W.T.F. is ‘Doctor Who’?: first four episodes you need to start

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Clockwork Person and Rose, “Girl in the Fireplace”

“The Girl in the Fireplace” Season 2, episode 5

“Have you met the French? My GOD, they know how to party.” – The Doctor

Much like ‘Blink,’ this episode relies heavily on playing with time travel.

If time travel is something you generally have a hard time wrapping your head around, this is a good story to witness. It lays it out for you simply and talks you through it every step of the way, so don’t despair.

We start on a spaceship in the 51st century–a spaceship that happens to have time windows to the 18th century all over it, like portals that follow the life of one particular French aristocrat nicknamed Madame de Pompadour.

This is a fantastic episode to show you how the Doctor sometimes works separately from his companions; in this episode, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and her friend, Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) .


Rose has been traveling with the Doctor since season one, episode one by this point, so she’s able to show Mickey the ropes. Rose understands the culture of life with the Doctor, and Mickey understands the danger, which we see when Reinette drops the real truth here:


As the Doctor runs around figuring out what’s going on in the 18th century, on the spaceship side of the time windows, Mickey and Rose explore.

The companions are important to Doctor Who, as I’ve told you in here. They keep him grounded, keep him thinking. They present arguments and open his ancient, brilliant mind to what he would never think possible.

This was the episode when I fell in love with the Doctor in a romantic way. David Tennant brings such charm to the Doctor; he can be such a flirt. There is a kiss that I barely wish to give away here because it is well worth the viewing. (That kiss! I’ve had dreams about that kiss…)

But that kiss instigates a Doctor Pattern: he is stunned into silence and then, Boom!–epiphany! He realizes who she is and launches into one of his notorious quick-speaking monologues, see it here:

Favorite Line:

"Mickey: What’s a horse doing on a spaceship? The Doctor: Mickey! What’s pre-revolutionary France doing on a spaceship? Gain a little perspective."

Things we learn about the Doctor in this episode:

The TARDIS translates for you, even French! 

The Doctor is a force to be reckoned with:

He can do a sort of Vulcan mind-mind type trick: