Doctor: David Tennant (Tenth Doctor)
Companions: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith)
Sophia Myles – Reinette
Ben Turner – King Louis
Jessica Atkins – Young Reinette
Angel Coulby – Katherine
Gareth Wyn Griffiths – Manservant
Paul Kasey – Clockwork Man
Ellen Thomas – Clockwork Woman
Directed by Euros Lyn
Written by Steven Moffat
Script editor Helen Raynor
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Production code 2.4
Series Series 2
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 6 May 2006
The TARDIS materialises on a seemingly derelict spaceship drifting in space. The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey explore the ship and are puzzled to find an eighteenth-century French fireplace. When he looks through the fireplace, the Doctor sees a young girl and asks who she is. She replies that her name is Reinette and that she lives in Paris in 1727. The Doctor deduces that the fireplace is a time window, a device that allows direct access to another time and place. The Doctor steps through the time window and arrives in Reinette's bedroom only to find that months have passed there. He discovers a ticking humanoid wearing eighteenth century clothing and a jester's mask hiding under Reinette's bed. After it threatens him with a saw-like device that slides out of its arm, the Doctor tricks the creature into returning through the time window to the spacecraft, where he and his companions learn that it is actually an intricate clockwork android. The android teleports away, and the Doctor warns Mickey and Rose not to go looking for it. The Doctor returns to Reinette's bedroom while Mickey and Rose arm themselves and go looking for the android. While trying to find Rose and Mickey, the Doctor discovers a horse that stepped through a time window, who he later names Arthur. Returning to Reinette's bedroom, the Doctor discovers that she is now a young woman. She flirts with the Doctor and they kiss, before she leaves to join her mother. The Doctor then realises that she is Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV.
Back on the ship, the Doctor and his companions find several additional time windows and learn that each leads to a different moment in Madame de Pompadour's life. In one of them, the Doctor sees another clockwork creature menacing her and steps through the window to defend her. The Doctor tells Reinette to give the android orders, and it obeys her. It tells her that it is a repair android and that their spaceship was damaged in an ion storm. The androids did not have the parts necessary to repair the ship and killed the crew to use their organs for parts. The androids need one last part; Reinette's brain. Confused, the Doctor creates a telepathic link with Reinette, but is startled to find that she can also see into his mind. The androids capture Rose and Mickey and are about to harvest them for parts when the Doctor rescues them. The Doctor discovers that the androids plan to open a time window to Reinette's life at the age of 37, believing that her brain at that age will be compatible with the ship's systems. The clockwork androids appear at a costume ball and take Reinette and her guests hostage. At one end of the room is an enormous mirror, which is actually a time window. The Doctor and his companions can see through it, but they cannot enter without smashing the window and breaking the connection as the androids locked it after the Doctor's previous interruptions.
The androids threaten to decapitate Reinette, but the Doctor on Arthur crashes through the mirror to save her. The androids give up and shut down when the Doctor tells them that they now cannot return to their ship to finish the repairs. Reinette tells the Doctor that she had her fireplace moved to Versailles in the hope that he would return. The Doctor finds that the fireplace is still an operating time window and uses it to return to the spaceship. He tells Reinette to pack a bag and prepare to leave. The Doctor returns to the fireplace seconds later but discovers that seven years have passed in Reinette's time. King Louis XV finds the Doctor, tells him that Reinette has died and gives him a letter in which Reinette expresses her hopes for the Doctor's quick return and confesses her love for him. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS and watches the time windows close before leaving the ship. The TARDIS crew muse about the reasons the androids wanted Madame de Pompadour's brain to complete their repairs, and the Doctor conjectures that the ship's memory banks were damaged by the ion storm. When the TARDIS dematerializes, a portrait can be seen stating the birth and death date of Madame de Pompadour. As the episode ends, the lifeless ship drifts through space; its name is SS Madame de Pompadour.