June 28th, 2010


Doctor Who: "Vincent and the Doctor"

A truly excellent episode; maybe the best of the season so far. If this keeps up, the second half of the season will shape up to be much better than the first.

Sure, it had a giant invisible chicken and a steampunky harness-mirror device that served no real purpose other than some broad physical comedy (and a welcome opportunity to see William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton again), but "Vincent and the Doctor" strikes me as one of the few episodes this season where the writing stayed uniformly sharp and the emotions didn't seem forced.

Once again Amy doesn't get to do much, but her personality comes through in spades. In a way, she's the story's emotional anchor. Tony Curran was outstanding in his portrayal of tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh, and big kudos are due to Black Adder scribe Richard Curtis for writing a story that understands that clinical depression isn't something that can be cured just by having a few good days.

And of course Bill Nighy as the museum tour guide. Awesome. It reminded me of John Cleese and Eleanor Bron's art gallery cameo in the 1979 serial "City of Death"--which, incidentally, also features the Doctor interacting with a famous historical artist, this time Leonardo da Vinci. (Just for the record, "City of Death" is one of my all-time favorite Doctor Who serials, thanks to Tom Baker's inimitable comic timing and Douglas Adams' witty script.)

Anyway, keep up the good work, Doctor Who, and maybe Matt Smith will start growing on me more!