In season 1, episodes "The End of the World" and "Boom Town," the Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to reverse-teleport and bring back escaping subjects (Cassandra and the Slitheen respectively). However, in this episode he sees the clockwork men teleport away three times, each time being disappointed, but never tries to bring them back.
Reinette, age 37, introduced Louis XV to the Doctor as her lover, yet by that point in her life she was no longer his mistress.
Rose wears a Wichita Falls, Texas t-shirt throughout the episode and in the previous episode, "School Reunion", Mickey wears a University of Texas t-shirt for a short time.
At the end, we see her funeral hearse leaving Versaille in the rain, and Louis XV remarks, "There she goes, leaving Versaille for the last time. Only 43 when she died... too young. Too Young.". Reportedly, Louis XV's actual remarks as her hearse left in the rain, were: "La Marquise n'aura pas beau temps pour son voyage." ("The Marquise won't have good weather for her journey.").
The spaceship is designed in the shape of a key.
The Doctor can read minds, as he demonstrates by searching through Reinette's mind to see whether any damage has been done.
Rose says the TARDIS translates every language, even French. Yet when young Reinette speaks through the fire place at the beginning of the episode, there are a couple French words which are not translated such as "monsieur". This may be because the Doctor, Mickey and Rose already know what these words mean, so it is pointless translating them.
There are several references to the Ninth Doctor in this episode. The Tenth Doctor says "Bananas are good" as the Ninth Doctor did in the episode The Doctor Dances. That episode was also written by Steven Moffat. There is also a reference regarding the Doctor dancing. The Doctor also says "Fantastic!" for the first time in Series 2, not counting The Christmas Invasion.
Madame de Pompadour calls herself "Reinette" in 1727, whereas in actual fact, this was a nickname meaning "Little Queen" which was not given to her until 1730.
When the 37-year old Madame de Pompadour calls for the Doctor through the fireplace at the beginning of the episode, she talks quickly, leaving no gaps. However, when the 32-year old Madame de Pompadour hears herself, the 37-year old leaves a lengthy gap between "It is time" and "Doctor! Doctor!"
This is Mickey's first trip away from Earth. In all other episodes he has featured in, he fought aliens, but never visited space.
King Louis: We are under attack! There are creatures. I don't even think they're human. We can't stop them.
Reinette: The clock is broken. He's coming.
King Louis: Did you hear what I said?
Reinette: 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.
King Louis: What are you talking about? What man?
Reinette: The only man, save you, I have ever loved. No, don't look like that. There's no time. You have your duties. I am your mistress. Go to your queen. (crouches down and talks into the fireplace) Are you there? Can you hear me? I need you now. You promised. The clock on the mantle is broken. It is time. Doctor! Doctor!
Clockwork Droid: (to Rose and Mickey) You are compatible.
The Doctor: Always bring a banana to a party, Rose. Bananas are good!
(The Doctor returns from a party, apparently drunk, to find the clockwork droids looking at Rose and Mickey, who are strapped to tables)
The Doctor: (to a Clockwork droid) Ohhoho, brilliant! It's you! You're my favourite, you are, you're the best! You know why? 'Cause you're so thick! You're Mr Thick Thick Thickity Thick Face from Thicktown, Thickania. And so's your dad.
Reinette: (voiceover; her final letter to the Doctor) My dear Doctor, the path has never seemed more slow, and yet I fear I am nearing its end. Reason tells me that you and I are unlikely to meet again, but I think I shall not listen to reason. I have seen the world inside your head, and know all things are possible. Hurry, though, my love. My days grow shorter now and I am so very weak. Godspeed, my lonely angel.
Reinette: (to the clockwork droid) I have made a decision. And my decision is no. I shall not be going with you today. I have seen your world and I have no desire to set foot there again.
Clockwork Droid: We do not require your feet.
(The droid's saw comes out and it advances on her)
Reinette: You think I fear you? But I do not fear you even now. You are merely the nightmare of my childhood. The monster from under my bed. And if my nightmare can return to plague me then, rest assured, so will yours.
(The Doctor returns from a party, apparently drunk, to find the clockwork droids looking at Rose and Mickey strapped to tables.)
The Doctor: Have you met the French? My God, they know how to party.
Rose: Oh, look at what the cat dragged in. The Oncoming Storm.
The Doctor: Ooh, you sound just like your mother.
Rose: What have you been doing? Where have you been?
The Doctor: Well, among other things, I think I just invented the banana daiquiri a couple of centuries early.
(The Doctor is reading Reinette's mind)
Reinette: Oh, such a lonely childhood.
The Doctor: It'll pass. Stay with me.
Reinette: Oh, Doctor. So lonely. So very very alone.
The Doctor: What do you mean alone? You've never been alone in your life… when did you start calling me Doctor?
Reinette: Such a lonely little boy. Lonely then and lonelier now. How can you bear it?
The Doctor: How did you do that?
Reinette: A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction. Oh, Doctor. My lonely Doctor. Dance with me.
