Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown -The Girl In The Fireplace

To celebrate the fact that 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, we'll be taking a look back at all of the episodes of the show which featured David Tennant as the Doctor. At the end of our look back we'll be asking you, the fans, to vote for what you think is the ultimate David Tennant episode of Doctor Who....
We continue with the next David Tennant episode ... The Girl In The Fireplace
Read our previous Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown posts here.

4. The Girl In The Fireplace
First Broadcast on 5th May 2006. Running Time: 45 Minutes. Viewing Figures: 7.90 million.
Written By Steven Moffatt.
Directed By Euros Lyn.
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner. Rating: 10/10


It's 18th Century France and the court of Versailles is under attack by clockwork killers. The mistress of King Louis XV, Madame De Pompadour, calls for the mysterious man in her dreams - the Doctor.

Extras:  Promotional Photos | On Set Photos | Screen Caps | Articles | Videos | MP3 Commentary

Production Notes:
Locations used in this episode included Dyffryn Gardens in Glamorgan, Tredgar House in Newport and Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.
The clockwork droids in the episode were designed by Neill Gorton and Louise Page and were based upon the real life clockwork chess player, The Turk
Russell T Davies described The Girl In The Fireplace as 'a love story for the Doctor'.
Working titles for the episode included Madame de PompadourEvery Tick of My Heart and Reinette And The Lonely Angel.
Two horses were used on set. One horse called Bolero was used for close ups and the other, Arthur, for jumps.
For the scene were the Doctor jumps through the mirror on horseback, a stunt rider was used and David Tennant's head was superimposed on to his body in post production.

The Foes:
Repair Droids from the S.S Madame de Pompadour begin stalking the human Madame de Pompadour. A droid explains to Reinette that their ship was damaged in an ion storm and the droids have been harvesting the body organs of the crew and wiring them in to the ship.
One final part is needed for the ship to be fully repaired and to function again - Reinette's brain and these clockwork monsters are willing to go to any lengths to get it, even threatening to decapitate her!

The Friends:
The Doctor falls in love with the beautiful and intelligent and Reinette.
There is literally a meeting of minds for the couple when the Doctor reads her mind to find out more about the Droids plan and discovers to his shock that Reniette can also read his mind.
Reniette feels much sympathy towards the Doctor's innermost thoughts and his loneliness and calls him 'her lonely angel'.
When Reniette tells the Doctor that it is time that he learnt to dance, there is the suggestion that she and the Doctor have shared a level of intimacy.
Rose, seeing that the Doctor has fallen in love with Reinette is willing to allow her to travel with them in the TARDIS, but her question of "Why her?" which goes unanswered, shows that Rose was perhaps jealous of the Doctor's feelings towards her.
The Doctor is left heartbroken when he returns to Versailles too late and finds that Reinette has died. She has left a letter referring to the Doctor as 'My Love' and 'My Lonely Angel' and willing him to return to her soon...


  • Rose Tyler: Who is she? 
    The Doctor: Jeanne-Antionette Poisson, known to her friends as Reinette. One of the most accomplished women who ever lived. 
    Rose Tyler: Has she got plans on being the queen, then? 
    The Doctor: No, he's already got a queen. She's got plans on being his mistress. 
    Rose Tyler: Oh, I get it. Camilla! 

  • Rose Tyler: No! You're not keeping the horse! 
    The Doctor: Why not? I let you keep Mickey! 

  • The Doctor: Sorry, you might find old memories reawakening, side effect. 
    Reinette Poisson: Oh, such a lonely childhood! 
    The Doctor: It'll pass. 
    Reinette Poisson: Oh, Doctor, so lonely, so very, very alone.
    The Doctor: What do mean, lonely? You've never been alone in your whole life... wait a minute, when did you start calling me Doctor? 
    Reinette Poisson: Such a lonely little boy. Lonely then and lonelier now. How can you bear it? 
    The Doctor: How did you do that? 
    Reinette Poisson: A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction. Oh, Doctor, my lonely Doctor... dance with me. 
    The Doctor: I can't. 
    Reinette Poisson: Dance with me. 
    The Doctor: This is the night you dance with the king. 
    Reinette Poisson: Then first I shall make him jealous. 
    The Doctor: I can't. 
    Reinette Poisson: Doctor. Doctor who? It's more than just a secret, isn't it. 
    The Doctor: What did you see? 
    Reinette Poisson: That there comes a time, Timelord, when every lonely little boy must learn how to dance...


  • The real Madame De Pompadour was apparently nicknamed "Reinette" by her mother after a fortune teller claimed that she would someday 'reign' over the heart of a king.
  • This episode won the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
  • Steven Moffatt wrote the role of Reinette with Sophia Myles in mind as he admired her portrayal of Lady Penelope in The Thunderbirds after watching it with his children.
  • The ballgown worn by Sophia Myles in the episode was previously worn by Dame Helen Mirren in the film The Madness Of King George.
  • Whilst working on Casanova with David Tennant, Russell T Davies began to research Madame de Pompadour and decided she would be brilliant in an episode of Doctor Who.
  • The kiss with Reinette was the first kiss the Doctor had experienced that wasn't with a companion.

  • David Tennant - The Doctor
  • Billie Piper - Rose Tyler
  • Noel Clarke - Mickey Smith
  • Sophia Myles – Reinette
  • Ben Turner – King Louis
  • Jessica Atkins – Young Reinette
  • Angel Coulby – Katherine
  • Gareth Wyn Griffiths – Manservant
  • Paul Kasey – Clockwork Man
  • Ellen Thomas – Clockwork Woman

What do you think of the episode? Tell us below....


  1. This is my favorite episode of dr.who!

  2. This was my very first episode of Doctor Who. I will love it forever.

  3. Always makes me cry. One of my favourite episodes, but breaks my heart every time. The music just kills me. A beautiful story.

  4. Always suspected the Doctor was polyamorous, but it still shocked me a bit. Poor Rose. The article above states that Rose's "Why her?" was never explained. I think that's because it was obvious; why not me? One of the saddest part of this episode is that the Doctor and companions never will understand; I think (unless I'm an idiot) that they never get to see that the ship is named after Madame Pompadour. Also I loved her strong character; love seeing strong women in the show. Of which there are surprisingly many. One of my favorites for sure; not so much the kiss but her reading his mind, too.


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