNIT, Muriel Frost, of a remarkable discovery, which turns out to be the Tardis, buried in the remains of an ancient tomb and having been there for nearly 2000 years.
To be added.
- The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Melanie Bush - Bonnie Langford
- Professor Scalini - Anthony Keetch
- Captain Muriel Frost - Karen Henson
- Tibernus - Robert Curbishley
- Popidius Celsinus - Andy Coleman
- Valeria Hedone - Nicky Goldie
- Murranus - Steven Wickham
- Eumachia - Lisa Hollander
- Aglae - Gemma Bissix
- Priest - Toby Longworth
- Roman Legionary - Robert Curbishley
- During his fifth incarnation, the Doctor was contacted by UNIT, who told him that they had found his TARDIS encased in rock at Pompeii during an archaeological excavation in 1980.
- Mel states that she is a vegetarian. Valeria Hedone responds that she has never heard of Vegetaria.
- Mel made a replica of Mount Vesuvius out of papier mâchè while at primary school.
- The Doctor reacts with discomfort when being addressed by the title of "master" by Roman slaves.
- The Doctor uses his voice to compel a guard and later Popidius into handing over a key and going to sleep. A skill previously demonstrated by the Master.
- This story was originally released on both CD and cassette.
- An illustrated preview for this story appeared in Doctor Who Magazine issue 295 with art by Lee Sullivan.
- Muriel Frost becomes the first character created for the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip to be featured in an audio drama. She will later be followed by Frobisher, Izzy Sinclair, Maxwell Edison and others.
- Although this was the first audio drama to feature Mel in terms of release date, it is her final chronological appearance in the main range.
- This audio drama was recorded on 11 and 12 March 2000 at The Moat Studios.
- Alistair Lock's soundtrack to the story was released on CD on Music from the New Audio Adventures Volume 2, alongside the scores for two other Seventh Doctor stories, Last of the Titans and The Shadow of the Scourge.
- An older version of the Seventh Doctor would later return to Pompeii in August 79 in the company of Ace (PROSE: The Algebra of Ice), as would the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) and his future travelling companion Captain Jack Harkness, on multiple occasions (TV: The Doctor Dances).
- The Seventh Doctor is unaware that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius was triggered by his tenth incarnation in order to kill the Pyrovile. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)
- Official The Fires of Vulcan page at bigfinish.com; note that it is out of print and is available as download only.
- DisContinuity for The Fires of Vulcan at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide