Doctor Who

Season 5 Episode 10

Vincent and the Doctor

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 05, 2010 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
404 votes
  • Great ending

    It had a great ending, that's for sure. And that nearly bumped it up to an 8 for me. But between the monster's silliness, and the (I guess) slight underdevelopment of Van Gogh... something about the bulk of this episode just left me cold. (And, to quibble, it's another example of why you can't change history, because the ending sets up a paradox. Also, it's completely out of character for the Doctor, who would never risk setting up such a paradox... But oh well.
  • Vincent and the Doctor

    Vincent and the Doctor was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome, intriguing and touching. It was cool to see The Doctor and Amy visit a Van Gogh exhibit and then go meet the man himself. Their adventures in alien hunting was full of action and surprise. I liked how Amy and Vincent interacted. The ending was absolutely brilliant and made me feel all sorts of good feelings along with a touch of sadness. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • The most worthwhile use of a time machine ever

    The most worthwhile use of a time machine eve.

    The Doctor transports Vincent Van Gogh into the future and lets him learn first hand how much people will come to value his contribution to human civilization.

    Tony Curran, the actor who plays Van Gogh delivers a wonderfully moving performance.

    If anyone ever deserved to learn that he would be vindicated by history, it is Vincent Van Gogh.
  • Drawn-out and largely uninteresting

    This new Doctor has a knack of letting us down in the potentially biggest episodes.
    First there was the Churchill/Daleks episode which stank to high heaven, and now we have the Van Gogh episode largely wasted.
    The hunt for the strange animal was anything but exciting, with loads of mis-timed efforts, and all in all, it seemed to have been just thrown in there anyway.
    Van Gogh visiting his own museum was a good terjerking touch, but the whole ordeal of saying goodbyes was incredibly drawn out.
    Compare it to the Tenant episode with Shakespeare. See now?
    The best parallel that I could think of is that this was a Dr. Who episode for soccer moms in America. Please try not to repeat it.
  • Best one Yet.

    Best Episode of the season.
    I may be a bit biased as I have suffered in the past from chronic depression and this episodes touch was just magnificent.
    The actor, Tony Curran, who plays 9and looks like Van gogh) was amazing.
    The summary I had on the Webpage for the Arizona Doctor Who fan club:
    June 1890
    What kind of actual monster is lurking in the paintings of one of the human race's
    greatest and most tortured artists, Vincent Van Gogh.
    The Doctor wants to see for himself. The Krafayis though, is not so keen to be seen.

    A simpler, more character based episode, done magnificently!

    10 out of 10
  • This is one of my favorite episodes. I've always loved Vincent van Gogh's paintings, and to see him meet the Doctor is great. The visuals are stunning, and the story is poignant and stirring.

    I love the historical episodes, and wish there were more like this. Enough with the Daleks already! The Krafayis plot wasn't that interesting, but I loved the interaction between the characters, and the way they recreated the settings of some of van Gogh's most famous paintings.

    Spoilers: Is Vincent the first historical figure to travel in the TARDIS? I love that the Doctor actually takes Vincent through time to see how his work is received in the 21st century, and that though it didn't change his disease or his eventual death, it did make a difference and add some happiness to his life. It kind of makes me wish they had taken Vincent away in the TARDIS right before he killed himself, gotten him some proper medication, and looked after him. He could have seen and painted things from all over the Galaxy. If "for Amy" can appear in a sunflower painting, then they could make it look like he died, so history would still say he killed himself. This is what I love about Doctor Who--anything can happen.
  • This is the start of Matt Smith bringing a depth of character into the Doctor.

    Loved this episode... brought the usual humour, but also a depth and a caring of character into the Doctor. Love it! What The Doctor does for Vincent in this episode is wonderful - a caring ... that may not alter the events that were to occur, but made a difference to the man ... and his perception of life. Absolutely beautifully executed! Smart, funny, intelligent, and now with a reality of character befitting his 907 years! Well done to the writers, and well done to the cast in pulling it off... and making this the best season so far. Absolutely wonderful!
  • Under a full night sky two travellers walk the rounded cobblestones of a sleepy village. Ahead, framed in an orange glow, a small cafe springs to life. This night they undertake to solve the mystery of the beast that only an obscure Artist can see.

    Delving into the last years of Vincent Van Gogh's life this delightful addition to the new canon of Doctor Who is a true gem.

