Doctor Who: Are the Pyrovile Soothsayers Returning?

Some recent set pictures may suggest that the Pyrovile soothsayers are returning to Doctor Who.

Taken at Cardiff Bay this afternoon, the pictures appear to show a pair of monsters who look eerily similar to the soothsayers from The Fires of Pompeii, who were transformed into Pyroviles after breathing in their remains from a ventilation system.

Pyrovile soothsayers at Series 10 filming?


A Pyrovile soothsayer from 2008’s The Fires of Pompeii

This may seem like a random monster to bring back, but let’s not forget that the 12th Doctor‘s face resembles that of Caecilius, a Roman marble trader played by Peter Capaldi in the same episode before he was cast as The Doctor. Previously in the series it was revealed that the Doctor subconsciously chose the face of Caecilius to remind himself that he saves people. It’s an important plot point in the series’ mythology given that it led to everybody’s favourite Time Lord deciding to make Ashildr immortal, unknowingly setting up the events that resulted in Clara’s death in Face The Raven and her subsequent revival in Hell Bent.

After her death in Face The Raven, Clara was subsequently brought back to life in Hell Bent

We know that Clara has to return to her death in Face The Raven given that it’s a fixed point in time, but what if she dies before she makes it back?

What would that do to the Web of Time?

If the Web of Time has been severely damaged, then that could explain what the soothsayers are doing in the present day.

But why do they appear to be the faces behind what looks to be a police force protecting the ‘truth’? And why do they call themselves the ‘Memory Police’?

Pyroviles – After truth?


Memory Police

Well, one theory mooted online is that Caecilius’s family from The Fires of Pompeii have taken on the moniker of ‘The Truth Family’, after suffering a series of terrible ordeals such as the volcanic eruption of  Mount Vesuvius that they’d rather forget. The theory is that the newly named ‘truth family’ have been trying to create their own idea of ‘truth’ by taking away bad memories and replacing them with good ones. Hence ‘memory police’ – policing your memories to remove anything negative to maintain happiness in the world population. The Pyrovile soothsayers are merely henchmen for Caecilius no different to the series’ use of the Judoon post-Smith And Jones – it may be that they still have the red costumes in the costume department and decided to make use of them instead of going to the expense of creating a whole new alien race.

However unlikely the theory may be, I hope it turns out to be true. I’d love to see Peter Capaldi play a dual role similar to Patrick Troughton’s in The Enemy of the World, where he played both the Second Doctor and Ramon Samander Peter Capaldi v Peter Capaldi would be huge amounts of fun, not least because it would result in a massive war of the eyebrows.

Doctor Who Series 10 returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April 2017.


This is Sean Bassett, writing for You can find me on Twitter at @WhoPotterVian, as well as on the blog sites Dalekbuster Screen 5 Reviews and The Representation of the Disabled In Film And TV.

Please like the Unlucky Fred Facebook and Twitter pages @unluckyfredfilm, a student film where I am working as the Production Designer.






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