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
A fire broke out at Cinecittà Studios prior to filming. The conflagration was the result of an electrical short, and caused the deaths of four people and considerable destruction before it was extinguished. Despite the tragedy, however, the sets required had not been damaged. 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 »
But who designed this, Lucius, hm? Who gave you these instructions?
I think you've babbled enough.
Lucius, really, tell me. Honestly, I'm on your side. I can help.
You insult the Gods! There can be only one sentence.
[soldiers pull their swords on the Doctor, who backs away]
Oh. Morituri te salutant.
Celtic prayers won't help you now.
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This is an episode that's everything an episode of Doctor who should be
A great one-off. This episode is great fun to watch. Not only is there a "baffling" mystery to be solved, but there's amazing tension because a huge argument is brewing between the doctor and Donna about whether they should leave Pompeii or not. Each of them is convinced they're doing the right thing.
That alone would make this a stand-out episode, but there are also some of the best special effects yet seen on the show.
Aswella as a few more tantalising hints about what might be coming later in the series.....
overall Grade A for this episode.
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