Just when I’m thinking to myself how great it was to see an emotional plot line within the School Reunion episode, I continue on to watch The Girl in the Fireplace and realize that the bar was pushed even higher with this episode than on the last.
While in School Reunion you are shown some of the emotional downfall of traveling with the Doctor, The Girl in the Fireplace dared to get even more vulnerable and express love. The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey find themselves on a ship 3,000 years in the future. Soon after boarding the ship the Doctor discovers time windows between the ship and 18th century France. He also finds a girl on the other side named Reinette who is in fact Madame de Pompadour, and is in danger from clockwork androids.
Each time the Doctor crosses over to Reinette, months or years have passed in her time, while only a few minutes apart for the Doctor. He looks into her mind, and she in turn looks into his. They uncover each other’s secrets, and eventually fall in love. Ultimately, the Doctor saves Madame de Pompadour and asks her to pack a bag, look into the sky and pick which star she would like to travel to. However, when he returns through the fireplace for her, six years have passed and she is dead. She left him a note, in which she refers to him as her love and her lonely angel.
The Doctor is left broken hearted, and is shown in a most vulnerable state, all of which seems to be a little hard for Rose to take in. Perhaps she is upset seeing him so clearly love someone that was not her.
I was already informed that season 2 would hook me in stronger than season 1. But I did not expect to see this type of emotion so delicately expressed in a science fiction show. If is this is any indication of the direction that the writers took the show, then I am beyond enthusiastic to watch more.