The Doctor strolls away, still chatty. (One theatre in the Seven Years' War, for which Reinette was popularly blamed -- you say "Hillary," I think "Eleanor," women who were so offensively smart and canny that they were accused of keeping their husbands' dicks in plastic jars backlit with halogen, instead of being appreciated for adding to the sum total of wisdom or perspective in a world that needs all of both it can fucking get -- was the Pomeranian War. Which is what Ten reminds me of, a lot of the time.) "Do you know what they were scanning Reinette's brain for? Her milometer," he giggles. "They wanna know how old she is. Know why? 'Cause this ship is thirty-seven years old. And they think that when Reinette is thirty-seven, when she's complete, then her brain will be compatible. So, that's what you're missing, isn't it? Hmm? Command circuit. Your computer. Your ship needs a brain. And for some reason -- God knows what -- only the brain of Madame de Pompadour will do." We are the same. "The brain is compatible," says one of the tick-tocks the Doctor's nattering at. "'Compatible'? If you believe that, you probably believe this is a glass of wine." He pours his glass into the beast's clockwork, ripping off its mask and wig and then replacing it when he's done. The clockwork winds down, and Rose leans back again, this time in relief. The Doctor's eyes instantly clear to their normal sparkly bad-ass setting: "Multigrain anti-oil. If it moves, it doesn't." He shuts down the rest of them with some fast lever work, and releases his Companions with the screwdriver. They slide down the tables onto the floor. "Time we got the rest of the ship turned off," says the Doctor. Mickey asks if the tick-tocks are safe now, and the Doctor pushes the necktie down and the sunglasses up and it's like the sun coming out from behind a cloud of multigrain anti-sexy. "Yep. Safe. Safe and thick. Way I like them. Okay, all the time windows are controlled from here. I need to close them all down. Zeus plugs. Where are my Zeus plugs? I had them a minute ago, I was using them as castanets." The difference between giddy and manic is sometimes hard to see when daiquiris get involved. Well, rum drinks, I should say, since daiquiris are disgusting.
"Why didn't they just open a time window to when she was thirty-seven?" asks Rose, but what she means is, "It is deadly important that I find out what makes her so damned special." "With the amount of damage to these circuits, they'll be lucky to hit the right century," says the Doctor. "Trial and error after that," but what he means is, "It's a zig-zag overcorrection. It's what the Bad Wolf teaches us: that the slow path is the way this girl, who is a ship -- and any other girls who might be listening -- gets to the end of the game. There aren't any shortcuts and there aren't any second chances." The Doctor tries to close the windows, and cannot -- and a strange pinging sound comes over the system. "Incoming message?" (That's lazy screenplay editing, because it sets up a false resonance with the "Oncoming Storm" bit that shouldn't be there.) "From who?" Mickey [sic]s. From a field clockwork -- one of them is out there, in France, with Reinette, so he can't close the gates due to an override. As the Doctor's figuring out/explaining this, one of the automatons comes alive and drools its wine out of its works and onto the Doctor's shoe. "Well, that was a bit clever," the Doctor admits, and the clockworks come to life again. The Doctor skillfully notes the Jossish fact that "many things about this are not good," and confronts a clockwork directly: "Message from one of your little friends? Anything interesting?" If you like her, yeah. "She is complete. It begins." They all teleport out. "One of them must've found the right time window, and now it's time to send in the troops. And this time they're bringing back her head."