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Review of The Girl in the Fireplace (10th Doctor)

Posted by: Whochick

Review of The Girl in the Fireplace (10th Doctor)
The Girl in the Fireplace - Episode 2.4

Ah, The Girl in the Fireplace. Well, firstly let me say that I want all of Reinette’s costumes (even though I would have no place to wear them to) and the baddie’s mask for my wall. Fabulous music, too. I like this episode a great deal on the one hand, but I have difficulty making it agree with the rest of the season on the other. Sigh. Oh, well.

Episode: The Girl in the Fireplace by Steven Moffat
Rating (1 to 5): *argues with herself* 4.3
Baddie: Clockwork Robots
Rose is trapped: In the future on a space ship with Mickey and the TARDIS.
The Doctor is trapped: In the past in France with Madame de Pompadour.
The Doctor enjoys: The Clockwork robots. Madame de Pompadour.
The Doctor dislikes: Having to damage the Clockwork Robots.
The Doctor apologizes to: Madame de Pompadour for the torn tapestries, etc.
Doctor-y Strangeness: Seemingly drunken singing.
Scary Stuff: The clockwork robots when they aren’t wearing their masks and therefore have no faces. Being trapped with no way home.
Torchwood? Not this time.
Does someone local help out? Madame de Pompadour
What we learn: The TARDIS even translates French. The sonic screwdriver can light candles. The Doctor can look into someone’s mind. Monsters have nightmares about The Doctor. Rule #1 is: Don’t wander off. The Doctor was a lonely little boy. The Doctor’s name is more than just a secret. The Doctor is a bit vague about money.
My Favorite Bits: The spaceship is designed like a key. The Doctor qualifying his “nothing dangerous” statement. “Dear me, had some cowboys in here.” “-Must be a spatio-temporal hyperlink. -What’s that? -No idea. Just made it up. Didn’t wanna say magic door.” “Oh, you never want to listen to reason.” There is a horse on the spaceship. “France. Different planet.” ” -No, you’re not keeping the horse! -I let you keep Mickey! Now go!” Bananas are good. The Doctor’s Drunken singing. The Doctor is worth the monsters. “Yeah? Well, I’m the Lord of Time.” The perfect reveal of the name of the ship.

Observations and musings:

Rose and Madame de Pompadour agree that The Doctor is worth the monsters. I’m thinking that this is a bit of a difficult episode for her. She and Mme de Pompadour understand each other, and they both seem to love The Doctor. Mickey has to go and point out that The Doctor called Cleopatra “Cleo.” And yet, Rose is worried about Reinette and urges him to do something to save her. If you think about it, Rose sent The Doctor to save Reinette, and Reinette sent The Doctor back to Rose afterwards. Or, rather, they were both willing to let him choose his path. (Yes, I have had *endless* discussions about this episode with my husband. We can never quite agree.)

In this episode, The Doctor basically falls for Madame de Pompadour. And she for him. It would seem that he was a fan of hers even before she snogged him. She got to him in much the same way that Jabe did in “The End of the World.” Good thing that in the absence of a truck, he had a horse to get through that window and save her neck. He traps Rose and Mickey in the future and himself in the past. It’s only luck and Reinette’s foresightedness that saves him and his crew. And yet he still lost Reinette in the end. And he never mentions her again. And in the next episode we’re back to normal. Sigh. You know? The Doctor really needs to think things through a bit more.

Murray Gold really outdid himself with the music on this one. I loved it. Mickey gets a spaceship on his first go. Good thing that Rose has softened her stance about having him with them. She even shows him the ropes. For example: go looking for the scary thing even though The Doctor said not to. Oh, BTW Sophia Myles (who plays Reinette) was David Tennant’s girlfriend for a couple of years there. Just a point of information. I just wish that this episode tracked with the rest of the season a bit better. Oh, well.

GD Star Rating
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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.

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