One of the more surprising elements of the “Doctor Who” Season 8 premiere was how served as almost a sequel to one of the better episodes of David Tennant’s run in the lead role. “The Girl in the Fireplace,” episode 5 of Season 2, featured the Doctor, Rose and Mickey battling clockwork robots who were harvesting human parts to repair their ship. Specifically, they needed the brain of Madame de Pompadour of 18th century France.
Likewise, in the Season 8 premiere “Deep Breath,” the Doctor encountered machines keeping themselves alive by swapping out their parts with ones they take from citizens in Victorian era London. Eventually, the viewers learn these clockwork robots are from a sister ship to the one featured in “The Girl in the Fireplace.”
Linking the episodes together came in a premiere that went great lengths to honor the show’s past, even in little ways like complaining there aren’t enough “round things on the walls” and hating the idea of a scarf. With both episodes penned by Steven Moffat, it makes sense that “The Girl in the Fireplace” is the one he’d choose as inspiration for his new Doctor’s introduction and it worked wonderfully. If only he could have thrown in a little jab at Mickey.
While the Doctor, newly regenerated into Peter Capaldi, may have some trouble remembering the specifics, it’s easy for you to relive the episode again. “The Girl in the Fireplace” can be streamed on both Netflix and Hulu. You could also just watch the clip before of the Doctor doing his thing a few times.