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Doctor Who – The Fires of Pompeii

The Doctor takes Donna on her first trip back in time and (of course) gets it wrong. At least his mistakes have style.

In short, wow. What an episode.

Maybe I’m a little bias being a fan of The TV show Rome, but I had a big goofy grin just seeing the set of Cinecitt%C3%A0 again. It’s one of the great things about the relaunch – the old series probably would of made the episode look weak. The story may have been good, but you couldn’t immerse yourself fully with something that would of probably looked more like something out of Logopolis.

The acting itself was pretty good. While The Doctor gets a little too Time Lordy and is a little heart(s)less (compared to last week where he’s quite happy to let the little Adipose go). To be fair, it was to show how Donna tries to make The Doctor more human, I just thought it a little too unlike what we’ve seen of the Tenth Doctor so far. The Ninth maybe, but the Tenth would of happily let the family in the TARDIS without a second though. The whole fixed point/etc timeline chat is a quite an interesting one, and also reminded me of an episode of the old series, The Aztecs. Barbera wants to help the Aztecs and The Doctor is rather nasty to her, yelling at her “You can’t rewrite history! Not one line!”. I think it’s better explained this time round, though. And Donna? She’s still a little shouty, but less annoying and shows a lot of acting range. I think the whole Doctor/couple joke is going to grate real quickly.

The story moves at a million miles an hour, and If I did have one problem with this episode, it probably is the speed. For sure, it never gets boring, but there’s a few lines I think that are rushed at a million miles an hour and if you miss it makes for a little confusion in the episode. The Arc? I think I know where it’s slowly going. Things, planets are missing. What I think is this goes back way to the beginning (The Gelth Planet in The Unquiet Dead), how it all adds up will make for interesting viewing. It did remind me a little of a previous radio story The Fires of Vulcan, this takes the idea in a different direction. That story had the volcano as a background object, only used as the whole death and destruction angle. This time round how it all adds up is far more interesting.

All in all a really good solid episode. Give this episode maybe ten minutes more and I think it would of been perfect. (Two-parter? I think it would of dragged). Some great references to the old series and some brilliant moments between The Doctor and Donna. Four out of Five.


One Response

  1. I loved the fires of pompeii. a great second episode, expecially when we’d had small, harmless creatures – having big rock creatures was good 😀

    Feel free to take a look at what i thought of this episode (and the previous episode) here:

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