their first trip together, the Doctor takes Donna to ancient
Rome to savour in its culture and splendour. On arriving
the ground begins to shake and as they run out into the
street they make a shocking discovery. They haven’t
travelled to the centre of the Empire but the doomed city
of Pompeii, the day before volcano day. With Donner desperate
to warn the people of the coming eruption, the Doctor discovers
that the people of Pompeii are unlike anyone else in the
Roman Empire as they have the gift of foresight -- but it
is a very different future that they see, one that could
have alien influences.
Doctor always likes to show off when he gets himself a new
companion, but this time he bites off a lot more than he
in ancient Roman times, the Doctor and Donna find themselves
in Pompeii and not the capital as the Time Lord might have
hoped. While this is a chance for Russell T. Davies and
his creative team to again show that really enjoy doing
period episodes, it is the underlying story that really
makes this a standout. This is a plot that will see the
Doctor have to make some truly monumental decisions and
give you, for the first time in this new iteration of the
show, an insight into what it means to be a Time Lord and
the consequences of his actions.
David Tennant revels in his role as the Doctor and these
revelations and insights into actually being a Time Lord
show how much he really is the right person to play this
Tate shows a more emotional side to her character, but reverts
back to the screaming Donna that we encountered in ‘The
Runaway Bride’ all too often in this episode.
Fortunately, this doesn’t distract from what is essentially
a really good Doctor Who episode.
guest appearances from Peter Capaldi as Caecillius, the
Pompeian hoping to gain more social standing by using his
daughter Evelina's new gift of sight to send her to the
Sybilline Sisterhood and Phil Davis as local augur Lucius,
the cast really enjoys the ancient Roman setting.
you can really tell that the BBC has invested even more
money in this season as the visual effects are of the highest
quality. Looking like they used some of the sets constructed
for their collaboration with HBO for Rome, this
Pompeii definitely looks like the part. Add to this some
extremely good visual effects for what is causing Mount
Vesuvius to erupt (and the eruption itself) and you have
an episode that is bound to become a fan favourite.
T. Davies and his creative team can keep up this momentum,
then the new season of Doctor Who is just going
to get better and better.