Writer: James Moran
Director: Collin Teague
Producer: Phil Collinson
Series: 4, episode 2
Companion: Donna Noble (Catherine Tate)
Summary: The Doctor takes Donna on her first trip in the TARDIS, landing in Pompeii on the day Vesuvius is about to erupt (déjà vu, Doctor?). The TARDIS is stolen by a family because the father, Caecilius, thinks it’s a piece of modern art. A group of Sybilline Oracles believe the TARDIS is part of a prophecy. Donna is upset because the Doctor tells her that Pompeii is a fixed point in history, so it cannot be changed.
Review: This was a great episode. Donna plays a great moral compass here, as her actions cause the Doctor to contemplate breaking the rules, if not bending them. The chemistry is great between the two of them, especially when he fights the monster with a water pistol. (I still love that joke). I like that this episode even has implications with Capaldi’s Doctor.
Overall Review: 10/10
Continuity: As confirmed in “The Girl Who Lived”, Caecilius was the inspiration for the Tenth Doctor’s face. The Seventh Doctor visited Pompeii with Mel in “The Fires Of Vulcan”(which I have reviewed on this site.). Dextrus tells Donna she has something on her back (“Turn Left”) and foretells of Rose’s return. The destruction of Pompeii is what leads to the Doctor attempting to change history in “The Waters Of Mars”. This isn’t the first time the TARDIS was mistaken for art, that also happens in “City of Death”.
Trivia: Karen Gillan portrayed one of the Oracles. This story was inspired by the Big Finish Audio Drama, “The Fires of Vulcan”.