The official Doctor Who website has released some information about an upcoming story in Series Four. The story will be set in Pompeii in AD 79, just before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In this episode the Doctor and Donna are faced with a moral dilemma: should they warn the residents of the impending disaster and change the course of history, or let history take its course?
Guest stars in the episode will include Academy Award and BAFTA winner Peter Capaldi ("The Thick of It") as Caecillius, Tracey Childs ("Howards' Way") as Metella, and Phil Davis ("Quadrophenia") as Lucius; Davis also appeared with Eighth Doctor Paul McGann in the film Alien3.
As previously reported, filming for the Pompeii episode took place at Rome's Cinecitta Studios.
This is not the first Doctor Who story set in the last days of Pompeii; the Big Finish Productions audio dramaThe Fires of Vulcan, starring Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford as the Seventh Doctor and Mel, was set in the same time and place. It is not known whether the forthcoming television story is adapted from the audio play. In the 2005 series, the Big Finish play Jubilee was adapted into the television episode Dalek; elements of Spare Parts inspired 2006's Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel; and for the 2007 series, Paul Cornell adapted his novelHuman Nature for television.