Doctor Who: Season 5, Episode 10: Vincent and the Doctor  » TV  »
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  • Oddly enough, the best material comes after the villain is defeated

    • by David Finniss


      Feeling bad about what happened to Rory, the Doctor makes an effort to be extra nice to Amy. Of course, she has no idea why he’s doing this, but that’s besides the point. He takes her to a museum where they marvel at the works of Van Gogh. The good time is spoiled, however, when the Doctor notices a sinister looking silhouette lurking in a church that the famous artist painted.

      The two then go back and join forces with the artist to investigate the creature, that the Doctor insists is evil, and we get a good look at depression from various angles. All of the characters find themselves dealing with some sort of emotional issues. The Doctor expresses that he’s lonely, Van Gogh’s a given, and the artist even points out that Amy is seemingly crying for no reason. He picks up on it, but the Doctor cuts him off before the discussion can go any further.

      The bond between these three really makes the episode. While Van Gogh is skeptical of the duo at first, he quickly develops a flirtatious friendship with Amy and even begins to trust the Doctor. It’s

      all rather heartwarming, which acts as a counter-balance to some of the downer elements in the story’s plot.

      We learn that the monster in the window is a creature known as a Krafrayis. It looks like a mix between a parrot and a bear, which might not seem that scary, but the episode makes it work well enough. You’d think that the image of such a creature running around 1890 Provence would be a tad ridiculous, but as it turns out, the creature is invisible..for the most part. Vincent can see it, and reflective surfaces seem to do the trick, but beyond that, the foe is invisible. Suffice it to say, this is rather problematic.

      It takes Moffatt’s schtick of using perception or what you can see to give the foe a bit of an edge. There’s a really effective scene where the Doctor ventures into the church to combat the creature and he’s constantly switching the position of his reflective gadget in the hopes of getting the creature in his sights…or the device’s sight…whatever.

      A majority of the episode is light-hearted fluff. There are some great character bits, but nothing to really write home about.

      • Oddly enough, the best material comes after the villain is defeated. Amy, having grown fond of Vincent makes an attempt to snap him out of his depression. Not only does she enforce that bond, but the two take Van Gogh to the present so that he can see his legacy. The hope is that in knowing how loved he’ll be, it will boost his spirits enough to the point where he won’t take his life.

        The Doctor doesn’t really buy into it and gently tries to hint to Amy that things might turn out, and sure enough it doesn’t. I guess it’s a fixed point in time. Even if that were the case (it’s never said, I’m just speculating), I doubt it would do much to cheer Amy up as she says that they accomplished nothing.

        The scene where the Doctor cheers her up and assures her that they did make a difference was rather heartfelt and you really felt the bond between these two characters.

        As always Smith’s Doctor is a joy to watch, he’s such an awkward dork; it’s glorious. Another highlight was the uncredited cameo by Bill Nighy, who plays the

        museum host. His speech about Van Gogh at the end would’ve come off as over the top, but between Nighy and the score, it managed to work rather well.

        This episode was actually pretty self contained. There were no references to the Pandorica, Silence, or the cracks in time. Even the mentions of Rory are minimal. In that regard, it does make for a nice jumping on point for people who are unfamiliar with the show.

        All in all, it was fairly entertaining. It wasn’t stellar, but it did have some highlights that make it noteworthy in a lot of respects. It was more character driven than plot driven, and that’s quite alright in this case. While the villain was a bit two-dimensional, the writers did still manage to make you feel sorry for it when all was said and done. Even the Doctor notes that winning doesn’t always feel so good. It also acts as a precursor to the even bigger downer that will soon follow. It’s not one of the season’s best, but it is certainly a solid entry and it manages to pass the 45 minutes rather well.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in May, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 102051574390431/k2311a052/5.2.12
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