The Fires of Pompeii
From Doctor Who: The Aztecs…
Barbara: Oh, don’t you see? If I could start the destruction of everything that’s evil here… then everything that is good would survive when Cortez lands.
The Doctor: But you can’t rewrite history! Not one line!
Susan: Barbara, the high priest is coming.
The Doctor: Barbara, one last appeal: what you are trying to do is utterly impossible! I know, believe me, I know!
Episode star rating: **** (out of a possible five) for The Fires of Pompeii (not The Aztecs! Although it’s very nice too.)
Okay, so the mystery of The Aztecs is solved then? The Aztecs were a “fixed point in time” rather than being “in flux.” Or something.
I enjoyed this episode on two levels. One on the level of the references to various previous Doctor Who stories, and the level of drama of the episode itself.
Even though this was a very good episode, there were some quibbles I had on both these levels.
I’m not sure, it seemed to take away some of the mystery of the programme to define these “fixed point” or “flux” situations. Perhaps. Maybe some groundwork is being laid for future episodes’ plotpoints with these concepts? Also, wasn’t there a reference to a Pyramids of Mars-style alternative future that “existed” but was averted? (Or something.) This kind of clashes with the “fixed point” thing. Phew. It was simple when it was just timey-wimey.
On the other level, the drama, the quibble I had was that the crux of the episode, the choice the Doctor had to make: the scene was rushed without explaining clearly the situation.
On the whole though, very good, very glossy, but it could have had more dramatic oomph to it for such a momentous moment in Doctor Who history.