Doctor Who Logo 'The Girl in the Fireplace'
(Story Code 2.4)

by Steven Moffat
The Doctor, Mickey and Rose

"What do monsters have nightmares about?" – Reinette

"Me!" – The Doctor

In Eighteenth Century Versailles, the attendees of a masked ball at a resplendent palace come under attack from a clockwork terror – and a beautiful woman foretells salvation from a mysterious man known as “the Doctor”… Three thousand years later, in the Fifty-First Century, the Doctor, Rose and Mickey arrive on board an abandoned spaceship situated in the Diagmar Cluster in deep space. Although the vessel’s warp drives are operating at full power, the Doctor is puzzled as to why the ship is not moving; he soon finds the answer: an antique French fireplace containing a portal to the bedroom of a young Parisian girl called Reinette in the year 1727. Having explained that the portal is a “spatio-temporal hyperlink” – or “magic door” – the Doctor is transported to the seven-year old girl’s bedside via the rotating fireplace; here he finds that monthas have passed since his earlier visit, and that the clock on the mantelpiece has been deliberately broken by a bizarre clockwork man hiding under Reinette’s bed. After stating that the girl is” incomplete”, the droid attacks the Doctor; however, the fireplace takes them both back aboard the spaceship, where the Doctor deactivates his assailant by freezing its mechanism with a handy fire extinguisher. Unfortunately, before the Doctor can examine the automation further, it reactivates and teleports away. While the Doctor returns to Reinette’s bedroom, Rose and Mickey deliberately ignore his instructions and mount a search for the clockwork man; they soon discover that the ship’s surveillance system contains a real human eye, while a human heart has been connected to the vessel’s infrastructure. The Doctor rejoins Reinette, only to learn that she is now twenty-three; overjoyed to see the man of her dreams, Reinette kisses the Doctor passionately before running away to a prior engagement; the Doctor then learns that Reinette is none other than Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson – he has just snogged the woman who will become famous as Madame Du Pompadour, King Louis XV’s lover! A particularly excited Doctor returns to the spaceship, where he promptly encounters a horse; as the creature - now nicknamed Arthur - follows him around the corridors, the Doctor finds another portal, which transports him to the grounds of the palace in Versailles. Here he overhears Madame Du Pompadour and her friend Katherine discussing a forthcoming meeting with the king of France. The Doctor rejoins Rose and Mickey as they look through another portal, witnessing Reinette’s first assignation with King Louis XV in 1744; however, this historic meeting is disturbed by the arrival of the clockwork man, forcing the Doctor and his friends to intervene and stall the droid with a blast from their fire extinguisher. Obeying Reinette’s order to talk, the automaton reveals that it and its comrades are repair droids; their ship was damaged a year ago, and so they used the crew’s body parts to maintain the spaceship. For reasons of their own, the clockwork creatures now require Reinette’s brain, although they deem that it is currently unsuitable. When the clockwork man teleports away, Rose and Mickey set off to track him down; meanwhile, the Doctor uses his Time Lord abilities to link minds with Reinette, so that he can determine why the automatons want her; however, as the Doctor scans her memories, Reinette does the same to him, learning of his loneliness and the façade he puts up to protect himself from others; responding to the Doctor’s feelings, Reinette asks him to dance with her… Elsewhere, Rose and Mickey are overpowered by the clockwork droids, who prepare them for use as spare parts. In the nick of in time the Doctor arrives – albeit apparently the worse for drink; however, this is merely a ruse to catch the automatons off guard, and after noting that the ship is thirty-seven years old, the Time Lord explains that the clockwork crew are waiting until Reinette’s brain is the same age so that they can use it as their command centre. Disabling the automatons with ‘anti-oil’, the Doctor releases his friends, but the robots immediately reactivate themselves, and, having located the correct time-window, they teleport away. Back in Versailles, thirty-two year old Reinette receives a visit from Rose, who warns that the clockwork people will come for her in five years’ time; as Mickey arrives to collect Rose, Reinette takes the opportunity to follow them both onto the ship, where she hears the events of her own future; realising that she has no choice, Reinette bids goodbye to Rose, and the returns to her own time. Discovering that the clockwork droids have sealed off the time portals, the Doctor becomes frantic; the only way to reach France is to smash through, but he does not know how to do so without damaging their integrity. Meanwhile, the automatons travel to Versailles and capture Reinette as she plays hostess to a masked ball. As the droids prepare to decapitate the woman they are interrupted by the arrival of the Doctor, who crashes through a mirror riding on Arthur's back, upstaging the king of France in the process. Since the portal has now sealed behind him, the Doctor makes the clockwork men and women see that with no way back to their vessel, they no longer have a purpose; realising that they have become redundant, the automatons deactivate themselves. Back on the ship, Rose and Mickey ponder the Doctor’s fate, now that he is cut off from their time period. In Eighteenth Century Versailles, the Doctor resigns himself to spending hundreds of years on Earth – until Reinette shows him the original fireplace that she had moved to the palace from her childhood bedroom, just in case it was ever needed. Reactivating the link back to the spaceship, an overjoyed Doctor tells Reinette to make preparations to join him on his travels through the stars. Having found Rose and Mickey, the Doctor then returns through the fireplace, only to learn that time has since moved on, and that Reinette has recently passed away at the age of forty-three due to an illness. As the Doctor watches Reinette’s body leaving for Paris in a hearse, he receives a note from the king. The Time Lord returns to the spaceship and deactivates the time windows, and then rejoins his two friends aboard the TARDIS. Seeing that her friend is putting a brave face on things, Rose tactfully leaves with Mickey to explore the depths of the time ship; back in the console room, the Doctor reads Reinette’s note, learning that she always hoped he would one day return for her… The Doctor sadly dematerialises his TARDIS, leaving the SS Madame Du Pompadour to drift through space for all eternity…

David Tennant (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Sophia Myles (Reinette / Madame Du Pompadour), Ben Turner (King Louis XV), Jessica Atkins (Young Reinette), Angel Coulby (Katherine), Gareth Wyn Griffiths (Manservant), Paul Kasey (Clockwork Man), Ellen Thomas (Clockwork Woman), Daryl Adcock (Voice of Clockwork Man), Emily Joyce (Voice of Clockwork Woman)

Directed by Euros Lyn
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

6th May 2006 @ 7.00 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor, Rose and Mickey

*Working titles: 'Madame Du Pompadour', 'Every Tick of My Heart', 'Reinette and the Lonely Angel' and 'Loose Connection'

*TARDISODE: A spaceship encounters an ion storm; the crew are attacked - and the clock over an ornamental fireplace is shattered... [Cast: Liz Armon-Lloyd (Female Crewmember), David Martin (Male Crewmember)]