Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fires of Pompeii...with the Doctor and Mel!
What if there were two Doctors in Pompeii before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius at the same time?

Well it happened! The Tenth Doctor and Donna were there in 79 AD before Vesuvius erupted in 'The Fires of Pompeii'. But also the Seventh Doctor and Mel were there in this adventure 'The Fires of Vulcan'.

This perked my interest as I wondered how Doctor...
Published 2 months ago by Tim Bradley

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Some fatal flaws
This always gets rave reviews & I don't know why. It's credited with great pacing even though Mel is locked up & escapes twice for little apparent reason and there's a pointless fight with the gladiator in the arena which is resolved by a rather corny deus ex machina.
Mostly though it annoys because Mel is constantly pushed in the role of Worst Anthropologist Ever,...
Published 4 months ago by P. Hardy


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fires of Pompeii...with the Doctor and Mel!, 17 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
What if there were two Doctors in Pompeii before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius at the same time?

Well it happened! The Tenth Doctor and Donna were there in 79 AD before Vesuvius erupted in 'The Fires of Pompeii'. But also the Seventh Doctor and Mel were there in this adventure 'The Fires of Vulcan'.

This perked my interest as I wondered how Doctor Seven didn't notice that his future self was in Pompeii and whether Doctor Ten had forgotten he'd been in Pompeii before.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. 'The Fires of Vulcan' is a four-part adventure by Steve Lyons, starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush (Mel for short).

This story takes place during Season 24 of 'Doctor Who' and is set between 'Delta and the Bannerman' and 'Dragonfire' with the Seventh Doctor and Mel still travelling together.

Not many people like Season 24 with its outlandish comedic excursions. I have a fondness for Season 24 despite the absurd stories. So it's a nice surprise to come across this adventure by Steve Lyons set during that period where fans were plagued by the stories featured in that season.

But 'The Fires of Vulcan' isn't like any Season 24 story. It has its moments of humour, but Steve Lyons delivers a gripping and sometimes serious, dramatic adventure about the Doctor and Mel in Pompeii. Especially with the eruption of Mt Vesuvius, you can't get more dramatic than that.

Unlike 'The Fires of Pompeii' on TV, this is a proper historical adventure set in Pompeii without the alien (certainly no Pyroviles here). It's also a story focusing more on the Doctor and Mel being stuck in Pompeii, rather than on the moral dilemma Doctor Ten faced with sacrificing 20,000 people.

The Doctor recollects seeing the TARDIS buried in Pompeii during his fifth incarnation. In his seventh person, the Doctor realises the TARDIS is gone and that he and Mel can't escape. Determined not to give up like the Doctor, Mel tries to find a way to get the TARDIS back before Vesuvius erupts.

It's interesting seeing the Doctor being moody and mysterious, especially as this story is set in Season 24. Previously, the Doctor was a comical, light-hearted figure. Now Mel sees the Doctor as mysterious and is not sure what to make of him since he's changed since his regeneration.

I enjoyed Sylvester McCoy's performance as the Doctor in this adventure. I like how Sylvester balances both the comedic and the dramatic aspects of his Doctor here. He clearly has a stronger relationship with Mel and is clearly overcoming obstacles before Volcano Day takes place.

Bonnie Langford as Mel is a far more interesting character in the audios compared to the TV series. Mel isn't a screamer in this adventure, thankfully and is full of guts when trying to find a way for her and the Doctor out of this crisis. She also stands up to people with likes of priestess Eumanchia.

This story guest stars Gemma Bissix (from 'Eastenders') as Aglae. Aglae is a slave girl who gets ordered to attend to Mel whilst in Pompeii. I like the scenes Aglae shares with Mel and how the two girls compare to each other as to what their backgrounds are and the times they come from.

The rest of the cast includes Nicky Goldie as Valeria Hedone who runs a bar in Pompeii; Andy Coleman as Popidus Celsinus who has a fancy for Mel; Steve Wickham as Murranus, a gambler who wants to kill the Doctor and Lisa Hollander as Eumanchia, a priestess who has a grudge against Mel.

Just to say, Vulcan is one of the Roman gods (not the planet in 'The Power of the Daleks' and not Spock's home in 'Star Trek'). Vulcan is the god of fire in Roman mythology. There was also a cult of Vulcan in 'The Fires of Pompeii' at the same time this story occurs.

When the eruption of Vesuvius takes place, the Doctor and Mel are obviously sad and feel helpless they can't save the people of Pompeii. Interesting how Doctor Seven mentions he had nothing to do with Vesuvius' eruption, which contradicts the events of Doctor Ten's adventure in Pompeii.

The CD extras include trailers for 'The Shadow of the Scourge' with Sylvester McCoy and 'The Holy Terror' with Colin Baker. There's also a a special trailer for the first season of adventure with the Eighth Doctor and Charley in Big Finish.

'The Fires of Pompeii' has been a gripping and enjoyable adventure with the Doctor and Mel. It's interesting there was a Pompeii adventure in audio before the TV one. It's also interesting there was a dramatic historical adventure set during Season 24 of 'Doctor Who'.

