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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

the Doctor doesn’t know much about art…

…but he knows when there’s a monster in a 19th-century painting that shouldn’t be there.

Also: Bill Nighy on Doctor Who!

I might die.

Doctor Who: “Vincent and the Doctor” is on BBC One right now, and on BBC America later tonight, “Amy’s Choice.”

Don’t spoil “Vincent and the Doctor” here! (We’re already spoiling “Amy’s Choice” here.) My blogging coming asap tomorrow.

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  • (slips on his x-ray glasses and looks at the Mona Lisa) “This… Painting… Is… A… Fake?!”

  • Martin

    All I’m going to say (aside from that it was awesome), is that Bill Nighy looks like an older version of Matt Smith.

  • MaryAnn

    Bill Nighy looks like an older version of Matt Smith.

    OMG! Bill Nighy is TOTALLY the Doctor in the future! OMG! *scurries to reevaluate everything I know or have thought about about Doctor Who ever*

    (kidding!) (in case that wasn’t obvious)

  • No spoiling here. I will say this may be my favourite episode ever. Made me cry on three separate occasions. I will spoil here though…

  • No, wait. Seriously, Nighy is Older Who?

  • Les Carr (wibbly wobbly timey whiner. in recovery)

    Excellent example here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/doctor-who/7804028/Doctor-Who-review-Vincent-and-the-Doctor.html , spoilers!) of a negative review by a doctor who expert (plot holes! unconvincing monster!) that completely fails to understand Doctor who, and results in a sound spanking from all the commenters.

  • BBQ Platypus

    This episode. Cannot put into words. Brilliant.

    The scene where the sky “transforms” is what sealed it for me – the best scene in any episode of “Doctor Who” since the show was revived.

  • Kat

    First episode of Doctor Who to make me cry – didn’t expect that.

  • Alli

    This was my second favorite episode of the season behind “The Eleventh Hour.” Just an all around good episode of Doctor Who. Though I’ve read a couple reviews so far suggesting I don’t know what I’m talking about (bad plot, bad monster, etc). One reviewer said this wasn’t very “Doctor Who-ish.” Whatever. I loved it.

  • as an artist, human being, and DW fan, i have just finished sobbing my way through this episode. so far, my favorite matt smith episode. so beautiful, so well written, so… artistic.

    about to watch it again.

  • MaryAnn

    I am sobbing and sobbing and sobbing over this episode. I’m devastated.

    I might be too keyed up to sleep. Or I might have to take to my bed immediately. You’ll know based on whether I post blogging tonight or not…

  • NickT

    One reviewer said this wasn’t very “Doctor Who-ish.”

    A lot of Doctor Who isn’t very Doctor Who-ish.
    The sheer variety of possible settings and styles means that whatever you like about Doctor Who, there are going to be episodes that you feel miss the mark, even as someone else hails them as the best episode ever.
    This one wasn’t Doctor Who-ish because it didn’t place that much focus on the monster, which seems to upset some people. (I think the BBC have made it a requirement that there has to be a monster/alien in each episode, which has required them to be added to plots that don’t really need them. The example I heard about was Fathers Day. The same could be applied here, the focus of the episode was on Van Goghs depression, and showing that there were some things that even the Doctor can’t fix, especially in a convienient way to fit inside 40 minutes.)

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    God knows what Doctor Who-ish means – does it mean The Caves of Androzani, or The Romans? Or The Seeds of Death? Or Ghost Light? – but there’s something depressing about wanting every single episode of the series to be exactly the same, isn’t there? Many of my favourite episodes of the new series have been ones like ‘Human Nature’, ‘Turn Left’, ‘Amy’s Choice’ and ‘The Waters of Mars’ which wouldn’t have been done – or would have been very, very different – in the older series.

    Two non-spoily observations: this whole series has been dominated by current or former sitcom writers, all of whom seem to have used the opportunity to get their most upsetting and least funny ideas out of their heads. There’s Moffat, of course, and Simon Nye, and Mark Gatiss depending on whether you count The League of Gentlemen as a sitcom or a sketch show, and now Richard Curtis. Who next, Ben Elton? Graham Linehan? David Renwick? (Please let it be David Renwick)

    Also, the end credits of this episode featured something I never thought I’d see in Doctor Who – a voiceover offering confidential advice to anyone affected by “the issues raised in this programme”.

  • Franks

    If possible, catch the Doctor Who Confidential episode. It features a nice interview with Tony Curran, who really does look like Vincent Van Gogh.

  • MaryAnn

    No, wait. Seriously, Nighy is Older Who?

    No, not really.

    FYI: My blogging won’t be up till late tonight. Sorry — gotta be offline for a while. So keep not spoiling, please.

  • Leslie Carr

    Offline? The Queen of the Internet? Isn’t this a publicity shot of MAJ ?

  • Newbia

    I’ll have to disagree with the above commentators: it wasn’t the best episode of the season. The cheesy pop music completely ruined the ending for me. Also, considering that it was an artsy episode, the colors were actually pretty flat and dull! Perhaps that was just in comparison to Van Gogh’s paintings. However, it was an original and thought-provoking episode, so I will give it credit.

  • VT

    I just don’t know what to say about the reviewers who are slagging on this episode because the monster was crap. They must be watching this show to for entirely different reasons than I do. I thought it was completely brilliant, and by far one of the most moving, most humane and insightful episodes ever. And it blew all of the other let’s-go-back-in-time-and-visit-a-famous-person episodes out of the water.

  • I thought this was the cleverest and most moving episode of doctor who that I can remember.

    Usually when the doctor goes into the past to visit a famous historical figure, it’s pretty cheesy, simiplified, history lesson for the kids territory, but this was really commendable and interesting. Maybe because Van Gogh’s story is such a poignant one.

    It was great.

  • Keith

    Not sure what to make of this episode. It didn’t move me the way I’ve heard a lot of people say it did them. Maybe it was because I squeezed it in during the middle of a busy day between two events I had going on and I wasn’t completely focusing on the episode. I enjoyed it and it was different (the episodes have been pretty varied this season).
    I’ll save the details until MaryAnn posts here review.

  • Justanothernerd

    Liked this one a lot more than I expected too. Surprisingly introspective, gloriously simple, and among the most visually appealing Doctor Who has ever been. Tony Curran’s Scottish Dutchman thing was odd but worked, and his portrayal is certainly faithful to Van Gogh’s bipolar personality (this is also, from what I’ve gathered arguably one of the most historically accurate episodes ever produced).

    But I definitely have to agree with Newbia: copyrighted music? Doctor Who may be protean and open to change, but surely it isn’t THAT!

  • Dymphna

    It occurs to me that an episode about a famous person who suffered depression is perfect for this season. Depression is so like the crack in space and time that steals away your memory of those you love. That makes you feel you are in danger of being erased.

  • Mo

    Well if there’s no blog to blub in, I just have to say before I burst, that was so, so, SO beautiful.

    Screw the whiners, Doctor Who is brilliant because it can be many things. This is one of those things, and it happened to be a very important thing.

  • i kept expecting to hear don maclean’s “vincent”… i did hear it in my head.

  • I kept expecting to hear that same song, too, Bronxbee. But I’m glad they didn’t go with such an obvious musical choice. Though I wouldn’t have minded seeing Amy’s impromptu dance routine again. Perhaps in the upcoming “Dalek Dance Party” episode. ;-)

  • MaryAnn

    My blogging is up now here.

    Sorry it’s so late.

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