‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ (TV)

doctor who series 2 volume 2 doctor who series 2 dvd1


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Doctors meets Madame de Pompadour

This episode is by Steven Moffat. This is a complex ‘Doctor Who’ story set in two time zones – one is set in 18th century France and the other is set on a spaceship in the 51st century! Confusing, hey?!

‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ is a love story for the Tenth Doctor. I enjoyed this episode when I saw it. It’s not as good as ‘The Empty Child’/’The Doctor Dances’, but it’s pretty enjoyable and so interesting.

I’m afraid my Mum doesn’t like this episode very much. Even though there is an 18th century period setting in it, she still doesn’t get what goes on. I understand the episode, but it is very complex indeed.

The Doctor, Rose and Mickey visit a spaceship in the 51st century where there is no crew. There are however clockwork droids who have opened time windows to reach the past in 18th century France.

The Clockwork Droids are stalking the beautiful Madame de Pompadour, as they want her brain to pilot their ship. The Doctor meets and falls in love with her and intends to save her from the droids.

Sophia Myles guest stars as Madame de Pompadour (or Reinette as she calls herself). Sophia has appeared in ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ and she also played Lady Penelope in the 2004 ‘Thunderbirds’ movie.

It was lovely to see Sophia in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode and it’s easy to understand why the Doctor would fall in love with her. Sophia dated David Tennant not long after this episode for a short while.

David Tennant is superb as the Doctor in this. It was interesting to see a romantic side to the Doctor which is rarely seen before and how he interacts with a French aristocrat who falls in love with him.

Billie Piper is great as Rose Tyler. She doesn’t have a major part to play in this episode, but I liked it when she observes the Doctor with Reinette and when she warns her of the droids coming for her.

This is Noel Clarke as Mickey’s first trip in the TARDIS. It was interesting to see Mickey as a companion. He’s not so used to the travelling, but gets excited when he finds himself on a spaceship.

The Clockwork Droids are an interesting set of monsters to watch. One wonders why they want Reinette’s brain for their ship. They’re obviously ‘thick’ and dress up in 18th century French clothes.

There’s a horse that appears in this episode who the Doctor names Arthur. David Tennant gets to ride on horseback when crashing through a wall to save Reinette from the Clockwork Droids before they kill her at the ball in Versailles.

There is a lot of jumping between 18th century France and the 51st century spaceship in the episode which is confusing. The link is a fireplace in Reinette’s bedroom which swivels round for the Doctor.

The last scene where the Doctor is parted from Reinette forever was pretty heart-breaking to watch. Seeing the Doctor read Reinette’s letter to him in the TARDIS was very sad and was moving to watch.

‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ has been an enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ episode. David Tennant delivers a great performance as the Doctor and Sophia Myles is very wonderful as Madame de Pompadour. It is a pretty complex episode to watch, but it has a sweet central love story that will melt your heart.

The DVD special features on this episode on ‘The Complete Series 2’ DVD are as follows. On Disc 2, there’s an in-vision commentary with David Tennant; Sophia Myles and producer Phil Collinson. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Script to Screen’.

‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ rating – 7/10

The previous story

For the Tenth Doctor was

For Rose was

For Mickey was

The next story

For the Tenth Doctor is

For Rose is

For Mickey is

Return to The Tenth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Rose’s Timeline
Return to Mickey’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

2 thoughts on “‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    This is an episode I’ve enjoyed upon repeated viewing, originally i couldn’t wrap my head around the plot but upon further rewatches I’ve appreciated this episode more.

    Excellent review Tim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’.

      If I were to rank the Steven Moffat episodes in the RTD era in terms of the best and well-written, it would go like this:

      *’The Empty Child’/’The Doctor Dances’
      *’Silence In The Library’/’Forest of the Dead’
      *’The Girl In The Fireplace’

      At least I find the Steven Moffat episodes in the RTD era more enjoyable compared to how his actual era turned out (with some exceptions including ones in Series 5). We can agree that most of the Steven Moffat’s ‘Doctor Who’ era is a mixed bag anyway.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.