Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Girl In The Fireplace

Unlike The Appalling Strangeness I am not a Doctor Who encyclopaedia, although the show has been with me for most of my life.

Rather than single out a particular Doctor (although I guess that the Fourth was "mine"), through the last few series of the re-booted outings (barring, oddly (and disappointingly), the last) I would cite Steven Moffat's stories as being exceptional.

Since it is being repeated (again) on iPlayer, I watched The Girl In The Fireplace (again); it's a story that I love because, despite the occasional logical flaws, I feel completely caught up in the emotion of it.

And it makes me weep like a small child.

Many reviews have cited various points which made them feel emotional, but no one seems to have pointed out my bit—the one that really clutches at me.

For me, it is the point at which the Doctor realises that the fireplace still links with the spaceship, 3000 years in the future: as he flicks the switch to activate the portal, he cries, "wish me luck!"

And Madame de Pompadour looks at him (at us) in desperation and, with a crack in her voice, simply says:

It's like any time that you have had to say goodbye to someone you love, knowing—somehow—that the relationship is done, or fundamentally changing: that something has been lost and, whilst you know that it must happen you wish that it would not. A last desperate cry to try to change an inevitable event which you wish—with all your heart—was not fixed.

And it gets me every time...


Not a sheep said...

The Girl in the Fireplace is an episode that has grown on me on repeat watchings. It is now up there as one of my favourites. One of the things that I like about Stephen Moffat's writing is that, generally, he does not treat viewers as idiots; he lets them try and work what is happening rather than spoon-feeding them.

My Doctor is a combination of 3 & 4. I wonder if one's favourite Doctor is a good age approximator?

Simon said...

Yeah #4 was my first Doctor.

The one thing that I didn't like about Rusty's tenure is that the emotions were laid on with a trowel, something that hasn't happened with the Moff's, Curtis' Van Gogh aside, although for others that has been a problem for them -each to their own!

@ Sheep - funnily enough I used to approximate people's ages by asking who their Doctor was.

Not a sheep said...

Simon, so I estimate that you are a year or so younger than me, I'll go with 43...

Lost in Devon said...

That episode instantly stood out as one of the best and here's two words why:

Sophia Myles


Carps said...

I've barely caught any of the relaunched Doctor Who (who will always, in my heart, be Tom Baker) but I did see this episode and thought it an incredible piece of populist TV. Although I didn't cry.

Good shout :)

Roger Thornhill said...

I remember the end of 2 and the regeneration to 3, on to 4 and some of 5, who, it must be said, had the best regeneration scene of all to 6, but for reasons that I can't quite put my finger on* . 2, 3 and 4 were great in their own ways and all reflected their time.

This episode was very good. My emotional focal point was the black carriage, but the event was the same - the loss, the departure and the yearning to not have it so, being left behind. Being left behind, and leaving behind, has, rightly IMHO, been given more prominence since the recent return.

p.s. I do think Amy Pond is the best companion of the new batch. For a start we are not tortured by Estuary English from Billy "dislocated jawbone" Piper and godawful Cafe-Ring Tight.

* Worst luck. Nicola Bryant looks better today than ever IMHO.

Not a sheep said...

Roger: I think you might appreciate a trip to for some Nicola Bryant. Although for me it has to be Jo Grant/Katy Manning. The above link will also take you to the infamous nudity and the dalek photos!