Doctor Who 32.10 Vincent and the Doctor (2010, Period Science Fiction Adventure) – 8/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Writer: Richard Curtis
Producer: Tracie Simpson
Producer: Patrick Schweitzer
Director: Jonny Campbell
Tony Curran: Vincent
Line Producer: Patrick Schweitzer

Doctor Who 32.10 Vincent and the Doctor (2010)

The Doctor takes Amy (who has absolutely no conscious memory of Rory at all) on a series of wonderful trips and their latest is a visit to a Vincent Van Gogh art exhibition. While there, the Doctor spots something odd about one of Van Gogh’s paintings: a monster in a church window.

8/10

It’s clearly something of a coup when you have one of the world’s most successful writers pen an episode for you and Richard Curtis provides a little gem. While it boasts all the traditional elements of the adventure side of the show with Matt Smith’s brilliant Doctor armed with "overconfidence, this and a small screwdriver," it’s true impact comes from a climactic scene where the Doctor gives something extraordinary to artist Vincent Van Gogh; something Van Gogh can add to his life’s pile of "good things." It’s an amazingly emotional sequence and has nothing to do with saving the world or slaying the beast and, as I’ve said before, pulling these stories back from never-ending Armageddons and connecting emotionally to the audience is the key to a great episode. This does, and this is.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Doctor Who 32.06 The Vampires of Venice (2010, Science Fiction Adventure) – 6/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Writer: Toby Whithouse
Producer: Tracie Simpson
Producer: Patrick Schweitzer
Director: Jonny Campbell
Arthur Darvill: Rory
Helen McCrory: Rosanna

Doctor Who 32.06 Vampires of Venice, The (2010)

The Doctor takes Amy and her fiancée, Rory, to Venice so that their relationship won’t be unbalanced by her having experienced the amazingness of travel through time and space and him not. Naturally, something dangerous is about to happen, this time with a finishing school which turns young girls into vampires.

6/10

Everything containing vampires is inherently a bit useless as they are nearly always character vacuums, sucking life out of the plot through unconvincing and inconsistent ‘rules’ and motivations. This episode also suffers from the makers feeling the need to make everything life-threatening but without giving the story time to make it so. This renders heroic acts contextless and self-sacrifice worthless. That said, there are some nice lines and fun scenes, Matt Smith is terrific and the story frame with Amy and her fiancée is a good, interesting one. It’s a shame writer Toby Whithouse wasn’t allowed or guided to stick closer to that and make this a more low-key episode with a fun and interesting story. Instead, it’s a poor adventure with fake peril, the worst kind.

This Doctor Who episode contains unpleasant scenes.

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