Doctor Who Review: Vincent and the Doctor

After seeing something strange in one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, the Doctor and Amy go to visit him in order to find out what it is.

Cast and Crew

Matt Smith as the Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
Tony Curran as Vincent
Nik Howden as Maurice
Chrissie Cotterill as Mother
Sarah Counsell as Waitress
Morgan Overton and Andrew Byrne as School Children

Written by Richard Curtis

Produced by Tracie Simpson and Patrick Schweitzer

Directed by Johnny Campbell

Originally aired on the 5th of June 2010 on BBC One/BBC HD in the United Kingdom.


Visiting an exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh with Amy, the Doctor spies an ‘evil’ face in the window of a church in one of the paintings. Fortunately, being in possession of a time machine, they’re able to go and visit Van Gogh in order to find out why it’s there.

High Points

  • Invisible monsters are fun.
  • Van Gogh’s description of sunflowers.
  • “Sometimes winning is no fun at all.”

Low Points

  • Explaining Van Gogh’s Scottish accent as an effect of the TARDIS translation seemed a bit of a cheap shot to me. Why not have an actor who can do a Dutch accent?

The Scores

Originality: While I usually find episodes in which a famous historical figure is encountered to be rather contrived, this one is slightly better than the norm. At least this time they go deliberately knowing there’s something amiss. Four out of six.

Effects: Invisible monster effects can’t be easy, and they were pretty good. Visible monster was also good, although perhaps slightly too chicken-shaped to make it truly worrying. Five out of six.

Story: I was enjoying it until the end, which got a little oversentimental before almost redeeming itself. Four out of six.

Acting: Five out of six.

Emotional response: Four out of six.

Production: A good construction of some scenes familiar from Van Gogh’s paintings, and good integration of the invisible monster. Five out of six.

Overall: Four out of six.

Vincent and the Doctor receives a grand total of thirty-one out of forty-two.

9 replies on “Doctor Who Review: Vincent and the Doctor”

  1. The bicycle that got knocked over during a chase scene looked a little too modern imho.

  2. Why not have an actor who looks remarkably like Vincent Van Gogh AND can do a Dutch accent?

    And why did they do that whole stupid regeneration thing? Why not simply find another actor that looks and sounds and acts just like the previous actor, like you would do with a sheep dog?
    And don’t get me started on that stupid “stuck chameleon circuit” crap to excuse their cheap budget and lazy writing. And an immortal all knowing benevolent alien? Are you serious?


  3. I disagree with the low point too, that’s one of the lampshaded things in Doctor Who that’s in the spirit of the show.

    My high point would be where the sonic screwdriver doesn’t work :).

  4. First of all, I loved this episode.

    I don’t know why, but I really did. It was just really well done and the ending was just spectacular.

    As for the accent thing – this is actually a previously established fact. The TARDIS’ translation circuits (or whatever) do that – they were in France, so Van Gogh had a foreign accent. The TARDIS translated his French to English, and his Dutch accent to Scottish. It happened to Donna in ancient Rome, I think, too. I actually think it’s kinda funny.

  5. “Emotional response: Four out of six”? Heartless bastard….or maybe this one just hit close to home for me. I think if you’re an artist (visual, literary, musical, or whatever) or have ever loved an artist, you’ll not find it “oversentimental” at all.

  6. All in all a good standalone episode. However they did very well, and have all season, in dropping threads to other episodes and happenings for the season.

    Another high point for me was the Doctor mistakenly saying “Rory”. Also, Vincents understanding of Amy being said was a nice touch too.

  7. Visible monster was also good, although perhaps slightly too chicken-shaped to make it truly worrying.

    House cats can be cute too, but scale them up a bit and tigers stop taking you so seriously.

    You ever owned a mean chicken? They will try full on, no-fear assaults knowing you are several times bigger. A ten foot tall, ill-tempered chicken is terrifying. It would be full of wrath and malice, and come equipped with a short sword on its head that it is extremely skilled with.

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