This is Donna’s first adventure in the TARDIS, and she either landed in Rome or Epcot. One or the other. But they find out they’re actually in Pompeii… on volcano day. The Doctor eventually uses some mind-bending timey-wimey stuff and blows up Pompeii.

Super-short Recap

This is the one where the Doctor & Donna can’t save the people of Pompeii until they realize they can but only because they have to kill them all to save everyone else while saving some so that everyone who dies won’t be completely forgotten but the Doctor will.

The Doctor and Donna step out into ancient Rome, well, brand-new Rome, well, brand-new Pompeii. And it’s the day before Vesuvius erupts and kills 20,000 people. But don’t tell anyone, even though they understand your ok English as perfect Latin and you’re ok Latin as Welsh. The Doctor decides to get back in the TARDIS and get outta Dodge, er, Pompeii, but it’s gone! While looking for the TARDIS, something strange is happening. There are people here who know the future, but not the big important part about tomorrow.

Turns out, aliens crashed to earth thousands of years ago and are slowly taking over nearby humans. Soon, they’ll be able to take over millions and then the whole planet. The Doctor can stop them, but it will mean blowing up Mt. Vesuvius and causing the disaster that Donna wanted to save everyone from. They make a terrible choice to save the world, barely surviving themselves. Donna convinces the Doctor to save someone, anyone! And he does, because she’s right, he does need someone with him sometimes.

The end.

Production notes

  • Story # 190
  • Originally aired and April 12, 2008 to 9.04 million viewers
  • Written by: James Moran – Moran’s only Doctor Who to date
  • Directed by: Colin Teague – did Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords. This is his last story with us


  • Caecilius  – Peter Capaldi the 12th Doctor
  • Soothsayer – Karen Gillan
    • Also known for Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU and Ruby Roundhouse in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Misc Trivia

  • Lucius Dextrus Petrus basically means “right arm of stone”


  • Baddie of the week
    • Pyrovile
  • Fantastic!
    • Donna said that being in Rome was fantastic!
  • Well… count
    • Episode count – 6
      • Ancient Rome! Well, not to them. For all intents and purposes, this is brand-new Rome.
      • Everyone here is dead. Well, don’t go telling them that!
      • Before you ask, that fire had nothing to do with me. Well, a little bit.
      • Liar, he said it was the only one. Well, plenty of marble merchants in this town.
      • Of the Sibyl – I said it would never last. She said “I know.” Well, she would.
      • The weapon is useless. Well, yeah, but it’s gotta sting.
    • Running count – 42
  • Allons-y! Count
    • Episode count:
      • Definitely said it, even though it wasn’t in the CC and we couldn’t understand what he was saying with it.
    • Running count: 9
  • Oi!
    • Episode count: 1
    • Running count: 1
  • Time War
    • If he could go back, he would. But he can’t, he just can’t.
  • Jiggery Pokery (tell everyone what that means)
    • TARDIS –
      • Translation matrix later
      • It was part of a prophecy
      • It was bought by Caecilius (future Doctor)
      • Who are you, Doctor, with your words and your temple containing such size within?

Who’s Who?

  • Who was Rose
    • “She’s returning”
      • Lucius said this, and it seems to be a reference to Rose
  • Who is Donna?
    • She stands up to the Doctor – “I don’t know what kind of kids you’ve been running around with in outer space, but you’re not going to tell me to shut up.”
      • This seems to be her thing. She did the same in Runaway Bride.
    • This prattling voice will cease forever. Doctor: That’ll be the day.
    • Doctor: You were right, sometimes I need someone. Welcome aboard.

Who is The Doctor?

  • He had a great duel of words with the augur
  • He loves not knowing, it keeps him on his toes.
  • No man is allowed to enter into the temple of Sybil. DOCTOR: Ah that’s alright, just us girls.
  • High Priestess: This one is different, he carries starlight in his wake.
  • He sees the universe differently
    • Some things are fixed, some things are in flux.
    • How do you know which is which?
    • Because that’s how I see the universe. Every waking second I can see what is, what was, what could be, what must not. It’s the burden of the Time Lord, Donna. I’m the only one left.

Classic Who Connection

  • Jared’s segment on the Doctor in Rome

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10 –
    • Austin – 8 broken stone arms
    • Corbin – 8 “she’s returning”
    • Tripp – 8 creaky stone people
    • Jared – 8 TARDISes confused for modern art
  • Creep Level – out of 500
    • Austin – 350
    • Corbin – 150
    • Tripp – 212
    • Jared – 200


  • When the Doctor touched Caecilius the Doctor’s hand was a light yellow that then spread to Caecilius’ hand
  • Petrifold regression is an advanced form of the pyrovile’s body take over

Next Time…

Join us next time as we discuss season 4 episode 3: The Planet of the Ood.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Tripp Reason. Corbin Reason is our Production Editor. Special thanks to for the trivia and Jared for the Classic Who Connection.

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