Doctor Who

Series 5 - 10. Vincent and the Doctor

Radio Times
Review by:
Patrick Mulkern

Every so often Doctor Who tells a story that only Doctor Who could tell. Vincent and the Doctor takes all that is best about the format - time-bending, reality-blending, optimism and joie de vivre - and gives it an artful, arty twist. 

A virgin on Who but a master of historical sitcom, romcom and occasional purveyor of schmaltz, Richard Curtis knows exactly what he's doing here. 

He's immersed himself in Van Gogh and taken excusable liberties to sketch his storyboard in broad strokes. Academics will spot anachronisms (even I can tell you Van Gogh was painting sunflowers before 1890), but surely none can grumble at Curtis's mission to touch the hearts of viewers, especially children, with the story of a troubled genius unappreciated in his own lifetime. 

When the Doctor and Amy join hands with Vincent, lying on the grass, to share his vision of the Starry Sky, Curtis gives us one of the most magical moments ever in Doctor Who. And I normally can't abide the tics and mannerisms of Bill Nighy, but the curator's panegyric on Van Gogh - in the artist's own hearing - had me in tears. 

Vincent and the Doctor may not be a masterpiece but we're undoubtedly watching artists at work.

About this programme

10/13. The Time Lord and Amy travel to 19th-century Provence, where they join forces with Vincent Van Gogh to battle an alien only he can see. As well as combating the terrors that lurk in the cornfields, they try to restore the sad and lonely painter's happiness. Written by Richard Curtis (Love Actually) and guest starring Tony Curran (This Life) alongside Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.

Cast and crew

Cast

The Doctor
Matt Smith
Amy Pond
Karen Gillan
Vincent
Tony Curran
Maurice
Nik Howden
Mother
Chrissie Cotterill
Waitress
Sarah Counsell
Schoolchild
Morgan Overton
Schoolchild
Andrew Byrne

Crew

Director
Jonny Campbell
Executive Producer
Steven Moffat
Producer
Tracie Simpson
Producer
Patrick Schweitzer
Writer
Richard Curtis
Categories
Drama

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