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Doctor Who: Tony Curran Reflects on Popularity and Emotional Weight of Vincent and the Doctor

Tony Curran, who played Vincent Van Gogh in the Doctor Who Series 5 episode, Vincent and the Doctor, has reflected on the ongoing importance of the episode, even around 14 years after it first aired.

The actor has been in a lot of high-profile series and films, including Daredevil, Elementary, Ray Donovan, and Deadwood, but it’s clear that Doctor Who has a place in his heart, as he explains:

“[Vincent and the Doctor] was art: how can art affect people? Hopefully in a good way. It was the first time actually, after that episode came out 10 years ago or whatever it was, there was a [phone] number for people living with depression or mental health issues.

“I guess, as an actor, as an artist, to entertain people, to inform people is great. But maybe, and hopefully at times, to help people is a great feeling.

“I had some people come up to me and say they were in a really dark place and that they’d thought about making some very dark decisions and they watched that episode, it made them cry, and it made them contact people who [said] ‘It’s okay to not be okay’, as it were.”

And he’s right: it’s a beautiful episode because it means something. You really connect with the troubled painter, more so because you see the world through his eyes and those eyes see the wonder of things; that can turn to sadness so quickly too.

It’s a testament to everyone involved that Vincent and the Doctor remains such an affecting piece of TV, over a decade after it was broadcast, and that it’ll likely remain so for a long time.

For help and support, you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit its official website. Someone is always there for you; you are not alone.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Doctor Who: Tony Curran Reflects on Popularity and Emotional Weight of Vincent and the Doctor

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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