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
Russell T. Davies suggested that the escape pod the Doctor and Donna use to trigger the eruption and then flee Vesuvius might be a reworked Sontaran globe-ship, since they would need the ships for the upcoming Sontaran double episode. Whether or not they actually did so is unclear. See more »
During the earthquakes in Caecillius' house before the eruption, despite the walls, statues and other ornaments shaking, the water in the pond remained perfectly still. See more »
[moving stone tablets]
Put this one... there. *This* one... there. Uh, keep that one upside down. What have you got?
What, the soothsayer doesn't know?
A seed may float on the breeze in any direction.
Yea, I knew you were gonna say that. But- it's an energy converter!
An energy converter of what?
I don't know! Isn't that brilliant? I love not knowing! Keeps me on me toes. It must be awful being a prophet, waking up every morning, "Is it raining? Yes, it is. I said so." Takes all ...
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James Moran makes his mark with a great Doctor Who story
After seeing "The Fires of Pompeii" I am confident that James Moran is here to stay and to become an excellent Doctor Who writer in the future. Moran's previous work is the screenplay for the horror/comedy "Severance" and for an episode of Doctor Who spin off "Torchwood". His script for "The Fires of Pompeii" shows real gratitude to and respect for the legacy of Doctor Who, as Moran does not attempt to introduce more spaceships to London's skies, but rather writes a surprisingly effective and very exciting story in the vein of classic Doctor Who stories from the 70's and 80's.
I love anything that addresses the TARDIS translating languages because that's one I always get asked when people attempt to ridicule Doctor Who. Anyway, this story's guest actors all do a terrific job and the script itself is really a fantastic piece of writing, combining classic Doctor Who elements with wonderful bits of humor and some of the best drama in this incarnation of Doctor Who outside of Steven Moffat's episode, as well as rousing adventure and action scenes. I'm loving Catherine Tate as Donna too, she makes an excellent companion.
By writing a smart, balanced script with a tinge of classic Who added in for good measure, James Moran has crafted one of the best debuts for a writer in Doctor Who's history. I look forward to more from him. Great stuff, and boy did it look good as well.
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