One of my all time favorite episodes of Doctor Who is “Vincent and the Doctor”. I believe that it hits homes more than most of the other episodes because the Doctor and Van Gogh meet at a very dark time of Van Gogh’s life. It is a little bit before Van Gogh commits suicide and also the peak of his career.
In this episode, it expresses how tortured and depressed Van Gogh was. At one point in the episode, the Doctor told Van Gogh that they would be out of his hair at that time the next day. Van Gogh did not take it so well because when the Doctor and Amy went to go get him to go to the church, Van Gogh was in his bed, crying hysterically. When they asked him what was wrong, he told them that everyone that has ever entered his life just leaves him. He screams at them to leave, so they obey his wishes. A little later, Van Gogh comes to the Doctor and Amy to let them know that he is ready to go. He reveals that they were lucky because when he gets into those depressive states, it could last from days to months.
As tortured as Van Gogh was, he really did produce some of the best art I have ever seen. Seeing the legacy that Van Gogh has left despite the pain he had felt inspires me. Even though he was not appreciated while he was alive, he still left many great things. When the Doctor and Amy take Van Gogh to the museum to show him his art, I cry every time. I cannot express the look on his face in words that do it justice. Van Gogh starts crying happy tears and he sees that he actually makes a difference in the world. He is not the monster that the rest of the world thinks he is; he is one of the greatest men to have ever lived.
This episode really just tugs at my heartstrings. There is not much science fiction in it, but that is okay because the plot is so well written. I think that’s why so many people like this particular episode so much. You don’t have to know much about the show to relate to this. Everyone hurts sometimes. The episode doesn’t romanticize depression unlike many other media portrayals of the mental illness. It shows that he obviously still commits suicide and that he was still hurting on the inside. But it showed that Van Gogh could be happy yet again, even if it was just for a little bit.