The 10th episode ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ was an episode I was really looking forward to. Some of my favorite Doctor Who episodes with David Tennant were the historical episodes. And after having been disappointed with this season’s 3rd episode ‘Victory of the Daleks’, I thought maybe two’s the charm.
The episode starts with the Doctor taking Amy to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. There they admire the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, who is Amy’s favorite painter. Amy is suspicious as to why the Doctor is being so nice to her which we know is because of his guilt over Rory’s supposed death in the previous episode. They come across the painting The Church at Auvers, in which the Doctor spots a strange figure at a window. Hence he decides to travel back in time with Amy to figure out what the strange figure is and help Vincent Van Gogh.
I had very mixed feelings about this episode. The episode started off great and I loved the introduction of Tony Curran as Vincent Van Gogh. I was glad that the writer, Richard Curtis, decided to include Vincent’s struggle with depression instead of shying away from it. One of the highlights of the episode was Tony Curran’s portrayal of the mentally fragile and complicated Vincent, whom he also bears a striking resemblance to. The chemistry between the trio was also fantastic and the flirtatious moments between Amy and Vincent added some humor to the plot.
I was a little disappointed with the ‘monster’ of this episode, the Krafayis. Although I understand the sentiment attached to it, I still felt underwhelmed by its entire plot and didn’t find it very interesting.
However the ending was truly the best part of the episode. The Doctor and Amy take Vincent to the present day exhibit of his paintings at the Musée d’Orsay. Vincent is surprised upon seeing a section dedicated to his paintings and becomes emotionally overwhelmed when he overhears Dr Black (cameo by Bill Nighy) call him ‘the greatest painter of them all’ and ‘one of the greatest men who ever lived’. The Doctor and Amy then drop him back off and Amy is confident that hundreds of new paintings by Vincent would now be in the present. However she is disappointed to learn that he still committed suicide weeks after their adventure. This scene really showed the dark side of depression and how it has the power to engulf any sort of happiness one might attain. Before he died, however, he dedicated his famous painting Vase with 12 Sunflowers to Amy.
This episode was more emotionally charged than previous episodes and even left me teary eyed towards the end so it probably won’t suit people who prefer the more action oriented episodes.
The eleventh episode ‘The Lodger’ is one of my favorite episodes this season. For most part of this episode Amy and the Doctor are separated from each other, the Doctor on Earth and Amy inside the Tardis, and are unable to reunite due to the Tardis materialising in the time vortex as some ‘force’ seems to keep preventing it from materialising on Earth. The Doctor moves into a flat with Craig, played by James Cordon, and decides to pass himself of as a human in order to investigate a mysterious tenant on the second floor of the flat who he thinks may be connected with the ‘force’.
Craig also has problems of his own. He is in love with his co-worker Sophie but can’t ever seem to confess it to her. However he gets jealous when she looks at other men and feels a bit distressed when she talks about leaving. The Doctor unknowingly takes on the role of a matchmaker to unite Sophie and Craig which of course comes with its own problems as Craig feels a bit threatened by him and his tendency or be well liked by everyone he meets.
‘The Logder’ is one of this season’s lighter episodes and serves as sort of a distraction before the more serious two part series conclusion. Even though the premise of the episode was creepy, the episode focused more on comedic elements. The episode was enjoyable and included some memorable humorous scenes. The chemistry between Matt Smith and James Cordon is fantastic and by the end of the episode you are left wanting to see more episodes with the pair. James Cordon was great as Craig however Matt Smith truly shined. Due to the absence of Amy throughput most of the episode, Smith got to take over and showcase his impressive comedic timing and acting skills.
After building up suspense over the mysterious tenant upstairs, I found the conclusion to be quite disappointing, underwhelming and rushed. However it ended well for Sophie and Craig who also make a return in the season 6 episode ‘ClosingTime’. This is definitely one of those Doctor Who episodes that I could watch again and again.
Note- This review was incredibly hard for me to write. Having watched these episodes more than a month and a half ago, I found myself very detached while reviewing them. The excitement that I had,to review these episodes, has long faded. It literally took me more than two weeks to finish this review because I just couldn’t get myself to finish. However I didn’t want to leave my Doctor Who season 5 recap+review’s just 2 posts away from finishing. I have one more post left. I don’t know when or how I’ll finish it but I’ll get there but probably not for at least 2 weeks. I’ve actually caught up with season 9 now so it’s really hard for me to write a review on something that I watched more than 20 episodes ago. As always let me know what you think of this review, personally this review is not my favorite.