Doctor Who: Season 4, Episode 2

The Fires of Pompeii (2 May 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic

The Doctor and Donna visit Pompeii in AD 79, on the eve of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Phil Cornwell ...
Sasha Behar ...
Lorraine Burroughs ...
Tracey Childs ...
François Pandolfo ...
Quintus (as Francois Pandolfo)
Gerard Bell ...
Major Domo
Lucius (as Phil Davis)


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 garykmcd

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2 May 2008 (USA)  »

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(50 episodes)
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Did You Know?


The Latin phrase the Doctor utters when Lucius tries to have him arrested is "Morituri te salutant," meaning "Those who are about to die salute you": it was the traditional salute of slaves expecting imminent death, especially said by gladiators to the head of the games just before combat began. 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 Doctor: But who designed this, Lucius, hm? Who gave you these instructions?
Lucius: I think you've babbled enough.
The Doctor: Lucius, really, tell me. Honestly, I'm on your side. I can help.
Lucius: You insult the Gods! There can be only one sentence.
Lucius: [to soldiers] At arms!
[soldiers pull their swords on the Doctor, who backs away]
The Doctor: Oh. Morituri te salutant.
Lucius: Celtic prayers won't help you now.
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who: The Sontaran Stratagem (2008) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
See more »

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User Reviews

"Some things are fixed, some things are in a flux. Pompeii is fixed."
26 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Now we're getting somewhere! The last episode lacked plot, and this one got back into the swing of things. When the Doctor and Donna go to Pompeii you know things won't end well. And of course they don't. There are aliens and of course the famous Valcano! Unlike last weeks adipose these aliens were frightening! And this week brought the question question of write and wrong in to the picture. Something that has happened many times in Doctor Who (Father's day, Waters of Mars, etc.) Should they shouldn't they save any of the inhabitants of Pompeii? Well, I won't spoil the ending. But to make a long story short this episode doesn't disappoint! It brings back everything we want in Who. Scary monsters, interesting plot, and the spectacular tenth doctor!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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