Fires of Pompeii Reaction

8.1 million viewers tuned into episode 2 of the 2008 series of Doctor Who, according to overnight figures, with up to another 1.5 million expected courtesy of delayed viewings.

The Stage review of the episode draws attention to Catherine Tate’s performance as Donna, and underlined her attempts to get the Doctor to prevent widespread death.

Series 4 clues continue to build, and with the shock appearance of Rose late in proceedings last time, here soothsayer Lucius (Phil Davis in good form) states to the Doctor that she is coming back – but there is more going on, as the Stage relates:

What happened to the planet of Pyrovilia? Is it related to what happened to the ‘lost’ Adipose planet last week? What does Donna have on her back?

Elsewhere Den of Geek were pleased with the installment, referring to the quality of the CGI rock creatures (one part Mordor, one part Guild Wars) as well as enjoying the revelations of Lucius and Evelina as the rival soothsayers.

All in all a well-received episode, enhanced by the BBC’s use of the set in Italy, the Vesuvius special effects, and the performances of the regulars and the two main guests. Capaldi in particular was good, while comedian Phil Cornwall put in a good cameo as the street trader who sold the Doctor’s TARDIS.

Christian Cawley

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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