(The Doctor is reading Reinette's mind)
The Doctor: What age are you?
Reinette: So impertinent a question so early in the conversation. How promising.
Rose: You okay?
Reinette: No. I'm very afraid. But you and I both know, don't we, Rose, the Doctor is worth the monsters.
Rose: He'll be there when you need him. That's the way it's gotta be.
Reinette: That's the way it's always been. The monsters and the Doctor. It seems you cannot have one without the other.
Rose: Tell me about it. The thing is, you weren't supposed to have either. Those creatures are messing with history. None of this was ever supposed to happen to you.
Reinette: Supposed to happen? What does that mean? It happened, child, and I would not have it any other way. One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.
Reinette: It is customary, I think, to have an imaginary friend only during one's childhood. You are to be congratulated on your persistence.
The Doctor: Reinette. Well, goodness, how you've grown.
Reinette: And you do not appear to have aged a single day. That is tremendously impolite of you.
The Doctor: Right, yes, sorry. Um...um...um. Listen. Lovely to catch up, but, uh, better be off, eh? Don't want your mother finding you up here with a strange man, do we?
Reinette: Strange? How could you be a stranger to me? I've known you since I was seven years old.
The Doctor: Yeah, I suppose you have. Ha. I came the quick route.
Reinette: You seem to be flesh and blood at any rate, but this is absurd. Reason tells me you cannot be real.
The Doctor: Oh, you never wanna listen to reason.
Rose: It's kind of abandoned.. Anyone on board?
The Doctor: Nah.... Nothing here--Well, nothing dangerous- WELL. Not that dangerous. Know what, just have a quick scan in case of anything dangerous.
Young Reinette: Monsieur, what are you doing in my fireplace?
The Doctor: Oh, it's just a routine... fire check. Can you tell me what year it is?
Young Reinette: Of course I can. Seventeen hundred and twenty seven.
The Doctor: Right, lovely. One of my favorites. August is rubbish though. Stay indoors. Okay, that's all for now. Thanks for your help. Hope you enjoy the rest of the fire. Night night.
Young Reinette: Good night, Monsieur.
The Doctor: Rose, take Mickey n' Arthur, get after it, follow it, don't approach it, just watch what it does.
The Doctor: Good name for a horse.
Rose: No, you're not keepin' the horse.
The Doctor: I let you keep Mickey. Now, go! Go! Go!
Mickey: What's a horse doin' on a spaceship?
The Doctor: Mickey, what's pre-revolutionary France doing on a spaceship? Get a little perspective!
The Doctor: Space-age clock-work, I love it! I've got chills! Listen, seriously, I mean this from the heart, and by the way, count those. It would be a crime, it would be an act of vandalism to dismantle you. But that won't stop me.
The Doctor: Must be a spatial temporal hyperlink.
Mickey: What's that?
The Doctor: No idea. Just made it up. Didn't want to say 'magic door'.
Mickey: Huh! So that Doctor eh!
Rose: What are you talking about?
Mickey: Well! Madame De Pompadour, Sarah Jane Smith, Cleopatra!
Rose: Oh, Cleopatra he mentioned her once.
Mickey: Yeah, but he called her Cleo.
Rose: Who is she?
The Doctor: Jeanne-Antionette Poisson. Known to her friends as Reinette. Most accomplished woman that ever lived.
Rose: So she got plans for being the queen then.
The Doctor: No, they already got a queen. She got plans for being his mistress.
Rose: Oooh. I get it. Camilla.
Reinette: Doctor. Doctor who? It's more than just a secret isn't it?
The Doctor: What did you see?
Reinette: That there comes a time, Time Lord, when every lonely little boy must learn how to dance.
The Doctor: Madame de Pompadour. You look younger everyday.
King Louis: What the hell is going on?
Reinette: Oh. This is my lover. The King of France.
The Doctor: Yeah? Well I'm the Lord of Time. (Walks towards the clockwork droids) And I'm here to fix the clock.
Young Reinette: Monsieur, be careful!
The Doctor: Just a nightmare, Reinette, don't worry about it. Everyone has nightmares. (backing off from the clockwork droid) Even monsters under the bed have nightmares, don't you, monster?
(clockwork droid's weapon got stuck on the fireplace)
Young Reinette: What do monsters have nightmares about?
The Doctor: Me! Ha!
Manservant: Who the hell are you?
The Doctor: (laughing) I'm the Doctor. And I just snogged Madame de Pompadour!
Turkey: July 31, 2011 on CNBC-e
One character omitted from The Girl In The Fireplace in editing was Arthur's owner, a 'Choleric Man' played by Phylip Harries who threatens to whip the horse for running off.
Steven Moffat stated that the line from the Doctor claiming that he is what monsters have nightmares about was lifted directly from Paul Cornell's 1992 Doctor Who: The New Adventures novel Love And War.
This episode won "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form" in the 2007 Hugo Awards.
