Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Blink Review: Vincent and the Doctor

Before the fifth series of Doctor Who had even started, this episode was the one that I was most looking forward to, with a brand new writer making his first television breakthrough (think his name was Richard Curtis, ever heard of him?), and the spectacular Bill Nighy (famous for being the tentacle guy from Pirates of the Caribbean).

The first time I watched the episode, I really wasn’t sure what to make of it. Although it was the most daring and emotional that Doctor Who had ever attempted to be, these factors seemed to dominate the rest of the story, and took away from the fun and energy that is usually associated with the show.

Then I decided to watch the episode again, knowing what to expect from the story, and it was spectacular. Bill Nighy was utterly hilarious in his role of Dr Black (not related to the character that dies in Cluedo), and the scenes both at the beginning and end of the episode between him and Matt Smith are some of the funniest ever performed in Doctor Who, exchanging quirky remarks about each other’s cracking bow ties.

However, it was Tony Curran as Vincent van Gogh who stole the show, performing great emotion in his scenes of depression, and excelling in the heartbreaking final moments in the Musée d’ Orsay, realising that he was not a failure and that his work would one day be loved. I was on the verge of tears at that point, literally.

The main negative of the episode was the computer effects, making the dinosaur-like monster look incredibly fake and of no particular threat, particularly in the brightly lit daylight scenes. It seems that The Mill can do settings and planets really well, but fail when it comes to creating believable monsters.

My other small negative was the music playing when Vincent van Gogh visited the future, which didn’t seem to match the style of the rest of the episode, and wasn’t very good to be honest. Perhaps they could have used the man on Britain’s Got Talent who made up his own song? (Yes, I did watch the final yesterday! What are you gonna do about it?)

Overall though, it was an amazing episode, and my favourite of the series so far. It may have taken a second viewing for me to really appreciate it, but the story certainly left everyone with a strong message. When you next look up the sky, don’t see the blackness. See the blues, and the yellows, and the swirling whites of the wind. See the magnificence of Vincent van Gogh.

Rating: 5/5 stars

You can also give your rating in the new poll, ‘Art attack…’

No comments: