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     Home »  The David Tennant Era »  S4 EP2: The Fires of Pompeii [Spoilers]
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    S4 EP2: The Fires of Pompeii [Spoilers] Views: 6248
     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 07:11 AM EDT
    My dislikes were minor. My likes were major. This show was excellent.

    Easily the best episode of the season so far. :-)

    I loved this one. Often the Doctor has to decide not to fix something that happened in history. This time he finds that to fix something larger, he must cause the very thing he says he can't fix.

    I was in awe of the scene where the two stoothsayers turned to the Doctor and Donna (which in Italian means lady, so they could have said "This one is a Noble Lady") and called them out perfectly. When the male soothsayer said "Man from Gallifrey", I just about took a heart-attack.

    This was an excellent episode. I echo some of the sentiments here. The water pistol was stupid. To cool down large masses of molten lava you need a bit more than a few ounces of water. Even a bucket would only cool a small part of it a few degrees. To show one of the rock golems freezing up and being destroyed after one bucket of water was dumb. But these are the minor things you overlook especially during such an otherwise excellent episode.

    The circuitboard was an awesome concept. I knew immediately the high priestess had turned to stone. I like the idea that Doctor Who was trying to explian Pompeii's stone people as being turned to stone BEFORE the volcano's strike.

    I really liked the young girl, the prospective soothsayer. I hope we see her again the way we saw Freema Agyeman again after Canary Wharf. But I said the same of the actress who played Sally Sparrow. She was gorgeous.

    And I have to say that when I saw a bunch of red-robed goddess worshippers chanting, it brought me right back to 1970s/1980s Doctor Who again. I mean they well overdid that concept back then, even carrying it over to "K9 and Company", but I didn't realize I was actually MISSING it.

    Donna was fabulous. I knew she had it in her. She quelled my fears after "The Runnaway Bride", but in this one she showed an acting range that was almost Rose-like. Her heart-breaking scene near the end, coming so close on her self-sacrificing lever-pushing scene, were awesome and awe-inspiring.

    Catherine Tate deserves kudos equal to Billie Piper's. There was another example of an actress people had grave doubts over, who quashed those doubts moments into the new series. Bravo, Ms. Tate.

    Some of the dialogue was a bit silly, but hey, that's Doctor Who now isn't it? And I'm not sad. I really liked it when they spoke actual Latin that they sounded the OPPOSITE of what they were saying. Rather than the universal translation brain-work translating English into Latin, it translates Latin into English - which is wrong... it should be seamlessly the language they intend the listener to hear - but it did provide for some amusement. "Oh well, caveat emptor." "Oh, you're Celtic?"


    I don't know how to mark this episode down any. I thought it was nigh perfect, and keep 'em comin' I say.

    Next up: Ood.

    I sure hope they don't leave the Judoon and the Sontarans for too late into the season. I'm Jonesin'.

    (Jonesin? Where the heck is Martha anyway?)


    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 08:14 AM EDT
    Was anyone else thinking "pertrifold regression"?

    Did you say "74,384,338 to 1 against"? That's my lucky number!
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 08:33 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  rocko] Was anyone else thinking "pertrifold regression"?

    I wasn't but that's brilliant !

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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 08:35 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  rocko] Was anyone else thinking "pertrifold regression"?

    Yes, it crossed my mind immediately especially since the day before I had seen "New Earth" on Sci Fi or BBC America, to refresh my memory of petrifold regression.


    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 09:01 AM EDT
    Topically, there's a documentary called Pompeii: The Last Day on the BBC's iPlayer that should be available for viewing for another few days. It's very well done and well worth a watch (it's a repeat so you may have seen it before).

    Btw, is the iPlayer somehow region locked? Or can people outside the UK view shows with it?

    If half the art of survival is running away, the other half is knowing when to keep a straight face.
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 11:13 AM EDT
    Definitely better than I thought it'd be. I didn't like last season's Shakespeare historical episode, so I didn't set my expectations very high for this one.

    The 1st appearance of the high priestess behind the bed curatin made me think it was Rose at first, but just for a second. I was kicking myself later for even thinking it, as it would've made no sense whatsoever for it to be her. I think the only reason I thought of it was because of her unexpected cameo at the end of episode 1.

    Some people mentioned they thought it'd be The Rani. I've been pretty good this season so far for avoiding spoilers, so I'm praying to the household gods Wink that The Rani doesn't make an appearance this (or any other) series. I don't think she brings anything to the table that The Master doesn't already - and we know what a letdown his return ended up being. Maybe RTD can re-invent her to make her more interesting, but (IMHO) as bad as a lot (most) of the CBaker/McCoy stories were, The Rani's 2 stories are even at the bottom of that barrel.

    For some reason, the names of the Romans (Pompeiians?) just sounded funny or odd (Ood?) or something. I can't say why, but it just reminded me of the name of 1 of Graham Chapman's characters from Monty Python's Life of Brian, which probably cannot be repeated here. Made me laugh when I thought of it.

    The CGI creatures were definitely an improvement over past CGI ventures on the show. When I first saw the rock creatures, they reminded me of Transformers from last summer's movie.

    Donna continues to impress me. I admit I wasn't thrilled at the idea when I first heard she was joining the show, but she hasn't done anything (yet) to confirm my initial worries.

    I'm still not sure about the new theme. I don't love it, but I can't say I hate it either. This time around, I caught a short little clip within it that kinda sounds like an homage to the Howell theme of the 80s (right after the Doctor Who sign spins away and the story title appears - sorry if it's been caught before, I just noticed now).