The next story with the Doctor and Mel is 'Dragonfire'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seventh Doctors Pompeii Dilemma, 28 Jun. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
Doctor Who : The Fires Of Vulcan.
Doctor: Seventh Doctor.
Companion: Mel.
Main enemy: Eumachia.
Main setting: Pompeii, 23-24 August 79 and 1980.
Writer: Steve Lyons.
Director: Gary Russell.
Release number: 12.
Format: 4 Episodes on 2 CDs.
Running time 110 minutes.

Extras.
Trailers.

Cast.
The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy.
Melanie Bush - Bonnie Langford.
Professor Scalini - Anthony Keetch.
Captain Muriel Frost - Karen Henson.
Tibernus - Robert Curbishley.
Popidius Celsinus - Andy Coleman.
Valeria Hedone - Nicky Goldie.
Murranus - Steven Wickham.
Eumachia - Lisa Hollander.
Aglae - Gemma Bissix.
Priest - Toby Longworth.
Roman Legionary - Robert Curbishley.

Trivia.
1)During his fifth incarnation, the Doctor was contacted by UNIT, who told him that they had found his TARDIS encased in rock at Pompeii during an archaeological excavation in 1980.
2)Although this was the first audio drama to feature Mel in terms of release date, it is her final chronological appearance in the main range.
3)An older version of the Seventh Doctor would later return to Pompeii in August 79 in the company of Ace (The Algebra of Ice), as would the Tenth Doctor & Donna Noble (Tv: The Fires of Pompeii) & his future travelling companion Captain Jack Harkness, on multiple occasions (Tv: The Doctor Dances).
4)The Seventh Doctor is unaware that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius was triggered by his tenth incarnation in order to kill the Pyrovile. (Tv: The Fires of Pompeii)

Plot Synopsis.
2000 years ago, a cataclysmic volcanic eruption wiped the Roman city of Pompeii from the face of the Earth. It also buried the Doctor's Tardis.

Arriving in Pompeii one day before the disaster, the Seventh Doctor & Mel find themselves separated from their ship & entangled in local politics., With time running out, they fight to escape from the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. But how can they succeed when history itself is working against them?

Timelord Thoughts.
Season 24 of Doctor Who was deemed by many fan's as the worst season ever in the shows history accompanied by one of Doctor Who's most disliked companions, Bonnie Langford's Mel Bush. Yet within minutes of this storys opening first episode I was captivated & felt i was transported to Pompeii with the Doctor & Mel as writer Steve Lyons has delivered a fast paced well written researched audio adventure.

The plot sees that in his fifth incarnation, the Doctor caught a glimpse of his personal future when Unit found his Tardis buried in the ruins of Pompeii, many years later now in his seventh incarnation, the Doctor & Mel land in Pompeii just a day before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The Doctor can't leave because to do so would alter events leading up to the discovery of the TARDIS in the ruins, meaning that he wouldn't have had the knowledge to know to leave Pompeii in the first place.

This would create a time paradox as the Doctor is well aware of the consequences of what will happen even before they have even gotten involved in events he wants to leave & cheat fate, yet I wonder what he would think if he knew he was walking around in three of his incarnations & is actually about to cause the eruption of Mount Vesuvius(Tv The Fires Of Pompeii).

Sylvester McCoy & Bonnie Langford give this audio adventure a far better dynamic partnership than they did on Tv & it's a shame it wasn't this partnership that was shown on Tv which proves if a script is good so are the actor's & both Sylvester McCoy & Bonnie Langford shine throughout in their roles as the Seventh Doctor & Mel in this excellent historical audio adventure.

Every aspect of this story delivers quality as writer Steve Lyons has written a excellent emotional drama that runs through the storys 4 episodes which is a clever engaging dramatic spectacle with excellent production values & sound effects plus it makes a great companion piece adventure together with the Tenth Doctor Tv episode The Fires Of Pompeii.

The Fires Of Vulcan is a superb entertaining audio adventure that amongst the poor quality stories of the abysmal season 24 this one stands out & is a classic Seventh Doctor & Mel adventure.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fires Of Vulcan - Is the future set in stone for the Doctor?, 6 Mar. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
This is the twelfth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven and Bonnie Langford as Mel. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some notes from the author.

The Doctor's TARDIS lands in Pompeii, the day before a certain natural disaster. The Doctor believes he has foreknowledge of his own future and his place in the events of the city's destruction, but Mel refuses to believe that fate cannot be changed. They plunge into a series of adventures in the city in the run up to the eruption involving gladiators, demented priestesses and other standard Roman fare.

It's a nicely done story, with a bit of meat to script. I especially like the culture clash - Mel's inability to accept the Roman's attitude towards slavery in particular. The story sets up quite a knotty problem for the Doctor to solve, and though the resolution seems a bit tacked on at the end it is nonetheless quite clever. The side characters are fun and well drawn, especially Stephen Whickam's totally bonkers gladiator. McCoy gives a very dark performance, full of foreboding. Bonnie Langford is still annoying as Mel, but nowhere near as bad as her TV persona, and is almost likeable by the end of the piece.

