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The Fires of Pompeii

May 3, 2008, 10:02 AM

So, this isn't exactly about current eruptions, but I was able to watch the new (well, to the U.S.) Doctor Who episode centered around the 79 A.D. eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Now, to me, this was two of my favorite things (volcanoes and Doctor Who) fuses into one, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't my favorite thing ever.


The premise is that the Doctor and Donna accidently end up in Pompeii the day before the volcano erupts and buries the city in pyroclastic flows and ash fall. Of course, there is more than that going on. We find all sorts of nasty alien-related things going on like people (well, soothsayers and prophets) turning into stone, giant monsters held together by "internal magma", stone circuitry and the Doctor speaking Celtic. There are some good, albeit brief, shots of Vesuvius erupting and the pyroclastic flows inundating the city. On the downside, they do show brief shots of obviously Hawai'ian lavas and the Doctor & Donna outrun a pyroclastic flow (after being shot out of the volcano!) but, hey, they were also inside the volcano to find it full of rock monsters, so what can we expect.

Overall, it is always great to find volcanoes in popular media and at least with Doctor Who, as opposed to films like Volcano, Dante's Peak and the like, we're not expecting it to be entirely realistic.


The Fires of Pompeii

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