Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
In his time-and-space machine the TARDIS, Doctor Who (David Tennant)
takes Rose (Billie Piper) and her boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke) to a
spaceship in the 51st century - only to find it devoid of any crew (living
crew that is) ... but what's even more interesting is that they also find
an 18th century mantlepiece on the spaceship, with actually a fire
burning. And as if that wasn't surprising enough, the mantlepiece actually
connects the 51st century spaceship to 18th century France, to the bedroom
of little Reinette (Jessica Atkins). The Doctor walks through the time
portal, and it dopesn't takelong before he saves the girl from a clockwork
robot. Back on the spaceship, the Doctor makes some startling discoveries:
First off, the spaceship seems to be connected to 18th century France
via several time portals, and all seem to be connected to different
periods in Reinette's life - Reinette, who will, once grown up become
Madame de Pompadour (and be played by Sophia Myles), lover ofm French King
Louis XV (Ben Turner), and it seems the clockwork robots are for some
reason after her, but insist that she's not yet complete ...
Secondly though, and even more startingly, the Doctor also learns that
the clockwork robots are the spaceship's repair robots, who have, once
they have run out of spareparts, salvaged the human crew to keep the ship
going, and now for some reason they need Reinette's/Madame de Popmadour's
brain aged 37 to finish repairs of the ship.
The Doctor goes back in history once more to warn Reinette, but the two
before long fall in love ... while back on the spaceship, Rose and Mickey
are captured and almost killed by the clockwork robots, and the Doctor can
save them only in the nick of time, and oddly enough he brings a horse
Finally, Reinette is 37, and the clockwork robots attack. The Doctor
sees it all through a two-way-mirror, which he ultimately has to smash
using the horse - but by smashing the mirror he destroys the link between
18th century France and the 51st century ... and thus traps the robots
outside of their timeframe, and since they can't bring Reinette back to
the ship, the Doctor also makes their mission obsolete. Before long, the
robots seize to functiion - but the Doctor, it seems is trapped as well -
until Reinette shows him her old fireplace that should theoretically still
function as a time portal.
The Doctor is enthusiastic and offers Reinette to take her with him
(since Rose can bring her boyfriend, why shouldn't he bring his
girlfriend), but then he leaves her alone in her time for a few minutes,
and when he comes back, he has to find out that on her end of the portal,
it's already 6 years later and Reinette has just died.
Heartbroken, the Doctor returns to his companions and to the TARDIS,
claiming that he will probably never find out why the clockwork robots, of
all people, wanted to salvage Reinette for their repairs ... but the final
shot of the spaceship reveals to the audience that the ship is actually
called the SS Madame de Pompadour.
This is Doctor Who at its best: The plot is incredibly
silly, but witty and stringent storytelling, mildly macabre ideas (like
the spaceship made out of human spare parts), unusual villains (the retro
and quite beautiful clockwork robots), and reliance on story and dialogue
rather than interchangeable action setpieces make this work ... not only
work, all this even makes up for a cheesy lovestory (generally
speaking not a good idea within the series), which is interwoven into the
main story rather than tacked on.
Actually one of the best episodes of the new Doctor Who-series.