Doctor Who
The Girl In The Fireplace

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 8 USERS: A+
Let Them Eat Awesome
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Jeanne-Antoinette. She was born in 1721, and married in 1741 to Charles-Guillaume Le Normant d'Etiolles. She bore him two children, neither of whom lived past ten. In February 1745, she caught the eye of King Louis XV at a masquerade ball. She was twenty-four years of age. By March, she and the King were close friends, and he moved her to Versailles, and bought her six more houses, including one called Pompadour. By July, she was made a Marquise and was legally separated from her husband; by September she was formally presented at court. She knew Voltaire and was well-read. She supported Diderot's Encyclopédie and the Enlightenment against the Church, and Choiseul, who shifted French foreign policy from Prussia to the Habsburgs, which ended up forcing the Seven Years' War, creating the Pacte de Famille, suppressing the Jesuits, and losing Canada. She was an amateur architect and a stylish designer. Her major shortcoming, in the public perception, was that she came from the bourgeoisie, and people got nasty as a result. She lived the kind of amazing life that you only hear about in stories that take place in Versailles.

And now, under a clear and starry sky, things are going wild in Versailles, but not the Sofia Coppola kind. It's a bunch of aristos from the eighteenth century running around in masks and screaming wildly. There's a tick-tock whirring sound and scary shadows all over; there's a smashed clock on the mantel. King Louis approaches his consort, Reinette, where she stands in a bedroom considering the fireplace very seriously, and complains of the creatures attacking, which he doesn't even think are human. "The clock is broken," she says simply. "He's coming." The King grabs her and tries to pull her away from the fireplace by the hand, but she won't be moved: "Listen to me. There is a man coming to Versailles. He has watched over me my whole life, and he will not desert me tonight." At Louis's insistence, Reinette admits that he is the only man -- save Louis -- she's ever loved: "No, don't look like that, there's no time. You have your duties. I am your mistress. Go to your queen." Reinette crouches and speaks directly into the flames: "Are you there? Can you hear me? I need you now, you promised. The clock on the mantel is broken. It is time. Doctor! Doctor!"

Thank goodness for Steven Moffat. We head back to the stars with the caption "3000 YEARS LATER," and inside a spaceship, the TARDIS appears. The Doctor emerges first, followed by Rose and Mickey; the latter is overjoyed to have gotten a spaceship on his first go. They look about, wondering why the ship's deserted, and the Doctor first assures them that there's no danger, and then wonders if there's danger, and then decides to scan for danger. Rose smirks behind his back as he taps into the system, and asks the date. He gets the lights on, and the roof opens up above them, revealing the stars outside: "Fifty-first century, Diagmar Cluster. You're a long way from home, Mickey! Two and a half galaxies!" Rose puts her hands on Mickey's shoulders as he stares out. The Doctor rummages through the bits and pieces of spaceship. "Mickey Smith, meet the universe," says Rose. "See anything you like?" Mickey's eyes are wide: "It's so realistic!" The Doctor drats about the repair work happening -- "had some cowboys in here!" -- and the three of them study a screen with the ship on it in diagram. "Now that's odd...all the warp engines are going full capacity!" says the Doctor. "There's enough power running through this ship to punch a hole in the universe, and we're not moving. So where's all that power going?" And, Rose wonders, where did the crew go? The Doctor confirms that there are no life readings on board, and Rose jokes that you don't just "nip out for a quick fag" in deep space, but the Doctor thinks she means it: "Nope, checked all the smoking pods." They smell a smell -- Mickey determines it as a Sunday roast, but Rose is more correct: "Yeah, someone's cooking." Several someones.

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Doctor Who




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