The Girl In The Fireplace
By Steven Moffat
“I’m The Doctor and I just snogged Madame de Pompadour!”
The Doctor, Rose and Mickey have landed on a ship in the 51st Century that seems to be deserted. But what is strange is that somehow the ship has enough power to punch holes in time and they act like windows to the past. What The Doctor discovers is that the Clockwork Robots seem to be interested in a girl called Reinette. The Doctor first meets her from inside a fireplace that is a door from the spaceship to 17th Century France and on the second time through he meets Reinette as a young woman and discovers that she is in fact Madame de Pompadour the Kings mistress and a integral part of history.
The Robots have used the crew of the ship to repair the ship by using the body parts like an eye for a camera and a heart for a pump. The Doctor discovers that they want Reinette’s brain for some reason and keep appearing along her timeline to see if the brain is ready. The Doctor must come up with a way to stop the robots and save timelines from being altered and this time he might be trapped in 17th Century France as a result.
“The Girl In The Fireplace was a story that did not disappoint when it was first aired back in 2006. From the very beginning when The Doctor discovers the fireplace in the 51st century spaceship to the very end when The Doctor is heartbroken over the passing of Madame de Pompadour you are hooked on the anticipation of what is going to happen next. This story is a bit different as it takes place during the timeline of Madame de Pompadour. What made it interesting was everytime The Doctor would go back to her she would be a little bit older with the threat of the Clockwork Men looming. What was freaky was that the Clockwork Men wanted her brain and the freaky part is that they wanted it to be the main computer to operate the ship. The only reason is that the ship has her name attached to it and that is why they want it and that is what makes it so freaky.
“The Girl In The Fireplace” is a different type of story as it is quite plainly a love story and if you didn’t figure that one out well then I have nothing to say about that naivety. The Chemistry between The Doctor and Reinette is quite obvious and quite sad since this story doesn’t end with a happy ending as Reinette dies before The Doctor comes back to take her on that trip. The death of Reinette truly hurts The Doctor and we haven’t really seen him affect like this before. True we have seen The Doctor sad when a companion leaves or dies but this time it seems different as his hearts were truly broken.
It was funny to see Mickey on his first trip in the TARDIS. The joy and excitement of landing on an alien ship was fun to watch. Almost like when Rose first started and she was amazed at what she was seeing. I really liked the style of the Clockwork Men with all those cogs and gears it was really clever to see a robot look like that. To see the gears and cogs working was really neat to see and it’s a shame they haven’t done anything that clever or creative since. Plus their disguises look really amazing and added to the freakiness of them.
“The Girl In The Fireplace” is one of my favorite stories ever. I really like this one and liked the love story aspect to it. We get to see a side of The Doctor we don’t see hardly ever and we see how truly vulnerable he is when he gets the news of Reinette’s passing. It is a really emotionally charged story and just a great story all around. The fact that it does not have a happy ending and you knew that from the start gives it a realism because sometimes life doesn’t always have a happy ending and those who have had their hearts broken can really relate to what The Doctor is going through. It is truly one of the gems of the new series and the history of Doctor Who.