This is a twice a week feature (Wednesdays and Fridays) where Christa of Hooked on Books and myself will be watching and discussing all of the reboot of Doctor Who. Posts will contain spoilers for that episode and ones before it, so you may want to watch the episode before reading. I hope you’ll join us in enjoying this fantastic show, and don’t forget to check out Christa’s post (with past posts over here) as well! Allons-y!
The Girl in the Fireplace by Steven Moffat
For Mickey Smith’s first ever trip in the TARDIS it’s off to a spaceship in the 51st century. But this is no ordinary spaceship in the 51st century. No, this spaceship has windows that follow the life of an extraordinary young French woman: Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV’s mistress.
So, I have issues with this episode. On it’s own, it’s a beautiful episode. The plotting is wonderful and I love the twists and the romance is great, BUT as part of season 2 Doctor Who, I kind of hate it.
In a nice way.
I mean, continuity wise…it kind of sucks. We just finished watching School Reunion where the Doctor basically admits to loving Rose, and then he runs off with a French mistress? I am not okay with this. There are many things to do with this I am not okay with. Let’s make a list of all the things I’m not okay with in this episode.
1. Rose is suddenly fine with Mickey being there. Right. (Well maybe that’s because Moffat hadn’t read the script for School Reunion before writing his own episode. Apparently, he didn’t read anything from season 1 either because in this episode Rose means nothing to the Doctor.)
2. The Doctor falls in love with a woman he JUST met as a child. No. Bad Doctor.
3. Reinette kisses the Doctor after seeing him for the first time since she was a CHILD. I mean, it’s a pretty awesome kiss. BUT THE LAST TIME HE SAW HER SHE WAS A CHILD. A CHILD. CHILD.
4. The Doctor rescues Reinette knowing fully well that he won’t be able to get back to Rose and Mickey and that they won’t be able to fly the TARDIS without him. Basically, he’s leaving them stranded on a non-functioning ship with no knowledge of how to repair or fly it or to escape. Had Reinette not saved the day, Rose and Mickey would have died. The Doctor chose to save Reinette knowing that it would mean Rose and Mickey would die. I’m sorry, this makes absolutely no sense to me. The Doctor died to save Rose’s life before, and now he’s just throwing her away?
Moffat is a fabulous writer, but he goes off and does his own thing. The more I watch this episode, the less I like it though there are a couple saving graces:
- 1. At least there was less catty jealousy between the two girls than there was between Sarah Jane and Rose.
- 2. I liked that Rose tried to comfort Reinette despite the fact the hurt she must have been feeling by the Doctor’s focus on this other woman.
- 3. I liked the parallel of how the Doctor called for Rose on the spaceship and then he called for Reinette in the same way when he went to pick her up to bring her away.
- 4. I felt bad for Reinette. She was an awesome lady with pretty dresses.
- 5. The setting was my favourite thing because yay France.
- 6. Love the foreshadowing for season six/season seven.
But those are such small parts and elements of what overall is, I’m sorry, an overrated episode. Maybe if it had been in season 5 I wouldn’t have cared so much, but even then the leaving of the companion to die would be ridiculous. (I mean if he had done this to one of the other companions, how would you have felt?)
In short: Continuity–I like it. This episode doesn’t have it.
- Young Reinette: What do monsters have nightmares about?
- the Doctor: Me!
“I’m always alright.” -the Doctor
new irrational fear: my bed, particularly the under side