When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth.
Edward James Olmos,
Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.
The Doctor and Donna land in the marketplace in Pompeii in 79 A.D., the day before the big eruption and the destruction of the city. The Doctor's destination was actually Rome but he soon realizes his mistake...but not before a market vendor sells the TARDIS to a local businessman, a seller of marble whose daughter may be able to predict the future. Donna sees an opportunity to warn everyone and evacuate the city but the Doctor flatly refuses. When the Doctor learns that those with the ability to see future are slowly turning to stone, he quickly comes to the conclusion that alien beings are operating inside the volcano - and that he has a far greater decision to make than that put to him by Donna. Written by
Much of this episode was shot at the Cinecittà studio in Rome, Italy. This marked the first time Doctor Who had been substantially filmed outside the UK since the 1996 revival TV movie was produced in Vancouver, Canada. (The last regular series installment to include substantial production outside the UK was the 1985 two-part episode "The Two Doctors"). See more »
The Doctor claims that the Romans had no word for "volcano" until Vesuvius erupts. In reality, the Greeks called volcano "etna" or "hiera" and said that the god of fire, Hephaestus, worked in a forge under a volcano. As the Romans adapted the Greek mythos, Hephaestus became Vulcan - volcano is a derivation of this name. See more »
The prophecies of women are limited and dull. Only the men folk have the capacity for true perception.
[partly to herself]
I'll tell you where the wind's blowing right now, mate.
See more »
After watching an extremely weak and clichéd Christmas special, I somehow managed to find the strength to look forward to Partners in Crime, the first episode of series 4. To put it plainly, a plot line revolving around walking human body fat sucks pretty badly. What happened to the good old classic alien, made with a rubber costume and a realistic agenda? You know what our fatty friends did? Goo'ed and ga'ed and waved cheerfully to everyone. Scary!
After these two equally demented episodes, I can't understand how I managed to find hope in the Fires of Pompeii. But I did, and once again I was thoroughly disappointed.
To put it into perspective for those who liked this episode, think back to the first of the new series. Those episodes were carefully crafted. They were equipped with realistic plot lines, special effects that were actually special, three-dimensional characters, and acting that was spot-on. Now think about the Fires of Pompeii. The regression is quite drastic.
The Unquiet Dead and Shakespeare Code literally brought you back in time. You actually felt as though you were in Victorian Cardiff and 16th Century London. That is what the Doctor is supposed to do; make his audience feel as though they are passengers in the Tardis too. In Pompeii, it felt like you were walking onto a set and nothing more. The Roman quality of Pompeii was not noticeable. The Romans spoke with enormous British accents, and they said things that you would hear walking on the streets of modern London. I know for a fact that back then, no matter how well your spaceship translated for you, the people of long ago had a very unique way of speaking. And I think in this episode, the writers either did this to add comedy, or they just didn't want to do their homework. Either way, it was lame.
The Doctor seems to have nothing new to say. I hardly notice him at all. He says things recycled from better episodes, and he simply kills each new foe with the turn of a switch, a shrill noise, a water pistol! He has no challenge. All of his enemies are painfully contrived plot-devices. In Partners In Crime, our fatty blobs were there for one reason: to meet Donna. In "Pompeii", the volcano beast was there for one reason: so that the Doctor would be responsible for destroying Pompeii (which isn't Gary-Stuish at all!). It's almost as if this show is not about a traveling Timelord or monsters anymore. It is about the relationship between a younger better Timelord and his hot new female companion, with a few aliens and CGI to spice things up. One more thing: do we have to hear about the Doctor's troubled past one more time? Yes, we know you're the only Timelord left and you were forced to destroy Gallifrey. It's time get over yourself and move on to something else now.
Not only were these bad guys plot devices, they were also very unoriginal and posed no real threat. We want bad guys who are cunning, ruthless, and frightening. We want them to challenge our belief in the Doctor's heroics. We want to see them succeed in their plans and push him to his very limit. Will we ever again be faced with the ingenuity of Nanogenes and Weeping Angels? I'm not overconfident. Pompeii's monsters (can't remember their name) were lazily done in terms of characters, though I admit the CGI was better than Adipose. They were nothing but fire breathing rocks wanting yet again to do what children? Take over the world? Yes! Why? I don't remember, but it must not have been worth remembering. Probably something to do with another home planet being destroyed. But how do you defeat these things? It must be really tough. Nope, just douse 'em with a squirt gun and switch this lever and you'll be OK. Not to mention, the leader's voice sounded horrifyingly similar to a cyberman. I couldn't believe my ears.
Finally, here is the real clincher. The Doctor said something very interesting which I actually happened to remember. But it didn't make much sense. In fact, it was a continuity error and screamed of Deus Ex Machina. I can't remember the exact words, but I'll try and act out the scene again. It seems Donna wanted to warn all the Romans that Vesuvius would erupt, thus saving 30,000 people from burning to death. The Doctor states quite clearly, "No, Pompeii's destruction is a fixed point in time. It can happen no other way!"
Now let's rewind back to the first series. Rose and the Doctor are trapped in a dungeon, being assaulted by zombies. Rose says something like this, "I can't die. I haven't even been born yet." and "I happen to know that the living dead were not roaming England in 1869." Then the Doctor says, "Time is in flux. The past you know can change like that!" *snap for emphasis*
Why would they say one thing, and then another? That's where Deus Ex Machina plays its part. They wanted the Doctor's situation to be emotional, so they discarded their own rules to suit their purpose. And it is as annoying as hell. It only seems that when a companion wants to help people in the past, the Doctor can't. He says he knows what he is doing, but it makes no sense to anyone.
For those who enjoyed it, I'm glad you enjoyed it. But for now I will remain in a dark place, dreaming of the past. I hope it gets better for me, because I've always loved Doctor Who. I really want to enjoy it again with the rest of you.
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