The Original Girl Who Waited
Posted April 14, 2013on:
I rewatched one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes the other night, “The Girl in the Fireplace”. In this episode, The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey arrive in an abandoned spaceship. The crew are nowhere to be found but an immense amount of energy is being expended to do, well, something. It’s discovered the different windows in the ship look into 18th century France and focus on the life of Reinette, soon be known as Madame de Pompadour.
When the Doctor first discovers the connection between the abandoned wreck and Reinette, she’s a little girl, maybe 7 years old, and she sees him through her fireplace. They talk a moment, the connection is broken, and a few minutes later the Doctor is able to speak to her again. It’s been just minutes for him, but for Reinette it’s been weeks. The Doctor saves her from a mechanical automaton that states it’s waiting for her to be completed.
The mystery of the episode is what happened to the crew of the ship? What’s with all these beautiful clockwork automatons who are planning to kill Reinette when she’s “complete”? And why in the world would a ship be obsessed with the life of Madame de Pompadour?
Every time The Doctor sees Reinette, she’s a little older. The windows in the ship each look out onto different times in her life. Her entire life passes by, and for the Doctor, it’s only a few hours. She understands his loneliness, how terrible it is for him to watch someone he cares for age at an accelerated rate, and have that person leave him behind. It’s terribly romantic. At one point he even tells her to “pack a bag”, because he’ll show her the universe. In another conversation she congratulates him as her imaginary friend who survived until adulthood. She even comes up with a few names for her strange be-suited imaginary friend, among them are “lonely angel” and close to the end of the episode she implores him to save her, practically demanding that he appear because she needs him.
I won’t spoil the end of the episode for those of you who haven’t seen it. it’s a stand alone episode, so you can watch it even if you know nothing about the Doctor Who universe.
But wait, all of this sounds familiar.
Meets her as a little girl, promises to return soon but it takes years, she thinks he’s an imaginary friend, and she’s able to force him to appear when she demands it?
Dearest Amy – You know I love you to pieces and you got to dance with The Doctor at your wedding and all, but in my mind Reinette will always be the original girl who waited.