As usual another excellent production from Big Finish. 4 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The return of the historical!, 4 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
I am a person who likes the historical Doctor Whos. Some people dont seem to get along with historicals, but i do. William Hartnell's historicals were some of the strongest stories in his time as being the doctor. And its good to have a revival of just a historical for an audio story. This story manages to be exciting and action packed without having to rely on aliens or robots. Really entertaining actually. Deserves good reviews.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Some fatal flaws, 24 Jan. 2015
By 
P. Hardy - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
This always gets rave reviews & I don't know why. It's credited with great pacing even though Mel is locked up & escapes twice for little apparent reason and there's a pointless fight with the gladiator in the arena which is resolved by a rather corny deus ex machina.
Mostly though it annoys because Mel is constantly pushed in the role of Worst Anthropologist Ever, wasting no opportunity to be appalled by the alien culture she has dropped into. In an ancient culture every opportunity is taken to damn the misguided religious faith of the Pompeii residents in ascribing the geological phenomenon of the eruption to the wrath of their gods. In the end Eumachia condemns herself and her servants to a potentially avoidable death by her blind faith. To be honest here Steve Lyons is sounding like a bit of an evangelical rationalist
For a sensible depiction of the motivations and shortcomings of unswerving religious faith, Jaq Rayner does a much better job in The Marian Conspiracy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to do with Mr Spock!, 15 April 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
Another great historical story from Big Finish; this is what they do best and Fires of Vulcan is no exception. McCoy is on song and Langford is a revelation; after watching Trial of a Timelord recently I actually thought she was better on TV than I remembered, and she is great here: Brimming with enthusiasm (but not in an annoying stagey way), positive whilst The Doctor is uncharacteristically negative, and generally holding things together throughout the story. I heartily recommend this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The re-evaluation of Melanie Bush begins, 11 April 2006
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
"Two thousand years ago, a cataclysmic volcanic eruption wiped the Roman city of Pompeii from the face of he Earth. It also buried the Doctor's TARDIS...
"Arriving in Pompeii one day before the disaster, the Doctor and Mel find themselves separated from their ship and entangled in local politics. With time running out, they fight to escape from the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. But how can they succeed when history itself is working against them?"
Who'd have thought that Bonnie Langford's Mel could ever be anything but an annoying screamer? But with The Fires of Vulcan, writer Steve Lyons achieves the remarkable - he writes a well-conceived story in which Mel stays true to character but doesn't scream once. It makes you realise how badly put together much of Season 24 really was while the series was still running on television. Instead, Mel becomes a plucky soul who refuses to give up even when a depressed Doctor believes them to be doomed. At the end of the day, it's due to Mel's tenacity that the duo manage to escape Mount Vesuvius without being buried in the pyroclastic explosion.
Astonishing transformation of Mel aside, The Fires of Vulcan is an enjoyable Hartnell-style historical with a variety of suitably decadent but also human characters. Apart from the rather pointless addition of the gladiator Murranus, the characters and performances all hit the right notes (with the best support coming from Gemma Bissix as the slave girl Aglae). The portrayal of Pompeii as a thriving Roman city is interesting to hear and there is, as ever, excellent and atmospheric sound design and a decent score.
Historicals can be dull, but The Fires of Vulcan keeps the listener interested and to hear Mel as she should have been written is refreshing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This play has restored my faith in Doctor Who audio, 1 Nov. 2007
By 
Varian Beauregard (Le Jardin d'Angleterre) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
This is everything a good a Doctor Who should be. It was riveting and enjoyable from beginning to end. Time passed swiftly as I listened (in stark contrast to 'Dust Breeding' which I would not recommend). The characterisations were good; Sylvester was very reminiscent of his t.v. persona and Mel (thankfully) was very different and very good. It was also very atmospheric throughout and the incidental music was appropriate and evocative. It even had a strong educational aspect as per the original (long forgotton) tv remit. Heartily recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hot stuff, 20 July 2006
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan (Audio CD)
an audio adventure for the seventh doctor who, accompanied by his companion mel. the former is played by sylvester mccoy and the latter by bonnie langford.

The story runs for four episodes of approx twenty five minutes duration each, and is spread across two discs.

In the present, archaeologists at pompeii call in UNIT because they've found something strange buried in the ruins. a blue police box..

In the past, the tardis arrives in pompeii shortly before the eruption of the volcano. the doctor thinks time has caught up with him at last and won't leave. Can mel save the day?

The two actors in the leads here were not popular on tv in these roles, but that was down to the quality of the material they had. bonnie langford in this is a revelation for anyone who saw her tv appearances. mel is written to her strengths - honest, determined, won't quit - and she turns in some superb acting as a result. There's a good cast of well drawn supporting characters and you will care about what happens to them as the story unfolds.

And you will not forget their final scenes in a hurry.

This was released a long time before the current tv dr who story set in pompeii and the two have no connection other than the location. There are no science fictional elements in this other than the tardis, but that doesn't matter. It's a gripping audio, and a really engrossing story, and it's worth 5/5
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan
Doctor Who: Fires of Vulcan by Steve Lyons (Audio CD - 30 Sept. 2000)
Used & New from: £56.80
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews