Vincent and The Doctor

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.

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Vincent van Gogh & The Doctor

One of my all time favorite episodes of Doctor Who is “Vincent and the Doctor.” It is one of my favorites for two main reasons.

First, van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. I love his paintings and his style. The van Gogh section was the first thing on my list to see at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City both times that I went. One of my favorite van Gogh paintings is titled “Wheat Field with Cypress.” I like it because of the color and the way the painting makes me feel like I’m standing right there in the field. And of course, all of van Gogh’s sunflower paintings are great, I especially like them because sunflowers are my favorite type of flower.

Here is a list of fun Vincent van Gogh facts:

  • He had a brother with the same name as him who died at birth.
  • He was planning to be a pastor like his dad.
  • He painted “Starry Night”, his most famous artwork, while in a mental hospital.
  • He wrote over 800 letters in his life, most of them to his brother, Theo.
  • He only sold one painting while he was alive.
  • In the last 10 years of his life he made around 900 paintings.
  • His most expensive painting, titled “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” is valued at $148.6 million.

 

The second reason I like this episode so much is because I love that the Doctor shows van Gogh how important he becomes to the world. I love that, even if it is only for a few minutes, van Gogh has hope of what the future will hold for him.

I think that we all need a little bit of that at some point in our lives. We all reach the point where we don’t know what’s coming next or if anything is coming next, and though is is impossible to jump ahead and see what’s coming, I think this episode shows that you never know what great things could be waiting for you ahead.

 

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