Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

History Meets Fiction in Doctor Who, ‘The Fires of Pompeii’: A BBC Reception of Ancient Rome on Screen and Online*

Abstract

‘Ancient Rome!’ The door of the iconic police box squeaks open. The camera pans, following a dark-haired man as he emerges, pushes through a curtained doorway, and, with a glint in his eye, glee in his smile, and a touch of London in his voice, announces their destination to his redhead companion. So begins ‘The Fires of Pompeii’, the second episode in the fourth season of the current BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) science-fiction drama Doctor Who. And so, no doubt, began the scribbling of pens on notebooks, as classicists who examine popular receptions of ancient Greece and Rome recognized a fresh opportunity to explore the dynamics of modern engagements with the classical world. At the time of broadcast, I was ensconced in my Liverpool office, writing the final lecture of a new undergraduate module devoted to Roman society. The topic was ‘Receptions of Roman Life’. My plan was to contrast depictions of Roman life in different media from distinct periods to encourage our students to recognize how modern reconstructions of Roman society are variously informed by questions of authority, genre, and cultural contexts. Serendipitously, ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ provided an engaging contemporary reception of the Roman world on television.

Copyright
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Greece & Rome
  • ISSN: 0017-3835
  • EISSN: 1477-4550
  • URL: /core/journals/greece-and-rome
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 47 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 341 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.