A review of tonight's episode of Doctor Who - 'Vincent and the Doctor'. Will undoubtedly contain spoilers.
Let's start from the beginning.
I am a massive Van Gogh fan - far from being a fan of any kind of art, Van Gogh's paintings are the only painted images that ever have spoken to me. I don't know what it is about those paintings. I love 'Bedroom in Arles' - simply a picture of a bedroom, yet it conveys everything and nothing. 'Starry Starry Night' so beautiful, so incredible - tonight, it took on a whole new meaning.
As the Doctor, Amy and Vincent lay on the grass staring at the swirling skies I loved Vincent even more. I loved him because he was hurting, because he was in agony, because he was so alone - and yet he still expressed a love for life, he expressed it in his work. After that scene I had new found admiration for how Vincent saw the world - those stars, he saw swirling light, a thousand shades of colour. All he did whilst painting, was simply try to show everyone else what he could see.
The actor Tony Curran, was remarkable as Van Gogh. He was stunning. The writer was superb. He did not shy away from Vincent's mental illness, he held it centre stage. He showed Vincent broken, he showed him at his low - a frightened man, a lonely man, a depressed so shockingly sad man. It broke my heart when the Doctor found Vincent sobbing on the bed. But what set me off was the ending - standing in that gallery, Vincent realised how loved and adored he was and it was so beautiful to see. I wish Vincent really did know how much his work would someday be admired - I wonder if he did. The ending, with Amy rushing through that gallery, I knew how it would end - Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide, the poor man, and perhaps that was simply how Van Gogh was meant to end his life - by his own hand.
I loved the soundtrack - the actual song, with proper lyrics playing over the gallery scene. Watching Vincent delight in the other paintings, so excited, thinking this is simply a trip to a gallery for an art lover. It was painted (if you excuse the pun) brilliantly, showing this wonderful, eccentric, incredible man discovering the true beauty of his soul.
I loved this episode. I never thought I'd ever ship Amy/Vincent van Gogh but there you go - I sort of wanted them to stay with him forever, for them to have all of those wonderful ginger kids running around, and have the unusual 'Uncle Doctor' blowing up bizarre inventions all from the back garden.
I give this episode ten out of ten - seriously. Because it wasn't just a Doctor Who episode - it was poetry, it told a story. It showed the children of this country that Vincent Van Gogh was not a mad man who cut off his ear and painted a few pictures of sunflowers - he was a sad, lonely, incredible, outstandingly talented man with a beautiful mind.
P.S. This episode made me loved the painting 'Sunflowers' more than ever. I already own two small Van Gogh prints (Starry Starry Night, and Bedroom at Arles) and am now trolling through Amazon.uk to find full size posters - I think I'll buy a poster of the Sunflowers print. Tonight was the first time I discovered the painting 'Almond Blossom San Remy' - it's one of the most beautiful paintings I've ever seen. Perhaps, as an almost-adult now, I should move some of those old Doctor Who posters I've clung to and put up some artwork. I don't need those posters anymore - or at least not as many of them. I know I love Doctor Who, I don't need to shout it at the world.
P.P.S. The Sunflowers were for Amy. Just... wow.