Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who (BBC)
(BBC)

The Best ‘Doctor Who’ Episode Turns 14

It is hard (for some) to label their favorite episode of Doctor Who. That isn’t the case for me. I have a favorite that means a lot to me, and today, it turns 14 years old, telling the story of the Doctor who took his companion on a journey to France.

Recommended Videos

That episode is “Vincent and the Doctor.” Premiering in the fifth season of the modern series, the episode was written by Richard Curtis and directed by Jonny Campbell. It follows the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) going back in time to investigate what happened to Vincent Van Gogh (Tony Curtis) when the Doctor sees something in one of his paintings. What they experience is a tortured man, struggling to survive, but open to art and love. And they give him one of the best gifts they can: their love in return.

Amy Pond jokes throughout the episode about iconic Van Gogh artwork, bringing out a bunch of sunflowers to try to “inspire” him to paint. They are my favorite flower, as well, and this moment, paired with Vincent dedicating his sunflowers to Amy by writing “For Amy” on them, has always been something I carry with me.

That moment, with Bill Nighy playing a museum guide who praises Van Gogh’s work while the actual Van Gogh cries over his work being beloved? The Doctor telling Amy that it is okay that Van Gogh’s fate didn’t change because they made him happy for the moments they were together? All of it makes this episode just feel like a love letter to art, as well as a piece of art within itself. As much as I love the series, no other episode has had quite the impact on me that “Vincent and the Doctor” has throughout the years.

An episode with a lot of meaning

“Vincent and the Doctor” changed my life. It seems dramatic to say, but I was just heading to college, trying to figure out what I wanted to study in school, and I turned to it time and time again to cope with all the changes in my life. And it made me realize that I one day wanted to create something as meaningful and life-affirming as this episode of television.

It made me change my major to performance theatre, and to this day, it is the episode I watch whenever I feel upset and I am looking for a comfort. It is beautiful and encapsulates everything about I love about Doctor Who. The episode itself has so many special moments that I think really make up the core of what makes this the best one.

Hearing “Chances” play as Vincent sees his work being cherished in the modern world really hits, but so does Amy seeing “For Amy” written on the sunflowers, and I will always remember these two moments.

So on this, the episode’s 14th birthday, I just want to say thank you. If you haven’t ever seen “Vincent and the Doctor,” today is the perfect day to dive into it. You will just be a sobbing mess after, so … be aware of that.


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
related content
Read Article Why Aren’t You Watching the Best Horror Series Since ‘Hannibal’?
Armand (Assad Zaman) and Louis (Jacob Anderson) sit together in 'Interview With the Vampire' season 2
Armand (Assad Zaman) and Louis (Jacob Anderson) sit together in 'Interview With the Vampire' season 2
Armand (Assad Zaman) and Louis (Jacob Anderson) sit together in 'Interview With the Vampire' season 2
Read Article Breaking Down ‘House of the Dragon’s Stunning Laenor Velaryon Plot Twist
John Macmillan as Laenor Velaryon in 'House of the Dragon'
John Macmillan as Laenor Velaryon in 'House of the Dragon'
John Macmillan as Laenor Velaryon in 'House of the Dragon'
Read Article Rhaenyra Targaryen Will Need All the Support She Can Find—Starting With Her Children
Members of the family of Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen stand together
Members of the family of Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen stand together
Members of the family of Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen stand together
Read Article Fans Think ‘House of the Dragon’ Fumbled a Major Season 2 Plot Change
Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen in House of the dragon season 2 episode 1
Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen in House of the dragon season 2 episode 1
Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen in House of the dragon season 2 episode 1
Read Article This Was Colin’s True Love Speech, and It Was Perfect
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
Related Content
Read Article Why Aren’t You Watching the Best Horror Series Since ‘Hannibal’?
Armand (Assad Zaman) and Louis (Jacob Anderson) sit together in 'Interview With the Vampire' season 2
Read Article Breaking Down ‘House of the Dragon’s Stunning Laenor Velaryon Plot Twist
John Macmillan as Laenor Velaryon in 'House of the Dragon'
Read Article Rhaenyra Targaryen Will Need All the Support She Can Find—Starting With Her Children
Members of the family of Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen stand together
Read Article Fans Think ‘House of the Dragon’ Fumbled a Major Season 2 Plot Change
Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen in House of the dragon season 2 episode 1
Read Article This Was Colin’s True Love Speech, and It Was Perfect
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.