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Doctor Who 4.02 The Fires of Pompeii

Managed to miss Doctor Who due to somehow getting mixed up about what time it was (it doesn't help that I hadn't got round to putting the clock on my PVR forward) and turning on the TV at 19:45 to watch it. But because we're LIVING IN THE FUTURE, I just went on the website and watched it on iPlayer.


I thoroughly enjoyed that, and I'm so, so glad that I did. I have slight hope for the series now. I don't know that much about the Roman period, but strange_complex's given it the thumbs up, so I imagine the historical detail was pretty good! There were still silly bits, but overall the tone was much more serious than the first ep, and the episode had Themes and Dilemmas and Politics and Plot Arc and everything. Hurray.

Catherine Tate only made me grimace in horror two or three times, which is a distinct improvement, and I enjoyed Donna quite a lot in parts. (On the other hand, the fact it's still surprising to see a woman over size 10 in a main role is depressing.) David Tennant seems to be finding moods for the doctor that aren't SHOUTY or MANIC, which is also lovely to see. The "I'm Spartacus" ..and so's my wife... made me giggle madly, and is the sort of silliness that you can get away with because the locals wouldn't have got it. (Er, probably.)

So again we had the Shadow Proclamation, a baddie whose planet had mysteriously disappeared, and references to the Time War, and a mysterious "other daughter of London" (who could that be?!) Hmmm. IIIInteresting. I wish RTD didn't always write the finales. (I've just discovered from wiki, somewhat accidentally, that this year's "Bad Wolf" is something different, but possibly spoilery to mention it.)

Caecilius was a real Pompeiian, which is nice. I've been trying to figure out what Lucius Petrus Dextrus means - derived from the words for light, stone and right, so it's themed in with the episode, anyway. Edit: Petrus Dextrus = stone right arm. Doh. (The Confidential mentioned it, apparently.)

I only have little quibbles, like the fact the stone minion was utterly destroyed by a couple of buckets of water. Not a GREAT warrior, then. And the Augur's arm came off pretty easily and seemed pretty light to be made of stone, come to that.

Oh! But the Sibyllenes' sacrificial knife was awesome, and the household gods were great (especially the Doctor one), and I loved the Sibyllene being able to see and hear through each other when they put their hands up to their eyes, with the other eyes drawn on the outside. And you know what I loved most about it? They didn't tell us about it in excruciating detail, they assumed that if we saw it, we'd figure it out for ourselves! Amazing!

The writer of this ep, James Moran, has got a blog here, he's blogged about writing this ep, and about Torchwood, and also just about random stuff. I think I have a teeny crush on him just from reading his blog. (But hey, it's Who, he's probably gay, heh.) It's syndicated as jamesmoranblog, too.

Edit: Hee, I've just realised from a mention of the dog Cerberus in someone else's reaction that I did briefly use the Cambridge Latin Course books that had Caecilius's family in them. I only did it for an hour a week for one year; I only really remember the dog and the servants with the humorous mishaps. I did get the prize for Latin that year, though.

Aaah. It's such a relief when Who is good.

(x-posted to doctorwho)

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Comments

( 39 comments — Comment )
dermfitz
Apr. 12th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
(On the other hand, the fact it's still surprising to see a woman over size 10 in a main role is depressing.)

Did you mean "It's great to see someone over a size 10 in a main role" but forgot to say it that way?
pickwick
Apr. 12th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
I said it's depressing that there aren't more of them, more or less, so yes. I just kept noticing Catherine Tate's belly in a tunic, and then being annoyed at myself for noticing...
(no subject) - blue_condition - Apr. 12th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 12th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 12th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dermfitz - Apr. 13th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
nextian_cutie
Apr. 12th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
(averting eyes from anything behind the cut)

WAAAAAAH!!! I *so* want the latest season of Doctor Who to start on this side of the pond! I think the last episode of season 3 is airing tonight. But I've already watched them all on DVD, so I forget :)

I am now officially addicted!

