Doctor Who review
posted by GW Dan
Season 5 Episode 10 – Vincent and the Doctor
Starring: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Tony Curran
Spoilers follow so stop reading now if you haven’t seen the episode.
If not my favorite episode of season five so far, it’s damn close. This week we get another in what seems like a new tradition for this current group of showrunners (Davies, Moffat), a visit to an artistic genius with a wacky bit of sci-fi thrown in. Here we pay a visit to Vincent Van Gogh, played brilliantly by Tony Curran. The subilties he gives the character are nothing short of fantastic. He plays Van Gogh with an equally amazing amount of both unrelenting joy and unbelievable sadness. There is a scene about 7 minutes into the episode where The Doctor and Amy meet Vincent outside of a pub. It is in this scene where we get the first glimpse in to how Van Gogh was treated during his life. Broke and thirsty, Vincent tries to barter a drink with a free painting only to be turned away most decidedly. When The Doctor and Amy offer to pay for his drink, Vincent displays his prideful nature saying that he pays for his own drinks. After a bit of dialog we get to the heart of the matter. There is an unseen monster roaming the countryside killing townspeople. Van Gogh is blamed albeit without a drip of proof. The catch however is that Van Gogh is the only one who can see this monster and it is driving him crazy.
Matt Smith plays second fiddle to Tony Curran and Karen Gillan this week. They absolutely steal the episode with their interactions and character moments. Tony delivers a line about red headed children that is absolutely killer. Karen shines as an awe-struck Amy following her hero. Throughout the episode we experience the wonder of meeting a hero and having them inspire us all over again. As is so often the case with Doctor Who, it reminds us of what it is like to be filled with a sense of impossible wonder.
Where the episode stands out strongest however is in its final act. We have seen before the Doctor telling history’s greats that they will be remembered. David Tennant did a wonderful job with Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare as did Christopher Eccelston with Charles Dickens. Here however, instead of telling Van Gogh how he will be remembered, The Doctor shows him. In a scene that has the fantastic Bill Nighy playing a curator, he tells The Doctor and Amy his opinion of Van Gogh’s work. As we listen to the reasons Van Gogh is considered to be one of if not the greatest painter of all time, we see his reaction. The emotion on display is infectious. You cannot help but be caught up in the moment as Van Gogh hears what he, and the rest of us, truly wants to hear; that we are appreciated and loved for who we are and what we do. A simple message true, but no less important because of its simplicity.
Overall, you cannot ask for more from a TV show. Fantastic acting, great writing, emotional connections, and a monster you care about all add up to another brilliant episode in the saga of Doctor Who.
theGEEKwriters rating: 9/10