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“Vincent and the Doctor” Cast Tweet-Along Reminds Us Why It’s the Best Episode of Doctor Who


Doctor Who's Vincent and the Doctor

One of the best episodes of television that I’ve, personally, ever seen came in the form of Doctor Who’s “Vincent and the Doctor” in 2010. With a series that constantly brings fans back in history or to beautiful planets, there are so many iconic moments from its 50+ year run. However, there is something so beautiful and memorable about “Vincent and the Doctor” that sticks with you, and that was made abundantly clear when the cast live-tweeted along with fans as part of a social distancing watch-along.

In the episode, the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) discover that there’s something lurking behind a window in the painting titled “The Church at Auvers” by Vincent Van Gogh, and go to figure out what is happening. While, sure, there’s an alien that the Doctor tries to save, the episode is more about the struggles that plagued Van Gogh (played by Tony Curran) throughout his life.

I have never, in my life, sat and sobbed like I did (and still do) watching “Vincent and the Doctor.” It isn’t about Van Gogh entirely, either. It’s just about the beauty of an artist getting to see the impact of their work that hits me.

When asked about Vincent Van Gogh’s work and where it rates in the history of art, the museum employee (who is played by Bill Nighy) says this about Van Gogh:

Well, big question, but to me, Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all—certainly, the most popular great painter of all time, the most beloved. His command of color, the most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world … no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again.

To me, there is no greater scene than this—not in movies, not on television, nowhere. This is the scene that made me study theatre and made me want to create art, because I wanted someone to, one day, look at my work and be inspired in the same way that Richard Curtis inspired me with writing “Vincent and the Doctor.”

During the tweet-along, the moment that made me cry again was when Matt Smith (who tweeted along from a Lockdown Who account) pointed out that Karen Gillan had taken the “For Amy” portrait from the episode.

To which Karen Gillan responded by posting a picture:

At least we all got a message from the Doctor to stay safe, though.

Thinking about “Vincent and the Doctor” is hard for me. Every time I start to, I end up crying because there is just this emotional weight that the episode holds for me, but today, reading tweets about how much people love it and seeing the cast tweet along and enjoy it? It was a beautifully cathartic moment for me.

You can see everyone’s tweets about “Vincent and the Doctor” by looking at the #TheUltimateGinger tag on Twitter.

(image: BBC)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.