Vincent and the Doctor

DVD NTSC
Region 1
13-episode
box set

DVD PAL
Region 2
13-episode
box set

Ltd.
DVD PAL
Region 2
4-episode volume
See below for Blu-Ray options
(Doctor Who Story No. 215, starring Matt Smith)
  • written by Richard Curtis
  • directed by Jonny Campbell
  • produced by Tracie Simpson and Patrick Schweitzer
  • music by Murray Gold
  • 1 episode @ 46 minutes
Story: A glimpse of a creature in a Vincent Van Gogh painting prompts the Doctor and Amy to visit the famous artist during his most productive period and confront the creature - something which apparently only Vincent can see. But will the Doctor and Amy try to do anything to help Vincent with the depression of being completely unappreciated in his own time, and prevent his untimely suicide?

DVD Extras (box sets only) include:

  • Doctor Who Confidential featurette: A Brush with Genius (11 min.) with Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Tony Curran (Vincent van Gogh),
    writer Richard Curtis, director Jonny Campbell, executive producer Steven Moffat, art director Tristan Peatfield,
    facilities co-ordinator Bob Gurney, and J.Paul Getty Museum curator Scott Allan.
  • Story Trailer

In-Depth Analysis Review

by Martin Izsak

WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended for those who have already seen the program.
To avoid the spoilers, read the Buyers' Guide to the season instead.


I really didn't expect to like this one, considering where it apparently seemed to be headed. Then it surprised me, and I found myself on side with it in a huge way. This does turn out to be one of the season's good ones after all.


As it opens, we're still sadly lunking around Earth, watching our regulars wander around a museum like tourists. Then they find an overcomplicated way to move to their next overused cliché: meeting a historical figure while looking for an alien. Been there, done that countless times, and how unique can you make this plot with only 45 minutes screen-time?

Though the story needs its creature, it really is a throw-away element in the end. The fact that Vincent can see it while the others cannot, does say something. Other than that, it's quite run-of-the-mill, as is the situation springing from it. One can't help wondering if the story would have been stronger, and possibly more focused, had it been built around something other than another backyard alien of the week.

Well, several elements are working hard to keep the interest up. Director Jonny Campbell is working some great magic, and the international European location elevates the eye-candy of the show once more. A lot of TARDIS effects are skimped on, but we do get the trick-dissolves where we need them most. Good show.

The Doctor's relationship with Amy in this episode is about the best it gets all season as well. They've got a good close bond, and they go places and have adventures and do stuff. It should have settled down to this some time ago and gone for big galactic adventures. At least here, in this brief episode, we get a good glimpse of what might have been.

Another very large success factor is that we've got some very good guest cast members. Tony Curran gives nothing less than a tour-de-force performance as Vincent Van Gogh, and the script spends due amount of time fleshing out his character and making him a real person. Also, bizarrely uncredited actor Bill Nighy is exquisitely delightful as the museum guide in his interactions with the rest of the cast.

Music by Murray Gold
The new title music,
theme for the 11th Doctor,
and a full suite of music from the story
are available on the 2-disc audio CD album:
Doctor Who: Original Music from
Season 31 (aka "Series 5", 2010)

More info & buying options

Best of all, the writing doesn't stop at the expected; it goes farther to an idea that seems obvious but just never gets done.... perhaps not surprising if the sentiments of stories like "The Massacre" (story no. 22) are used to guide the program. In actual fact, we end up arriving at similar philosophical ground as that which was reached in "The Aztecs" (story no. 6), only with about five times as much emotion and finesse, and possibly far greater impact. I won't give away the ending, but it's very moving. Sweet.


And so, adding to our pile of good things from the season is this surprising little gem, proudly on display for your appreciation.



This story has become available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:

DVD NTSC Region 1
13-episode box set
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada
DVD PAL Region 2
13-episode box set
for the U.K.:

(Limited Edition)
DVD PAL Region 2
4-episode volume
for the U.K.:

Blu-Ray NTSC Region 1
13-episode box set
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada

Blu-Ray PAL Region 2
13-episode box set
for the U.K.

(Limited Edition)

Note: The full season sets contain commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and other extras. The smaller volumes only feature the plain episodes.


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Read the In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "The Lodger"



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