When the Doctor plans to take Donna to Ancient Rome, he manages to mess up once again, landing them in Pompeii- on volcano day. Naturally, Donna wants to change the past, but the Doctor insists that they don’t interfere- at least until he learns that aliens are already at work in this time period. Can the Doctor foil an alien plot without changing a fixed point in history?
- Pyrovile: aliens composed of stone and magma, they can dwell in hot places but are highly susceptible to water. They also have the ability to awaken the latent psychic abilities in humans and transform them into stone by inhaling Pyrovile vapour.
I’m going to hand over to my grandmother for her opinion on this one- “it was like a provincial stage play”. I didn’t think it was that bad, but despite some amusing dialogue, the whole thing felt vaguely unsatisfying, especially Catherine Tate in shouting mode. I suppose it was good when viewed in terms of typical Doctor Who silliness, but not worthy when judged by my own high standards.
- Where did the Doctor get the gold coin and water pistol from? Are they standard issue for all exploration? And why did the water pistol never run out (for one thing, how could it kill the aliens when a little squirt of water wouldn’t have that effect on regular fire, let alone magma?)
- I can understand that the TARDIS can make English sound like Latin to the people of Pompeii, but why would Latin sound like Celtic? It might sound like gibberish if the speaker didn’t know the meaning of what they were saying, but surely if they knew the meaning it would make sense to the listener.
- Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Vesuvius erupt so quickly that people were still doing their daily activities when the falling ash killed them? Well, we can chalk this one up to narrative necessity and historical vagueness.