    I am starting to grow tired of the repetitive alien storylines with the new series, where (insert species here) has lost their home planet for one reason or another, so they decide to colonize Earth and/or consume its inhabitants - *yawn*. Maybe you can lump this in with the "Please give us more off-Earth stories" complaint that we still hear a lot...I don't know.

    Anyway, I'd give this a solid 4 out of 5 TARDIS groans for now. My ratings typically fluctuate during the season based on what happens later on, but for now I'm going with 4...


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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 11:47 AM EDT
    oh oh oh!

    and I thought the bit where the father asks the servant for some ants & honey and "maybe a doormouse!" was particularly amusing. Not least because I had been giggling at Life of Brian & otters noses for sale not 3 hours previous.

    If Worzel Gummidge and the Third Doctor had a fist fight - who would win?
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 11:48 AM EDT
    This was a good episode for its content and the character addition of Donna Nobel is a welcomed one,

    But, I do not like Catherine Tate in this role. I don't agree that her acting was equal to the lines she had to deliver. She shouts for attention, and now with this episode for dramatic effect will look teary-eyed and slow down. It looks very unconvincing to feel these powerful lines. Freema Agyeman would have been a better match to DT's Doctor in these types of life/death scenes.

    So for myself, the writing is there, the correct casting is not.

    btw- where did the water pistols come from? lol

    "WOT?...WOT?" "WOT??????!!!!!" OUT!OUT!OUT!
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 11:55 AM EDT

    The theme of planets "missing" is running through since Rose and The End of the World with the home world of the Doctor and the feeding planets of the Nestene. Also, the Doctor Who comic by Gary Russell for IDG is echoing a similar theme as a bacground subplot.

    I think that the something on Donna's back is going to be another running theme in this series, and I would guess it may have something to do with the Rachnoss.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 11:59 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  lonelyangel10] btw- where did the water pistols come from? lol

    Actually, now you mention it, the water pistol was a weird thing for me. Even though it was a water pistol, I didn't like seeing the Doctor holding a gun. He just looked unnatural in that "covering the room" pose. People then wouldn't have known what a gun was anyway so I'd have preferred to see him with something really daft that squirts water.

    If half the art of survival is running away, the other half is knowing when to keep a straight face.
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 12:22 PM EDT

    Absolutely frakkin' loved this episode. So much, in fact, I was off the couch dancing with excitement more than once. Easily my favorite story of the revival since Moffat's "Blink."

    This really did feel a lot like old-school Who with an amped-up budget - the sets, the costumes, the humor, the overall tone - it was all bang-on perfect. I couldn't believe the Mill's CGI job on this one Eek! - it was astoundingly brilliant. Someone finally got the memo about living up to the standards achieved with the Beast in "The Satan Pit."

    Once again, Tate proves the doubters wrong - she was brilliant. I hate that they're clearly already building her up to a bad end, as she gives life to this series after the tired Rose/Martha dynamic. It's a thrill to see someone tell the Doctor off as needed in moments of strife; to make the character even stronger than he already is with added depth and an undercurrent of humility (see: the last 5 minutes). Lovely stuff.

    The water pistol gag was SO Troughton/T. Baker - LOVED it. I just about spewed my supper howling out loud over that - simply brilliant. The only thing that topped that comedic element was Donna's reaction to it - that "I bloody love you" line was pitch-perfect and made me smile 10 miles wide.

    Any one else catch some shades of Dario Argento's "Suspiria" in this (especially with the visual approach taken with the high priestess of the Sybilline Sisterhood)? Or was that just the horror-film nerd in me and me alone? Big Grin

    Once again, "The Shadow Proclamation" is mentioned. Loving this. Also, "The Medusa Cascade" seed that RTD planted is front and center. More payoff-arc here than you can shake a stick at!

    This was just fantastic all-around. Can't wait for the Oodies to return this weekend! The bar has already clearly been set in my mind for a standout story for this year's run - and we've not even reached the Moffat 2-parter yet! Like I said before, I sense this will be the year to beat when it's all said and done, minus the opener, perhaps. The next several weeks show NO signs of slowing down or losing face. I'm quite excited! Mr. Green

    Human Biological Metacrisis = Bite Me, RTD.
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 12:43 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Will-I-Am]
    Any one else catch some shades of Dario Argento's "Suspiria" in this (especially with the visual approach taken with the high priestess of the Sybilline Sisterhood)? Or was that just the horror-film nerd in me and me alone? Big Grin

    I didn't catch that but I definately thought about the scary monster man thing in Pan's Labyrinth!

    Ugh that monster really freaks me out. I shouldn't post this yucky stuff! Eek!

    If Worzel Gummidge and the Third Doctor had a fist fight - who would win?
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 02:09 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Magpie] oh oh oh!

    and I thought the bit where the father asks the servant for some ants & honey and "maybe a doormouse!" was particularly amusing. Not least because I had been giggling at Life of Brian & otters noses for sale not 3 hours previous.

    You may well know it but for others I think the 'doormouse' suggestion - in relation to them using the TARDIS as a piece of art/furniture - is connected with a famous British furniture maker who always carved a little church mouse or doormouse somewhere on his pieces.

    Can't remember the makers name at the moment.

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 02:14 PM EDT
    Will, yes it did!
    And Magpie, yes it also did,
    Be grateful it wasn't this idiot:


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     Monday, April 14 2008 @ 02:16 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  rocko] Was anyone else thinking "pertrifold regression"?
    Totally. Especially when the symptoms looked fairly similar, and the name of the species seemed to plausibly give rise to the name of the disease.

    When you listen to the commentary, Moran says that, ultimately, RTD settled on the name of the species. As RTD wrote "New Earth", it's quite possible that the link is intended.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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