Dr.Who-Review-S2ep4 – The Girl in the Fireplace

Posted: December 11, 2013 in Dr.Who-Reviews


Tic Toc goes the clock


In the previous episodes review I said that I wish that this show would have another “classic”, an episode that stands out from the rest for one reason or another. Just like “Bad Wolf” stood out for its wackiness, or “The Doctor Dances” stood out for its creepiness. It seems like the TV-show gods have answered my prayers as I received a spectacular episode tonight.

However this episode didn’t stand out for the creepiness, or the humor, but for the emotional impact that it provided. Today I saw the Doctor fall in love with Jeanne or Madame de Pompadour. This was an interesting take on the situation since for her, he was always somewhat of an ethereal creature whom acted as a guardian angel. And what was perhaps even more fascinating, is the fact that the Doctor does all of this within the span of a few hours.

When they land on a stalled (broken?) alien spaceship that is pretty much tearing a hole in the world. This is because there are these odd mechanical machines (that dress in frightening garb) that needed to go back to the 1700’s to… harvest the brain of Madame de Pompano? Ok…? Needless to say, apart from a few plot holes this episode was a surprisingly fantastic installment.

Yes, Fantastic! Because although Tennant has not grown on me even remotely as much as Eccleston, we were still treated to some great emotional scenes in this episode. Overall, Tennant’s acting was pretty much spot on for this episode, and apart from that seriously out of place “drunk” scene… I was definitely entertained by him. So… apparently the doctor “danced” in this episode, good for him!

I was honestly touched during the final few minutes of the episode, even if a bit of me knew that after the Doctor went back through the fireplace to get the TARDIS ready… that when he returns he will somehow miss Madame. I was expecting a heartfelt scene with her on her deathbed, instead, I was treated to a much more subtle scene that was ten times better than what I was expecting. In fact, I almost applauded at the subtlety of this scene, nay, the ENTIRETY of the final ten minutes of this episode were spectacular.

I prefer subtle emotion over glaring bang-you-over-the-head emotion, so this was completely up my alley. Also, may I just say that Sophie Myles was fantastic as Madame de Pompadour. This entire episode was a testament to how good this show can be when it ventures out of its norm and does a very intriguing and interesting story, with fascinating “monsters”, and a very poignant emotional aspect.

However, it is not without its flaws. There are a few plot holes, as in, it is never explained as to why the Doctor can’t use his TARDIS to travel back in time… I understand that it’s supposed to be something about them being “a part of the timeline”, but why was this never a hindrance before? It seems like an excuse for the sake of there being a need for one.

In the end, this episode had a few plot holes that somewhat set back the episode, however, once it shifted into hard-hitting emotion and action, it shined without a shred of a doubt. This is once again one of those memorable episodes that I can’t help but love.

Grade: A-

  1. […] Dr.Who-Review-S2ep4 – The Girl in the Fireplace (theawkwardreviews.com) […]

  2. Stine says:

    The reason the Doctor can’t travel back in time here is because it is a fixed point in time. You can’t rewrite fixed paints, almost never.. It is a law of time, normally the Time Lords would take care of stuff like that, but you know, they are “dead” or well the actual war is timelocked. Arrhg, it is so hard for me to not write spoilers!

  3. […] Dr.Who-Review-S2ep4 – The Girl in the Fireplace (theawkwardreviews.com) […]

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