Doctor Who Logo 'Vincent and the Doctor
(Story Code 5.10)

by Richard Curtis
The Doctor and Amy

“Art can wait. This is life and death. We need to talk to Vincent van Gogh!” – The Doctor

Feeling guilty over Rory’s death, the Doctor takes Amy to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to enjoy the magnificent works of art on display. But as the two friends make their way amongst the works of the famous Dutch master Vincent van Gogh, they notice something odd in the painting ‘Die Kirche von Auvers’: a hideous face can be seen in one of the windows of the old church – the face of something evil. After learning the details of the painting from a nearby tour guide, the Doctor rushes Amy back to the TARDIS, and in a matter of moments the ship materialises in Provence, in 1890. Using Amy’s guidebook the two time travellers find Vincent’s local café, where they find the troubled artist attempting unsuccessfully to obtain himself a drink in exchange for one of his self-portraits. Taken in by Amy’s beauty and manner, Vincent agrees to share a bottle with her and the Doctor; however, before the time travellers can question the artist about the church he intends to paint, they are interrupted by a commotion outside: a young girl has been brutally murdered in a nearby alleyway, her body horrifically shredded. The Doctor, Amy and Vincent rush to help, but when the grieving mother and the assembled crowd of onlookers turn on the troubled artist, blaming him for the murder, the trio are forced to make a hasty retreat. The Doctor talks Vincent into letting him and Amy stay for the night; the artist is apologetic for the mess in which he lives, but the time travellers are delighted at the prospect of being surrounded by the paintings for which Vincent will become posthumously famous. As the evening progresses, the Doctor and Amy find that Vincent is a man troubled by extremes of temperament, full of joy and passion one moment, yet wracked with doubt and depression the next. During a discourse on sound and colour, Vincent and the Doctor hear a scream from Amy, who was looking at some of the artists’ works as they dried outside; racing to her aid, the two men learn that Amy was attacked by an unseen assailant – and then something large, vicious and invisible attacks the Doctor. Strangely, Vincent can see the creature, and he quickly sees it off with the aid of a pitchfork; he then sketches on a canvas the monster he saw: a giant, hideous creature, part bird and part lizard. Leaving Amy with Vincent, the Doctor races back to the TARDIS and digs out a scanning device, which he uses to identify the invisible creature as a Krafayis, a race of brutal, space-faring scavengers. While making his way back to Vincent’s home the Doctor is attacked by the creature; luckily for him, the Time Lord is able to see the Krafayis in the rear-view mirror attached to his scanner, and he manages to give it the slip before bumping into Amy. Returning to Vincent’s house, the Doctor wakes the artist from his slumber, allowing Amy to show off the vast collection of sunflowers she has brought to cheer him up. After seeing a printout of the creature, Vincent agrees to the Doctor’s risky plan to draw out the creature while he paints the church – but he then suffers another mood swing, and throws his guests out of his house. However, as the Doctor and Amy prepare to tackle the Krafayis on their own, Vincent changes his mind once again, and together they set off for the church. Passing the funeral procession for the murdered girl on the way, the Doctor, Amy and Vincent soon arrive at the church; Vincent gets to work on his painting – but he doesn’t go fast enough for the impatient Doctor, and it isn’t until night has fallen that the artists shows signs of finishing. At that moment the trio see the Krafayis at the window of the church; leaving Amy and Vincent outside, the Doctor grabs his scanner and sets off in pursuit, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of the monster in his mirror. Hearing the Krafayis attacking the Doctor, Amy rushes to her friend’s aid – but she only succeeds in getting trapped inside the confessional cubicle next to him. As the Krafayis attacks again, Vincent comes to his friends’ rescue: armed with a chair, he distracts the creature long enough for the Doctor and Amy to get outside, and together the trio lock themselves inside a crypt. The Doctor tries to talk to the Krafayis, but the beast ignores him, and instead breaks in through a window. Noticing how the monster only tracks them through sound, the Doctor suddenly realises that the Krafayis is blind – the reason why the rest of its kind left it behind on Earth. Taking up his wooden easel-stand Vincent strikes out at the creature, intending to wound it, but instead delivering a killing blow – and when the Krafayis tells the Doctor with its dying breath that it was merely frightened, the artist is devastated. Leading the Doctor and Amy outside, Vincent asks his friends to lie on the ground next to him, and as they stare up at the night sky, he shows them its wonders as seen through his eyes… The next day, the Doctor and Amy bid farewell to their friend and then set off for the TARDIS; however, knowing that Vincent is destined to commit suicide the next year, the Doctor has a change of heart, and under the pretence of showing the artist the inside of the TARDIS, he takes him and Amy to the Musée d’Orsay in 2010. Seeing his paintings on display Vincent is overwhelmed, and when he hears the tour guide give glowing praise for all his life’s work, he is moved to tears. Satisfied that he and Amy have given the artist a new lease on life, the Doctor returns Vincent to Provence; after bidding a proper goodbye this time, the two time travellers again travel to 2010, so that Amy can see if they have changed history. Amy is disappointed that there are no new works by Vincent on display, and is crushed when she overhears the tour guide confirm that the artists still took his own life at the age of thirty-seven. Reassuring Amy that their actions still made a difference, the Doctor shows her the painting of the church, now free of the Krafayis; then Amy sees something even more moving: Vincent’s masterpiece, ‘Sunflowers’, now carries the dedication “for Amy”…

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Tony Curran (Vincent Van Gough), Bill Nighy (Doctor Black)*, Nick Howden (Maurice), Sarah Counsell (Waitress), Chrissie Cotterill (Mother), Morgan Overton (Schoolchild), Andrew Byrne (Schoolchild)

Directed by Jonny Campbell
Produced by Tracie Simpson and Patrick Schweitzer
Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC HD):
5th June 2010 @ 6.40 am

*Featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy

*Following on from the psychological themes explored in this story, the BBC gave out the number for Action Line over the end credits

*Music heard in this episode: 'Chance' by Athlete

*Working title: 'Eyes that See the Darkness'