Vincent and the Doctor

Story No. 228 Vincent and Vincent
Production Code 1.10
Dates June 5 2010

With Matt Smith, Karen Gillan
Written by Richard Curtis Directed by Jonny Campbell
Executive Producers: Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger, Beth Willis.

Synopsis: The Doctor and Amy discover a monster in one of Vincent van Gogh's paintings.


A Review by Tim Curtis 22/7/10

OK, the episode starts off promisingly as the Doctor sees an anomaly in one of Vincent van Gough's paintings that Amy and him are perusing in an exhibition, so they go back in time in investigate. So far, so good. Unfortunately, it's all down hill from there on.

The anomaly turns out to be a monster that only van Gough can see (why only him?) - cue scenery moved by strings and people pointing chairs at thin air in a menacing fashion - which is eventually dealt with in an unsatisfactory way.

To me this seems to be the cheap episode of the series, not just because of effects but also the extremely simplistic plot: find a monster, deal with the monster, turns out it had a troubled past, yawn.

The whole of the last section is utterly pointless and serves no purpose whatsoever that I can see; the point made being pretty obvious, if not a little patronising. It was so sentimental and schmaltzy that I found myself cringing for the last 10 minutes and very nearly switched it off it was so bad. Typical Richard Curtis, then. I really hope he doesn't get to write any more episodes.

Amy's over-excited obsession with Vincent van Gough seemed a bit odd as it was not mentioned at all in the previous episodes. Perhaps it was just her hammy acting; talking of which, can someone ask Karen Gillam to stop pouting all the time? It's getting very annoying.

On the wider topic of the current series, I find that Amy is too ready with a smart-arse remark, acting like she's seen it/done it all before. Many of the plots seems very simplistic (Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone excepted). I had high hopes for this series, what with Steven Moffat as head writer but up to this point I feel rather disappointed.