Vincent and the Doctor

28 September 2013

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As the time gets nearer to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the best TV show ever, Doctor Who (not that I am biased) I hope to share with you some of my fondest and most enduring memories of the show.  Above is one of them – and possibly my favorite moment of the revitalized version of the series.

Vincent and the Doctor is a very special episode, scripted by Richard Curtis.  I won’t go in to any great detail about the peripheral plot but needless to say it involves our time traveling hero and his feisty companion Amy meeting Vincent Van Gogh.  Once the ‘adventure’ is done the pair decide to take Vincent to contemporary Paris to show him that he and his art do indeed have a future after all (Van Gogh only ever sold one painting in his lifetime).  Alighting at the Musée d'Orsay, they approach the exhibition’s curator who waxes lyrical about the painter while Vincent listens to one side.

The result is one of the most moving pieces of television I have ever seen.  True, I know it’s all down to individual taste but I get bleary eyed every time I watch this.  One would like to believe this moment is true as Van Gogh has such a troubled life – but although it is only fiction if it still very moving: the performances by the show’s regulars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan with Tony Curran as Vincent with an (uncredited) appearance by Bill Nighy as the curator are standout.

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