Director: Euros Lyn
Show Stars: David Tennant (The 10th Doctor (Season 2)), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
Recurring Role: Paul Kasey (Clockwork Man)
Guest Stars: Jonathan Hart (Alien Voices) , Jessica Atkins (Young Reinette) , Emily Joyce (Alien Voices) , Ellen Thomas (Clockwork Woman) , Gareth Wyn Griffiths (Manservant) , Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith) , Ben Turner (King Louis) , Sophia Myles (Reinette) , Angel Coulby (Katherine)
Production Code: NCFS088F
At the Curt of Versailles, masked party guests run in terror as shadowy creatures pursue them. Madame de Pompadour tells her lover King Louis XV that the clock is broken and the man she has been waiting for is coming, the only other man she has loved. She calls for the Doctor to help her.
3000 Years Later
The Doctor and Rose arrive on an abandoned space station with Mickey. The Doctor reveals they are in the Dagmar Cluster and investigates the computer banks, while determining the station’s power is going somewhere. He opens a door and finds an 18th century fireplace with a small girl on the other side. He talks to the girl, Reinette, who identifies herself as being in 1727. He then triggers a switch on the mantle that swivels it around with him, and he finds himself in Reinette’s bedroom.
She wakes up and mentions the last time they talked were months ago from her perspective. The Doctor notices a broken clock that is still ticking He determines the clock that is ticking is much larger and searches the room, looking under Reinette’s bed. A metal arm grabs at him and when he stands up he sees a masked figure on the other side of the bed, and realizes it’s been scanning her brain. The figure says she is incomplete and then advances on the Doctor, extending a clockwork mechanism from its hand. He backs into the mantle and triggers the return switch, and back with Rose and Mickey he grabs a fire extinguisher and freezes it.
Examining the creature, the Doctor determines it is a clockwork robot but before he can dissect it, it teleports away. The Doctor goes back through the fireplace to encounter a teenage Reinette while Mickey and Rose go to look for the escaped robot. Reinette talks about the Doctor as his imaginary childhood friend and marvels at how he hasn’t aged, then kisses him passionately before leaving. As a servant barges in, the Doctor realizes that Reinette is Madame de Pompadour, the “uncrowned Queen of France.” He goes back through the fireplace to find Mickey and Rose gone, and as he goes to find them he finds a saddled horse.
Mickey and Rose find an active security camera with a living eye in it, and then a living heart wired into circuitry in the wall. The Doctor goes back through the fireplace again and finds an older Reinette at the Court of Versailles. Reinette and her friend Catherine are talking about the King’s ill mistress and Reinette’s ambitions.
Mickey and Rose find a two-way mirror that lets them see into King Louis XV’s chambers. The Doctor returns with the horse and points out that the ship is “stalking” Reinette and explains her history as Madame de Pompadour. Another of the clockwork robots confronts Reinette in the past and the Doctor goes through and freezes it. The Doctor suggests Reinette question it and it responds, explaining that the ship had an 82% system failure and lacked the part to repair. The Doctor realizes the ship used the crew to repair itself as best it could. The robot says one more part is required and identifies Reinette, but says she is “incomplete.” The robot says it and Reinette are “the same” and tells it to go away. It teleports away and the Doctor sends Mickey and Rose back through the mirror-portal. He then links his mind with hers. In the future, the robots attack and sedate Mickey and Rose.
The Doctor begins to probe Reinette’s mind while she is able to see into his memories and wonders at his loneliness. She asks him to dance with her and when he refuses, she says it is time for him to grow up.
Rose and Mickey wake up strapped to operation tables with the robots standing over them. Rose warns the robots about the Doctor but they’re interrupted when the Doctor arrives, drunk and recently returned from a party. He says that since the ship is 37 years old, the ship is waiting until Reinette is 37 years old so her brain will be compatible. The Doctor still doesn’t know why they knew Reinette. He deactivates one of the robots with his drink, which is actually multi-grain anti-oil, then deactivates the other robots from a control panel and frees Rose and Mickey. The Doctor tries to close the window but realizes there is still one robot out there. The other robots reactivate when the remaining one says Reinette is ready, then teleport away.
Rose goes to warn Reinette at the age of 32 and tries to explain the concept of time travel, then passes on the Doctor’s advice for Reinette to keep talking with the robots to talk to her. Mickey calls back Rose once they’ve found the right window, and Reinette follows them through the portal onto the ship. She hears the screams from her future five years hence and her future self calling out to the Doctor. There’s a problem and Mickey goes to check it out while Rose returns Reinette back through the portal.
At the point where the robots are attacking the party as Reinette is 37, the robots enter the room as she calls out for the Doctor without response. The robots close in on the guests while the others takes Reinette and Louis XV close to the portal so they can teleport. The robots have sealed the time portal so the Doctor can’t gain entrance. It will take something massive to smash through the portals, and smashing one will destroy all the others.
Reinette reassures the guests and refuses to go to the future with the robots. She assures them that just as they are her nightmare returned, the Doctor will return as their nightmare. The Doctor rides through the portal aboard the horse, destroying all the portals.
While Rose and Mickey realize there’s no return for the Doctor, in the past he tells the robots they can’t teleport back, cut off from the ship. He tells them it’s over and they all wind down, giving up since they lack a purpose. Reinette comforts the Doctor now that he is unable to travel through time. She shows him the fireplace from her childhood bedroom, which she had brought to Versailles. Since it was off-line when the other portals broke, the Doctor realizes he can use it. He finds a loose connection and manages to activate it, going back to the future. He looks through the fireplace and asks her to come with him. She goes to the window to pick a star as he tells Rose and Mickey to prepare to leave.
The Doctor goes back through the portal to meet Louis XV, who gives him a letter from Reinette. The King then says that it is six years later and Reinette has just died. They look on as her funeral carriage takes her away and the Doctor pockets the letter and leaves.
Back in the future, they prepare to depart and Rose wonders why the ship fixated on Reinette. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to close the portals as Rose and Mickey wonder if he’s okay. He says he’s fine and then reads the letter, with Reinette saying how she hoped the Doctor would return as she weakened. As the TARDIS leaves, aboard the ship is seen a portrait of Reinette, and it bears the name SS Madame De Pompadour.