Terror lurks in the cornfields of Provence, but only a sad and lonely painter can see it. Amy Pond finds herself shoulder to shoulder with Vincent van Gogh, in a battle with a deadly alien.
Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh cut off his own ear on December 23, 1888. Even if, as some claims say, he only removed part of the lobe, some or all of his left ear should be missing during the time frame of this episode, June 1890.
Amy mentions that the Doctor took her to Arcadia. The planet Arcadia was featured in the New Adventures novel "Deceit", and the 'fall of Arcadia' was mentioned as one of the events of the Time War in "Doomsday".
When the Doctor tests his machine by scanning himself, the TARDIS' typewriter prints out a piece of paper with the faces of his first two incarnations on it.
Vincent Van Gogh: Hold my hand, Doctor. Try to see what I see. We're so lucky we're still alive to see this beautiful world. Look at the sky. It's not dark and black, without character. The black is in fact deep blue. And over there, lighter blue. And blue and through the blueness and the blackness, the wind swirling through the air. And then shining, burning, bursting through through the stars. And you see how they throw their light. Everywhere we look, complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.
The Doctor: I've seen many things, my friend, but you're right. Nothing... quite as wonderful as the things you see.
The Doctor: Between you and me, in a hundred words, where do you think Van Gogh rates in the history of art?
Mr. Black: Well... um... big question, but, to me Van Gogh is the finest painter in the world. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of color most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world's greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.
Amy: We didn't make a difference at all.
The Doctor: I wouldn't say that. The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Hey. (hugs Amy) The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.
Vincent Van Gogh: (after seeing the TARDIS interior) How come I'm the crazy one, and you two have stayed both sane?
The Doctor: Amy, only one thought. One simple instruction: Don't follow me under any circumstances.
Amy: I won't
(The Doctor enters the church)
Vincent Van Gogh: Will you follow him?
Amy: Of course!
Vincent Van Gogh: I love you.
The Doctor: I remember watching Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. Wow, what a whinger! I kept saying to him "Look, if you're scared of heights, you shouldn't have taken the job then." And Picasso, what a ghastly old goat! I kept telling him, "Concentrate, Pablo. It's one eye, either side of the face."
Amy: You do have a plan, don't you?
The Doctor: No, I have a thing. It's like a plan, but with more greatness.
Amy: I'm sorry you're so sad.
Vincent Van Gogh: I'm not. These moods torment me for weeks, for months, but I'm good now. If Amy Pond can soldier on, then so can Vincent Van Gogh.
Amy: I'm not "soldiering on". I'm fine.
Vincent Van Gogh: Oh, Amy. I hear the song of your sadness. You've lost someone, I think.
Amy: I'm not sad.
Vincent Van Gogh: Then why are you crying? It's alright. I understand.
Amy: I'm not sure I do.
Vincent van Gogh: It seems to me there's so much more to the world then the average eye is allowed to see. I believe, if you look hard, there are more wonders in this universe then you could ever have dreamed of.
The Doctor: You don't have to tell me.
On the episode's original airing, a voiceover promoted the BBC Action Line for anyone interested in the issues raised by the portrayal of Van Gogh's depression and suicide.
Featured Music: Chances (Athlete)
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