Last time I wrote for this section, I talked about my nervousness regarding the regeneration of David Tennant to Matt Smith as the Doctor. Cranky dino fear change! Etc. Turns out, it took me longer to grow used to the opening theme changes (the font!) and remodeling the TARDIS interior to… orange. Orange! I’m okay now. I’m still in it. Though my love for David Tennant as Doctor Ten is deep and unwavering, Eleven has his own shining moments.
“Vincent and the Doctor” is Adventure 210, according to this timeline I’ll forever reference, and Amy Pond is being unknowingly indulged by the Doctor, due to his guilt over her fiancee Rory being sucked into the time crack… thing. She no longer remembers Rory, but she does love Vincent van Gogh, so he takes her to the Musée d’Orsay to see a large collection of the artwork. Of course, nothing with the Doctor is ever easy, so when they notice a monster in the fine detail of van Gogh’s “The Church In Auvers-Sur-Oise, View From The Chevet,” they head off to 1890.
The monster itself isn’t the point — the point here is the transformative power of art and our own longevity.
Eleven seems a little sillier than Doctors Nine and Ten, but he also carries a look that says, the longer he lives, the more he questions whether he can hold it all together. Does he know as much as he thinks he knows — and even if he does, is that even close to enough, faced with the vastness of the universe?
“I am really stupid and I am growing old,” he says, quietly.
But the real gem comes at the end, when a museum guide speaks of van Gogh, in a quote that mirrors the Doctor himself: “He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world? No one had ever done it before and maybe no one will ever do it again.”