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05 June 2010 @ 07:55 pm
Vincent and the Doctor, take 1  
Dear "Shakespeare Code", meet "Vincent and the Doctor." And then take notes. That's how you do an artist and a genius, one who's also a person.

I am torn between glee and tears. Oh, you mad show.

Just a few lines and observations, mostly though not all in order:

* Amy's all suspicious of the Doctor's being nice to her: "I was joking! Why aren't you?"

* Scottish accent jokes for the win.

* "You poor thing. You brutal, murderous, abandoned thing." --I love the way his voice softens on "abandoned," the way the whole thing is delivered as absentminded fact rather than condemnation or disgust. ♥ I love that device he's carrying, too. Just love it.

* Amy's face when she hears that Vincent doesn't like sunflowers is darling.

* "In my experience, there is always...surprisingly, hope."

* Amy + unnoticed tears is now a motif, you guys.

* "It's a thing. It's like a plan, but with more grayness." Hee!

* "Is this how time usually passes? Really slowly...in the right order." --Oh, the disgust!

* I like the Saint George reference, and the way the shot is set up to imply that the Doctor is Saint George--but then it turns out to be Vincent, instead. And I love the fact that they are able to express sadness at the end, too: "Sometimes winning is no fun at all." (Because this Doctor is about seven years old.)

* The scene on the grass, holding hands: I love it. I love that they don't shy away from Vincent's loneliness and pain, but allow it space, and yet without just tagging him as "depressed" and not showing us anything other than a flattened-out version of that; there's also room for beauty and joy. "The web of our life is a mingled yarn, good and ill together..." (I am, however, Not Quite Sure about the overlay of Starry Night. I might have liked the scene better without the blatant reference, since everyone knows that painting, and they'd already shown it at least once anyway. It is very pretty, though. I can't decide. Still, a net win.)

* Also, I love how huggy they all are with each other in this episode. I think I'd been a little bit hug-starved this season, but I'm feeling better now. :)

* The Doctor's little "Amy, Rory--" and Amy's "Who's Rory?" made me very sad. As did Amy's "I'm not really the marrying kind": how much has Rory's absence changed how she is now?

* The whole ending, both scenes in the museum, broke my heart. And Amy--such a little girl, still believing, in spite of all she knows, in fairy tales and happy endings, the long life of Vincent Van Gogh. The way she says, "So you were right. No new paintings" is almost accusatory: the world doesn't change; it's stupid to believe it. But then, in small ways, it has. And the devoted professor who touched greatness without knowing it: love love love. Also, Eleven and Amy are so dear in that whole last scene. "We definitely added to his pile of good things." And I have such a thing for people joking through their tears, using a quip as an epitaph to show the connection those two people made: "If we had gotten married, our children would have had really red hair." Love.

Okay, this round of flailing complete. I'm being gloriously incoherent today; my apologies.

But can I just say, without spoilers--I'm loving the smaller scope of this season; I love that we're getting so many moments of quiet reflection mixed in with the madcap.
Gileonnen: Return to Earthgileonnen on June 6th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
This is the first bit of television in ages that's brought me to tears. I'm still a bit teary over it, honestly.

The idea of turning pain into beauty--I really do hope the Doctor learns that. I hope that's his arc.
tempestsarekind: eleven and amytempestsarekind on June 6th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
I just want to watch it again, right now. It was just--how did they do all of these things I didn't know I wanted?

And I hope that the Doctor is learning that, too. His line about hope suggested that we're on that path...
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 6th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
Oh I can't wait--but I will wait -- to see this. It sounds lovely. Vincent became one of my favorite painters when I started studying art, although I have to credit Leonard Nimoy and his One Man Show about Vincent's letters to brother Theo for my increased interest. The DIA in Michigan has a nice collection of Post Impressionist Art. I miss being able to jog over to wander through the building.

And the world does change: Vincent could hardly get anyone to praise his art, let alone exhibit it in his own time --and the new paintings are needed. What is sad about that is we know how Vincent died--complications from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. No new paintings means the experience didn't change the sadness in his life.
tempestsarekind: amelia pond (ready for adventure)tempestsarekind on June 6th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
True--although if it had changed his life in that way, I think it would have been a really cheap ending (as well as mucking about with time in some strange ways). I really liked what the Doctor said about that in this episode: the good things don't just cancel out the bad things, but the bad things don't make the good ones unimportant, either. I thought they handled it so well.

I saw an episode of Simon Schama's Power of Art series that was devoted to Van Gogh, and it used bits of his letters: I'd never heard/read them before, but it definitely made me interested to find out more.
(Deleted comment)
tempestsarekind: eleven and amytempestsarekind on June 6th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know. Gah. And the way the Doctor is suddenly worried about what he's done--"I'm sorry, Vincent. Is it too much?"--just pushed that even farther.

Oh, show.
clean all the things!!!: an adventure is about to happenthepresidentrix on June 13th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
They got Bill Nighy to be the art-nerd guy, too! In a bow tie! Bow ties are cool!

Also, as to motifs, I realized something while watching The Lodger: one thing that's come up constantly this season? Perception filters. I know they're not exactly uncommon in Who-verse, but The Doctor himself has been taken in by one in episode after episode. I'm beginning to wonder if the redundancy is deliberate and has something to do with a greater truth the Doctor is unable to see?
tempestsarekind: eleven and amytempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
It is peculiar, isn't it? As you say, it's not like we've never seen them before, but there have been quite a few this season. And vision itself has been a theme, too, starting with the first episode (in which Amy looks at things she shouldn't--like Prisoner Zero, and the Doctor). I wonder if it's all going to come together at the end, or if it'll be more along the lines of a secondary or tertiary motif that just adds interest to the whole?