And we only have 2 more episodes of Torchwood left for this season, and that's including the one tonight. Whatever will I do without my Whovian Universe fix?
pickwick
Apr. 12th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Have you got SciFi? Series 4 is starting on it on Friday!
(no subject) - nextian_cutie - Apr. 12th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dibsy - Apr. 13th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nextian_cutie - Apr. 13th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nextian_cutie - Apr. 12th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 12th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
myfirstkitchen
Apr. 12th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Moran talks about his girlfriend now and then in his blog. STRAIGHT AGENDA.
pickwick
Apr. 12th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Bloody straights, ramming their sexuality down everyone's throats ;)
(no subject) - dibsy - Apr. 13th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
0olong
Apr. 12th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
He's actually married, is James (or RalphyK as I also know him). He did a good job here, I thought. :) Have you seen Severance?
pickwick
Apr. 12th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
Bah :) He did a great job here! I haven't seen Severance, but I'll check it out now.
strange_complex
Apr. 12th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
"I'm Spartacus" ..and so's my wife...

Ah - I'd actually forgotten that this was referenced in Life of Brian as well. So in fact the line works on three levels. Genius!

Anyway, I very much agree with all of this - especially the feeling of relief! It would have killed me if this episode had been pants, but as it is, it was even better than I'd been hoping! Squee!
pickwick
Apr. 12th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
So good. I just hope that's not our One Great Ep for the series. But as far as I know we have Cornell and Moffat eps to look forward to....
(no subject) - strange_complex - Apr. 12th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
redatt
Apr. 12th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
I really have nothing to say except: I'm Spartacus!

Ohh, okay ... I loved the angst of it all.
pickwick
Apr. 12th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm a sucker for people having to do horrendous things to save the world. I'm trying to track it back now...there's Snape, of course, and various people in Buffy, but I'm sure there must have been something in my formative years.
(no subject) - redatt - Apr. 13th, 2008 11:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
dibsy
Apr. 13th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
Caecilius est in horto
I felt such a geekazoid for immediately thinking of latin classes* when Caecilius was mentioned, but when I heard the wife and son's name...

I remember I feel asleep in Latin once. My teacher, after unsuccessfully calling my name several times, came and lifted my head up by the hair, then let it drop down on the desk. He then yelled at me for waking up and asking "What the fuck....?" He was an arsehole. He once gave Cleo Easterbrook a week's worth of detentions for calling him a big fat weeble. Which in all fairness, he was.

Happy days, eh?


*I went to a comprehensive, honest. Quite a good one, mind you, but it wasn't posh. Honest. And I got an F.
pickwick
Apr. 13th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Caecilius est in horto
I did Latin at a comprehensive too :D We could choose between that and extra art in second year, and I'm shit at art.

My teacher was a bit of a loon - he had the most horrendous wig, and if you let off a whoopee cushion he'd go round opening all the windows.
momentsmusicaux
Apr. 13th, 2008 09:09 am (UTC)
'"other daughter of London" (who could that be?!)'

I missed that bit! When was that?

Also, what did the Doctor mumble in Latin when caught at the house with the circuit boards? Couldn't make it out.

James Moran is friend of my facebook friends. I can make enquiries if you like...
kniblet
Apr. 13th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
"other daughter of London"

Just watched it again and didn't find this part.

Stonius Armius did say, "She is returning .... And you, Daughter of London, there is something on your back."

Prophesy, indeed.
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kniblet - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Apr. 13th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
laserboy
Apr. 13th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Nth degree speculation :-)
That line about her back stuck out to me, so, going by the translation issue being brought up in the episode I thought it might have more to it.

According to the internet "There is something on your back" is "Illic est quispiam in vestri tergum".

From that you can get "erupt" and "timestream". Hmmmm.

Unless it's the superintelligent spiders again. Or potentially nothing, I guess.

I had a bit of a brainstorm about the Big Bad earlier this evening. Think I've more or less got it sorted.
pickwick
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Nth degree speculation :-)
Ooooh. Interesting.

I have a plot arc all worked out for the Big Bad, and will probably be annoyed if I'm wrong :)
( 39 comments — Comment )

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