Madame de Pompadour, Reinette
Place of origin:
The Girl in the Fireplace
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Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson (1721–1764), often known as Reinette or Madame de Pompadour, was a member of the French court and the official chief mistress of King Louis XV of France. She was visited throughout her life by the Tenth Doctor.
In her life she was, according to the Doctor, an “actress, artist, musician, dancer, courtesan, fantastic gardener!” To Rose’s surprise, Reinette actually got along well with her lover’s real wife; “France, it’s a different planet” the Doctor would quip.
The Tenth Doctor met Reinette several times in her life as a result of time manipulation by the Clockwork Droids and developed a romantic relationship with her. She called the Doctor “my lonely angel.” Using his Time Lord abilities, he examined Reinette’s mind to look at her past experiences. It was not long before the Doctor realised that Reinette was also using this opportunity to gaze within the Doctor‘s mind at his lonely childhood. When he asked Reinette how she managed that, she said that “a door once opened may be stepped through in either direction.”
When the Doctor was stranded in the 18th century, she showed him a way back to his original time. The Doctor invited her to travel with him but, due to the time differential, she died before she could do so.
In the 51st century, the starship SS Madame de Pompadour was named after her. Reinette herself briefly set foot upon the vessel when she stepped through one of the time windows that had been created on the vessel. (The Girl in the Fireplace)
Reinette is unintentionally referenced by Joan Redfern, when she comments on how John Smith’s journal has ‘a girl in every fireplace’. (Human Nature)
Reinette demonstrated intelligence and an open-minded nature in her thinking, accepting both the futuristic world and the fact of the Doctor‘s non-human nature. She also showed amazing courage. Instead of running away, she defied the Clockwork Droids and stood up to them, even at blade-point, insisting thatthe Doctor would come.
Reinette further had great compassion for the Doctor, pitying him for his loneliness. She and the Doctor shared a strong romantic connection with each other. (The Girl in the Fireplace)
Letter to the Doctor
My dear Doctor: the path has never seemed more slow, and yet I fear I am nearing its end. Reason tells me that you and I are unlikely to meet again, but I think I shall not listen to reason. I have seen the world inside your head and know that all things are possible. Hurry though, my love: my days grow shorter now, and I am so very weak. Godspeed, my lonely angel.
When River Song met the Eighth Doctor‘s companion Helen Sinclair, she advised Helen to have the Doctor take her to Versailles at some point, but advised her to have him avoid meeting Madame de Pompadour, as it would make things complicated. (The Doomsday Chronometer)
Behind the scenes