    Seen through the eyes of an artist this Doctor Who was a little, well, askew. Bridging the sometimes too wide a gap in these types of shows, Vincent and the Doctor allowed us an emotional and visual insight into a remarkable historical figure through Amy's instant bond with the postumously famous artist. In one scene, Vincent Van Goghs' art is brought to life in a magical way and is one of those on-screen moments that capture the essense of the story. Technically speaking, more elements regarding the structure of the new DW were subtly introduced in this episode. We've been given the hint since the series started that in this Whoniverse the Doctor doesn't necessarily take the leading role in solving problems - in fact - we are seeing a bumbling Doctor who isn't able to rely on any of his old tricks and a Doctor who prefers his companions to step up to the challenges and help him help us. Frankly, it is an overdue change - with the franchise stalling under the previous regime. And while the window into Van Goghs' life was wonderful i have to reiterate my desire for some other worldly action. An episode that leaves an impression.
  • Gets one point taken out for hammy use of music, nine given for the best writing yet this season.

    Ok, so it's filler. Who cares? It is one of those episodes that you throw in to pad the season a bit, to give characters some space after a traumatic event and before you ramp up to the season finale.

    The thing is, in Doctor Who, these are very often the highlight of the season. Cue generic Blink appreciation.

    Also, it's kind of an edutaiment episode. Most historical celebrities show up in Who in a playful manner, for fun and a mild history lesson. Using Van Gogh raises a few more issues, as the quintessential period of his life is... well, the bit just before he shoots himself. So yeah, treading lightly is a must.

    But, to its credit, the episode deals with it surprisingly in depth, without ever losing track of its characters to preach or teach. The weight of the issues also returns some of the gravitas to the show that I've been missing this season. People still die and things are still kind of serious, but something in the way the emotional payoff is delivered so far has been a bit too cynical, with a little too much postmodern emotional distance. The connection was much stronger this time.

    Sure, the monster was a blind giant invisible space chicken, they deface a painting with graffitti for the least subtle message through the ages ever and they go *there* and use a pop song for emotional impact in what amounts to a Baywatch montage. So not perfect, then. But close.

    Next season, I kind of hope they look at what they did here and take some lessons out of it. To begin with, that putting time and effort in the payoff of things... well, pays off and that it's important to show things happening when they happen, even if it's just a goofy man swinging a stick.
  • When they find one of the great Vincent Van Gogh's paintings containing a threat waiting back in the year before his final works, the Doctor and Amy head back in time to meet the man himself to keep him alive for the great works of art in the museum.

    Vincent and the Doctor. Sounds like a sitcom. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    The Doctor's alien 11th self is made more humanish in comparrison to the overly caffinated Vincent yelling about the colors. Yet, in the end the Doctor uses his telepathic powers to allow himself and Amy to breifly share Vincent's veiw of the world. As a reward for his bravery against the Krafays, the Doctor takes Vincent to 2010 to the museum his works of art are being displayed in thier own exibit, even asking Dr.Black to tell where Vincent stands in history. The positive things that he hears about himself, make Vincent extremely happy, even vowing to have a brighter outlook on life. Though this promise is not kept to to his vision of the Tardis blwoing up driving him mad, he dedicates his sunflower picture to Amy.
  • A beautiful and poetic episode.

    I love Vincent van Gogh's amazing work of art and this episode was a great homage to this wonderful painter and it even might become one of my favourite episodes of "Doctor Who" ever.

    The dialogues were plain amazing and intelligent. Some of them were pretty funny like when The Doctor told how he had tried to influence Picasso and some were so really moving, they made me cry. The way van Gogh's work was part of this episode was plain wonderful. I loved the awe Amy and The Doctor felt, when they saw all the paintings they had only seen and admired in museums before in his room. I loved, how they could show him, that his work, his contemporaries hadn't understood and hadn't been ready for, would be loved and appreciated in later times. One of the most moving scenes though was, when the three of them were laying underneath the sky and Amy and The Doctor could see it through van Gogh's eyes. Maybe this episode wasn't spectacular in a sense of action, but it was touching, it was poetic, it was funny, it was sad and it was a beautiful reminiscence of one of the most talented artists, this planet has ever seen and it was prove once more, that Matt Smith is a worthy Doctor and Karen Gillan a wonderful and great companion.
  • The Dr Who team were so busy getting the look right they relegated the story to the backseat.

    First off the bat I'll start by saying that the Art department deserve an award for the
    sets/lighting/location work etc for this episode - it truly is a stunning piece of work commited to film. Having said that I really can't justify giving it a 10 as the episode although well acted plot wise, it's a bit thin on the ground; the alien is in the main part the problem as it has no motivation for driving a story with Van Gogh forward. It kind of belongs to the Sarah Jane adventures. I'd liked to have seen the monster being linked to Van Goghs madness much like the monster in the film Forbidden Planet though this plot device has been used in Dr Who before (see Planet Of Evil.)

