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April 19, 2008

Doctor Who - The Fires Of Pompeii

Donna gets her first proper trip in the TARDIS and visits Pompeii, at the wrong time. 

Spoilers ahead...


It took me a while to get past the fact that this wasn't Up Pompeii. The comedy Cockney accents for ancient Romans were a little distracting. As was the My Family style Roman family, although it did actually make me chuckle a few times. 

The story was fairly predictable once past the intriguing start. Some aliens are threatening Pompeii, and the Earth, by hiding in a Volcano. I'm not exactly sure why they were hiding in a Volcano and constructing some machine, but they were, so just accept it. And I'm not sure how the Doctor and Donna survived the explosion of the volcano when the Doctor said they would never survive it. It was supposed to be a big decision, a big sacrifice, and they just walked away (well, ran actually). 

What was interesting about this episode was the talk of fixed points in time and points in flux. Yes it's a bit of a cop-out, but it could prove important to this series. It was also the first time that I could remember the Doctor changing well known human history, in New Who at least (anyone know examples of this in older Doctor Who episodes?). Donna is a useful character is showing off some other aspects of the Doctor, she seemed to act as a conscious, questioning why someone should not be saved from destruction (although the answer was the flux-fixed explanation). As a whole I didn't think Donna was a good as in the first episode though. As they filmed the episodes in a different order to the one they are shown in I wonder if it took Tate a few weeks to get better at Donna? 

Interesting facts: Romans never had a word for "volcano" before Pompeii. Is that true?! 

I enjoyed the episode more whilst I was watching it than thinking back about it. Which seems to be a regular occurrence. A fun but forgettable adventure.

1 Comment

> Romans never had a word for "volcano" before Pompeii. Is that true?!

No. They knew about Etna, and about earlier activity of Vesuvius.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Vesuvius#Before_79

They probably didn't have a word for "pyroclastic" though, which is why we use Greek for that :-)