Instead in Rome, The Doctor and Donna Noble end up visiting Pompeii in AD 79, on the eve of the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, before anyone even knew it was actually a volcano.The entire city is doomed for destruction.
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 »
As Donna and the Doctor start their tour of "Rome", a sign seen behind them says "Two amphoras for the price of one". The plural of "amphora" is "amphorae". See more »
This episode is an interesting mix of comedy and deeper, darker drama. The comedy works well as you might expect with comedy star Catherine Tate as Donna but Tate's brilliance in the hugely emotional scenes and the dramatic challenging of the Doctor's code of conduct was a wonderful surprise. It turned out that Donna would be equally great in all the forthcoming episodes both in the humour and in the serious dramatic scenes.
Future Doctor Peter Capaldi appears in a nice support role which is later used in a strange but interesting flashback in The Girl Who Died when the Capaldi as the 12th Doctor realises he has the same face as this person he met before and feels it was to remind him of his vocation to save people. Future companion (and now Hollywood star) Karen Gillan also appears in an early cameo. The dialogue, story, setting and action is all really good and David tennant matches Tate with another great performance.
The involvement of the Doctor and an alien threat in the volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii is a great scenario and this episode works really well.
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