Writer: Steve Lyons
Director: Gary Russell
Producers: Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer: Jacqueline Rayner
Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Companion: Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford)
Summary: The Doctor and Mel arrive in Pompeii just before Mt. Vesuvius is about to blow.
Review: When I saw Bonnie Langford on the cover, I cringed. Melanie Bush is, in my opinion, the WORST companion in the history of Doctor Who! How could Big Finish possibly think they could possibly make a good story with her? Then I read that she personally asked Big Finish to hire her for their dramas. And I remembered how much better Peri Brown is in Big Finish stories than she was on TV, and I thought “Oh, why not?” What a wonderful surprise to learn that my worries were for naught. Why couldn’t they have hired Steve Lyons to write Mel on TV? Here she is nowhere near the annoying, screaming, incompetent banshee she was on TV. Instead, she plays the Doctor’s conscience. She is surprised at the debauchery of Pompeii’s ancient society.
The sound design in a treat. The rolling waves, the crying seagulls, the rumbling Vesuvius–it all comes alive. I’m not sure I’m read to take back everything I’ve ever said about how Mel ruined Doctor Who, but I did enjoy this story a lot. A very pleasant surprise.
Overall Review: 9/10
Trivia: This story inspired the Doctor Who TV episode “The Fires of Pompeii”.