    The actor that played Van Gogh really looked the part though I think it was a bit disrespectful to Holland giving one of the greatest artist of the 19th C a Scottish accent. Its like if the Americans made a sci-fi story about Turner but gave him a Texan accent. Also, if the producers were going for authenticity where was the bandage on Van Goghs ear and how come there is no mention of meeting the Dr and Amy in Theos letters? I think it would have been better if Van Gogh thought Amy, the Doctor and the Alien were part of his own insanity so he never took them seriously after all he did used to swallow his poisonous paints in real life.

    The ending of this episode is a great moment and so well written and acted that it pulls on your heart strings. Van Gogh was one of the most unluckiest artists ever in that his genius was never recognised and told to him until after his tragic death and I'm glad that the Dr Who universe has given him this opportunity on screen.
  • Awesome and tearjerking episode

    Bit cheesy near the end but I wanted to write a review because of the two or three reviewers who gave this episode a bad rating. This episode is what Doctor Who is phenomenal for a bit like the Charles Dickens episode though in retrospect. The music was awesome, the acting was first rate and the tragedy of Vincent, a man who knew how important he would become would then instead still take his own life. A superb and heart felt ending. Steve Moffat thank you for not killing this show. P.S. I don't like his paintings at all, I think they are rubbish.
  • In Provence, the Doctor and Amy join forced with Vincent Van Gogh to fight an alien menace. Dull filler episode that tries too hard to be wacky...

    From the previews, I wasn't particularly excited about 'Vincent and the Doctor'. But, reading back my previous reviews, so many of them start along the lines of "I wasn't looking forward to... but was pleasantly surprised" that I hoped 'Vincent...' might turn out to be an unexpected gem. Sadly, by about ten minutes into this one, I realised that this was possibly the weakest instalment of (new) Series 5.

    Each new series often has a "filler" episode, and often at about this point in the run – well, here's this year's such example, and no mistake about it! They have done similar stories before (particularly meeting Shakespeare in Series 4's 'The Shakespeare Code') and, while I'm sure best intentions were there, should maybe have left it at that.

    I can get over Vincent's accent (I'm all for a bit of creative licence), but the plot of this one was just so THIN. It felt like an extended school's programme, with a half-hearted monster thrown in.

    I'm not sure if this was filmed early in production (bear in mind that episodes are filmed in a much different order that which they are broadcast), but I got the feeling that things were still in the "settling down" stage with this one, as if it was filmed earlier on. Even the usually reliable Matt Smith and Karen Gillan didn't feel on form with this one. If this had aired earlier in the season, I might have been marginally more forgiving, but by Episode 10, I would have hoped for something stronger.

    But by far the worst thing about this episode is the humour. Humour has always been a key ingredient of 'Doctor Who', but here they tried FAR too hard to make it "wacky", and it was painful to watch as a result.

    Vincent and Amy seem to have a nice relationship, but this is never really played upon enough to pay off. The only moment I really liked was as the Doctor, Amy and Vincent laid and gazed up at the stars – a welcome nice moment in an otherwise dud episode. And as someone who suffers from depression myself, I appreciated the points they attempted to make about it, but the nice metaphors about Vincent fighting a monster than no-one else could see were handled carelessly.

    The plot is painfully thin, with a terribly dragged out ending to make up the run time (complete with totally unnecessary "emotional ballad" – they could at least have gone for Don McClean's 'Vincent'!). With the forced humour, the unnecessary song and the general production, this one actually felt to me like a left-over from the Russell T. Davies era – and not in a good way!

    The episode is written by Richard Curtis. While I admire him as a writer... sorry Mr. Curtis, but I don't think 'Doctor Who' is quite the right area for you.

    I'm sure some with pick this episode out as an all-time classic – and in a way, I like that; it proves that 'Doctor Who' has something to suit all tastes – but this is definitely my least favourite episode of season 5 (and that's even allowing for the terribly mis-judged 'Victory of the Daleks').
  • Exceptional program with a great storyline.

    This is a program that proves that Doctor Who can be more than just a program with props, bangs and whooshes.

    Little real action, but a wonderful story with real feeling and a great story.

    Whilst visiting an art museum in France and admiring the Van Gogh exhibition, the Doctor spots something amiss in the church window of one of the great masters paintings. Realising that something is going on that is not as it should be, the Doctor and his completely gorgeous companion, travel back in time to meet the artist himself to find out what is going on.

    The new Doctor Who combo just gets better and better.
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