“Cos Russell told me to, the black-hearted swine. He thought, ‘Big frocks, big hair—let’s give it to the show’s token straight for a laugh.’ He gets bored in Cardiff, you know. The brief was just an e-mail, assuring me that he’d want me back for Series Two, and asking if I had any interest in Madame de Pompadour and a clockwork man… which I didn’t, really. But I’m a professional, me. Being honest, I wasn’t all that sure who Madame de Pompadour was. Could’ve been Hitler’s mistress for all I knew. Or Hitler.
So I thought it might be interesting to make the Madame, and her life, and her extraordinary charm and personality, and her relationship with the Doctor, central to the story—not just a bit of colour between monster attacks. She’s one of the most learned, accomplished, beautiful, funny, brilliant women who ever lived. And as sexy as any other 12 women. And trained since birth—trained, educated, practically brainwashed—to be the King’s mistress. Think about that. She’s trained since early childhood to be the perfect consort to a raging egomaniac… and then she meets the Doctor! Honestly, some relationships just write themselves.”
Steven Moffat on the question, “So where did the idea come from? Why Madame de Pompadour?" | DWM Issue 369