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Doctor Who - The Fires of Pompeii

episode 4.2

UK 2008
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T. Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Colin Teague
starring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Philip Davis, Peter Capaldi, Tracey Childs, Francesca Fowler, Francois Pandolfo, Phil Cornwell, Karen Gillan, Sasha Behar, Lorraine Burroughs, Victoria Wicks, Gerard Bell
written by James Moran, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Donna Noble, Last Days of Pompeii

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Who (David Tennant) takes new companion Donna (Catherine Tate) to Pompeii 79 AD - a day before the outbreak of Mount Vesuvius ... ouch. Donna asks the Doctor to save the city or at least its populace, but of course the Doctor refuses as he cannot changed fixed events in history. Then though the Doctor's time-and-space-machine, the TARDIS disappears, and while investigating, the Doctor has to witness an abnormally high amount of soothsayers whose predictions do come true, and it seems they all get their powers from Mount Vesuvius. Small wonder, because there are some creatures living inside Mount Vesuvius that can only live in hot magma, and they want to make earth their home planet, essentially killing all humanity in the process. Now the Doctor comes to the conclusion that in order to save humanity, he actually has to trigger the outbreak of Mount Vesuvius, because only that can destroy the aliens, save humankind and fix history - but it will also kill the whole populace of Pompeii of course. Of course, ultimately, the Doctor does the right thing - saving humankind by sacrifying Pompeii, but upon retrieving the TARDIS, Donna makes him save at least one family they have become friends with.

 

Some great special effects concerning the magma creatures and the destruction of Pompeii can't totally hide a script full of inconsistencies and a very far-fetched plot (even considering this is a sci-fi series where much is allowed). Plus, the moral dilemma the Doctor gets pushed into somehow lacks the emotional quality it could have had. Still, I guess it's ok TV-entertainment.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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a Burglar wants to kill you
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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