Sunday, June 6, 2010

Doctor Who Series 31 Vincent & the Doctor

The Doctor has taken Amy to the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, where they admire the work of the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. As the art expert Dr Black tells his tour group about van Gogh's work, Amy thanks the Doctor for bringing her there, and wonders why he's taken her to a series of amazing places. In The Church at Auvers, the Doctor points out a seemingly alien figure that appears in one of the windows. Disturbed, the Doctor decides they must travel back in time so they can speak to Van Gogh himself.
In 1890, they manage to track down Van Gogh at a local café where the artist never pays for his drinks and has earned a bad reputation. The Doctor attempts to break the ice, but the distrustful artist rebuffs him angrily. Amy, however, ingratiates herself to him very quickly since he thinks her "cute", and thanks to her offer to share a bottle of wine with him. Over wine, the Doctor clumsily broaches the subject of the church painting, but the trio is interrupted when a woman wails for help. They rush into the alleyway to find a young girl dead, ravaged by some sort of beast, and her anguished mother blames van Gogh's madness for her daughter's fate. Pelted with stones, they run from the small crowd, and Vincent tells the Doctor that a similar murder occurred a week prior.

They leave for Vincent's home, where Amy and the Doctor are allowed to stay the night. The small home is cluttered with paintings that the artist sadly considers worthless to anyone but himself. However, in spite of his poor sense of self-worth, he believes the universe is filled with more wonders than one could imagine. Later, Amy is attacked outside by a creature only Vincent can see. The Doctor attempts to help, but is knocked about by the invisible creature. Vincent, however, drives it off and saves them both. Back inside, Vincent sketches the creature for the Doctor, and the Doctor goes back to the TARDIS to fetch a device that allows him to identify the creature as a Krafayis, a vicious pack-predator that has been abandoned on Earth.

Vincent promises to help them stop it, but when the Doctor assures him that after that they'll be out of his hair, he shuts himself in his bedroom and breaks down in tears. The Doctor approaches him and Vincent tells him that everyone leaves him in the end, forgotten and hopeless. The Doctor attempts to empathise, but Vincent becomes furious and orders him to go. Frustrated and saddened for the man, the Doctor tells Amy they are leaving, but will first have to defeat the creature on their own. As they gather their things and prepare to depart, Vincent appears; his mood has shifted and he's determined to assist them.

As they walk to the church, Vincent tells Amy that if she can "soldier on, then so can Vincent van Gogh." and goes on to say that he can hear her sadness and loss, something she herself cannot detect. On the way, the funeral procession for the dead village girl moves down the road, and the trio stop and pay their respects briefly before continuing on, and Vincent looks back upon the sunflowers that lay atop her casket. When they reach the church, Vincent begins to paint, stopping occasionally to quieten the Doctor, who is bored by the long wait. Hours later, the artist spots the beast inside, lurking past a window. The Doctor plans to stun the creature with his sonic screwdriver, and tells Vincent and Amy to remain outside and not to follow him. Amy agrees, but when the Doctor is gone, Vincent asks her if she'll follow, and she replies, "Of course."
Cafe Terrace at Night - The café in Arles where the Doctor and Amy meet Vincent

Inside, the Doctor finds his plan a difficult one to execute, and from outside Vincent spies the creature stalking the Doctor instead. Amy dashes inside, and the pair are forced to hide inside a confessional. They are saved by Vincent, who fends off the creature with his chair, allowing the three of them to retreat and hide. The Doctor attempts to reason with the creature, but fails. Vincent describes the creature's actions, explaining that it is feeling its way around the room. The Doctor realises that the Krafayis is blind, and that's why it was left behind. It finally charges, and Vincent attempts to repel it with his easel, but the creature impales itself—something that the artist did not intend. As the Krafayis lays dying, the Doctor detects that the creature is afraid, and he strokes and comforts it as best he can as it breathes its last. Vincent sadly observes that the frightened, lonely creature had been lashing out in fear and frustration, the way that humans do when they are afraid, the way the villagers sometimes lash out at him.

Outside, the three of them lay down in the grass and look up at the sky, and Vincent describes the world he sees: a night sky that is deep blue, not black, framed by swirling air, a canvas for the shining stars above. Finally able to see through Vincent's eyes, the Doctor says he's never seen anything quite as wonderful. Holding their hands, Vincent says, "I will miss you terribly."


* Matt Smith (Eleventh Doctor)


* Karen Gillan (Amy Pond)

Guest stars

* Tony Curran – Vincent
* Bill Nighy – Dr Black
* Nik Howden – Maurice
* Chrissie Cotterill – Mother
* Sarah Counsell – Waitress
* Morgan Overton, Andrew Byrne – School Children

Writer Richard Curtis
Director Jonny Cambell
Script editor

* Emma Freud
* Brian Minchin


* Tracie Simpson
* Patrick Schweitzer

Executive producer(s)

* Steven Moffat
* Piers Wenger
* Beth Willis

Production code 1.10
Series Series 5
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast June 5, 2010

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