Doctor Who #1021: Pompadour

"I am prey to loneliness."
TECHNICAL SPECS: Released on YouTube 6 May 2020.

We are privy to the thoughts of Madame de Pompadour.

REVIEW: Written by Stephen Moffat, with Sophia Myles reprising her role as (the voice of) Madame de Pompadour, as a tragic coda to The Girl in the Fireplace, this short looks like a clip-filled trailer for that well-remembered episode, but it's a bit more than that, I assure you. At first, you think you're listening to Reinette's thoughts, missing her Doctor, some time after the events of the story. But there's something wrong. Versailles is empty. And she wonders where the people have gone. And as the screen glitches, you quickly realize what's going on. These aren't Reinette's thoughts, but those of ship that scanned her mind and used it as Operating Software. The ship believes it IS Reinette, and is confused. At the lack of people, at the absence of senses. And it's (she's?) lonely. The Girl in the Fireplace had a sad ending, but this dumps another load of sad on top of it.

Cleverly, it also taps into the current quarantine. She misses the people. She looks for comfort in thoughts of Doctor Who. As we might, whether going along with the weekly global viewing parties these Lockdown shorts were designed to promote or not.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Clever clogs, classic Moffat, but also replete with the emotionalism of the RTD era. Best watched after The Girl in the Fireplace rather than before.



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