Here is a plot synopsis, I guess someone on Forum
might check this for historical accuracy, consistency with Pliny etc. Not sure it's all precisely as I've read in my history
books but it's pretty close, a better effort than some historical movies on the ancient world.
The Doctor and Donna arrive in what the Doctor believes to be Rome
in the first century AD. After an earthquake and witnessing a nearby mountain begin to smoulder, he realises he has in fact materialised in Pompeii one day before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. When he and Donna return to where the TARDIS landed he discovers that a local merchant sold it to sculptor/merchant Lucius
Caecilius Iucundus. The Doctor and Donna go to Lucius
Caecilius' house to retrieve it. Unknown to them, they have been followed by a soothsayer who reports to the Sibylline Sisterhood that the prophesized man
in the blue box has arrived, and the Sisters fear the prediction that his
arrival brings fire and death.
At the house, the Doctor is surprised by Lucius
Caecilius' daughter Evelina, who seems to have ESP and knows personal details about the Doctor and Donna. They are interrupted by the local augur Lucius
Petrus Dextrus, who has arrived to collect a sculpture
he commissioned. The Doctor is intrigued by the sculpture
, which resembles a segment of an oversized circuit board. Lucius
Petrus reveals that he also has powerful ESP and calls out the name of the Doctor's home
planet, Gallifrey. The Doctor wishes to learn more about the sculptures and enlists Lucius
Caecilius' son Quintus to help
him break into Lucius
Petrus' house. Inside the Doctor deduces that the circuits will make an energy converter, but is caught by Lucius
Petrus. The two escape, but Lucius
Petrus beckons a large stone
creature to attack and kill them. The stone
creature appears in Lucius
Caecilius' house and attacks them, but Quintus saves them by dousing the creature in water and killing it. In the confusion the Sisterhood kidnap Donna, and the Doctor sets off to rescue her. He meets the high priestess of the Sisterhood, who is revealed to be transforming into a stone
creature. The Doctor discovers that they are being controlled by the Pyroviles, volcanic creatures whose home
planet of Pyrovilia was lost. The Doctor is attacked by the Sisterhood, but escapes with Donna into an underground tunnel that leads into the heart of Mount Vesuvius.
The Doctor discovers that the volcano
is being used by the Pyroviles to convert the human race and conquer Earth. The Doctor realises the volcano
will not erupt if the energy converter is running, and tells Donna that the volcanic eruption is a fixed point in time and must always happen. The Doctor and Donna get into an escape pod and together press a lever which overloads the converter and triggers the eruption, killing the Pyroviles and launching the pod clear of the blast. The Doctor and Donna run for the TARDIS and the Doctor coldly leaves Lucius
Caecilius and his
family cowering in their home
and dematerialises. Donna begs him to go back and at least save one person, and the Doctor finally relents and goes back for Lucius
Caecilius and his
family. He leaves them on a hill
overlooking the destruction, and together with Donna slips out quietly as the family mourns Pompeii. The Doctor comments to Donna that she was right, and he does need someone to stop him.
Six months later in Rome
Caecilius' family are shown to be successful. He is running a profitable business, Evelina has a social life in comparison to her seclusion in Pompeii, and his
son Quintus is studying to become a doctor. Before Quintus leaves, he pays tribute to the family's household gods, a bas relief depiction of which are in the form of the Doctor, Donna and the TARDIS.
not bad, ehh? So as not to spoil the movie for those who haven't yet seen it, the above synopsis has a couple of minor changes and omissions; those who get to see the movie in cinemas should watch carefully for any plot differences as compared with (a) my above synopsis and (b) Pliny.