In a Production Notes column for Doctor Who Magazine #363, writer Steven Moffat stated that the working titles for the episode were Madame de Pompadour, Every Tick of My Heart and Reinette and the Lonely Angel.
Throughout this episode, Mickey wears a T-shirt which has a picture of the Nintendo Entertainment System controller over the caption, "Know Your Roots". This particular T-shirt, a limited edition, could be obtained either by subscribing to the British Nintendo Official Magazine, or by being purchased at selected Gamestation outlets. In Doctor Who Magazine #367 Noel Clarke admitted to being a Nintendo fan and to being the owner of a Nintendo DS console.
Two horses were required for the episode, Bolero and Arthur. Arthur is a jumper while Bolero is an actor.
David didn't know that, while he had his eyes shut to read Reinette's mind, Sophia had hers wide open.
David and Sophia first worked together on the set of Foyle's War.
The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 7.90 million.
Steven Moffat, the writer, was unaware of the Torchwood theme running through this series, so there is no reference in this episode. This is the first time there hasn't been one since New Earth.
Having said that, it would be difficult to insert a reference in context, as at that point in time (18th Century) Torchwood had not been created, and none of the guest characters were aware of the Institute.
David Tennant and Sophia Myles were actually dating in real life when this was filmed.
The Time Traveller's Wife
The plotline of a woman having a relationship with a man who randomly jumps in and out of different points in her life is similar to that of the Audrey Niffenegger novel 'The Time Traveller's Wife'.
Rose: Cleopatra - he mentioned her once.
Mickey: Yeah, but he called her 'Cleo'.
Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator was the supreme ruler of Egypt just before the start of the Christian Era, she was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and famously seduced the two most powerful and intelligent men of her age, Gaius Julius Caesar & Marcus Antonius.
The Doctor: No, he's already got a Queen. She's got plans of being his mistress.
Rose: Oh, I get it. Camilla.
Rose is alluding to the long term affair between Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker-Bowles that allegedly began before his marriage to Lady Diana Spencer and continued during the marriage and subsequent divorce. The two were eventually married in 2005.
Mickey: Are you looking at me?
Mickey acting as the tough guy echoes the famous phrase uttered by Robert De Niro in the 1976 film 'Taxi Driver'.
The Doctor: Later Madame d'Etoiles? Later still mistress of Louis the Fifteenth, uncrowned Queen of France?
Whilst it is true that Reinette gained the name Madame d'Etoiles due to her marriage to Charles Guillaume le Normand d'Etioles in 1741, the translation of her married name is 'Lady of the Stars', it is very apt then that not only had she often wished to see the stars but that The Doctor would offer her the opportunity.
The Doctor: Zeus plugs. Where are my Zeus plugs? I had them a minute ago, I was using them as castanets.
Zeus plugs were one of the tools the Fourth Doctor asked Sarah Jane Smith to hand to him while he repaired the TARDIS controls in her farewell scene at the end of 'The Hand of Fear'.
Rose: Oh, look at what the cat dragged in. The Oncoming Storm.
The Oncoming Storm is the Dalek name for the Doctor, as mentioned by him in 'The Parting of the Ways', however in this instance Rose is using it in a sarcastic way as the Doctor appears extremely drunk, and hardly a threat to anyone.
The shot of Reinette's funeral carriage departing the manor is a visual echo of a similar scene in the BBC production Casanova written by Russell T. Davies and starring David Tennant. In Casanova we observe the departure of his soulmate Henriette in a funeral carriage. Both scenes are set in similar time periods and feature a lonely coach receding into the distance down a long road between gateposts, as someone watches behind a multipaned window on an upper floor. The emotional heart of both these scenes is a sorrowful protagonist unable to stop the departure of a great love in their life.
Doctor (singing): I could have danced all night...
After attending the Yew Ball with Reinette (Madame de Pompadour) the Doctor channels Julie Andrews' performance as Eliza Doolittle from the musical My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe (1956). Both The Doctor and Eliza sing the song upon returning from a ball that was far more delightful than expected and opened their eyes to the love of another person.
The Doctor jumping through that time mirror, on horseback, appears to be a homage to similar scenes from two feature film fantasies.
John Neville, as the title character in Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and the extra who plays the armored knight that crashes his way into Little Kevin's bedroom at the beginning of Time Bandits.
The Doctor: You're my favourite, you are, you're the best! You know why? Coz you're so thick! You're Mr Thick Thick Thickity Thick Face from Thicktown, Thickania. And so's your dad!
This line is very much in the style of Black Adder. A common trait in the writing of that series was to repeat the same word, or derivations of it, both in names and descriptions to stress just how that word was appropriate thing or person being described.
For example -
Blackadder: We're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a sticky bun.
It is, however, more likely this is a reference to an episode of Coupling 'The Girl with One Heart', in which Sally tells Patrick's date she's "slim, slim, slimmity-slim from Slimtown, Slimania." as Steven Moffat, who wrote 'The Girl in the Fireplace' also created, and wrote all episodes for Coupling.
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