In a season where nods back to “classic” Doctor Who have been more in vogue than at any point since the series came back, it’s odd that the more unconventional stories of this season like Amy’s Choice and this weeks Vincent and the Doctor have risen to the top of our 2010 Dynamic Ratings Table. Neither change-of-pace episodes or pseudo-historicals are new to Doctor Who, or nu-Who for that matter, and like any Doctor Who they rise and fall on the strength and execution of the story. In this regard Love & Monsters completely misfired while The Unquiet Dead worked wonderfully. And much like The Unquiet Dead, the subject matter has much to do with art and artists.
Vincent and the Doctor is basically a three-man play, and that specifically excludes the “monster.” It’s hardly an accident that the Krafayis is invisible, as the artist is really the subject in this episode. It’s hardly conventional Doctor Who, a point driven further home during the last 12-15 minutes beginning when Vincent demonstrates how he sees the night sky (a gorgeous show-stopping morphing) straight through to the daytrip to the present day so that the Doctor could show Vincent that he really was appreciated (again just like The Unquiet Dead) when Vincent and the Doctor becomes more of a Richard Curtis film in tone and direction than Doctor Who.