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Some fatal flaws
on 24 January 2015
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