I did not know, until very recently, that Richard Curtis wrote that Van Gogh episode. In any case, there's something about Amy Pond that means I don't quite buy the enthusiasm for his paintings, but I'm not sure what exactly. That may well be an unfair judgement made about a young woman with no justification. It's surprising, though, to find her captivated by something like that. Perhaps that's the point, that all the sass and cynicism hide someone who really is full of those emotional connections to stuff, someone human. The Doctor describes the plastic-Roman version of Rory as 'so human', and those with a sense of history or who have been reading back through this very blog may know that phrase as one said to me (and of me) by someone who had seen that in me. I don't always hide behind sass and cynicism, although I am capable of that, but I do have experience of hiding, and of being unable to hide what I feel. Depression and anxiety took my ability to hide my feelings for a while just around five years ago, and there have been a couple of people who I have come across who have seen straight through me even when I was supposedly wearing my professional mask.
It's the same with how Amy feels about Rory, that there is this imbalance in how physically striking they are, but that does not stop Amy's love for Rory being all-conquering. The trope of the man loving the beautiful woman more than she loves him is a common one, and Arthur Darvill captures the idea of the nervous boyfriend of the whirlwind, mercurial girlfriend really rather well. Anyway, all of this is just a preamble to the confession that once again, when that Vincent episode came to a close and Bill Nighy is talking about where he sits in the pantheon of painters, I cried, and I did all that stuff that you do - blinking, tipping my head back - to try to stop it or disguise it. And it all happened again when the Doctor tells the story of his suicide at the age of 37, probably battered by years of depression and insomnia, possibly bipolar disorder...
Sometimes you rewatch something and a bit of the magic has gone. Not this. Perhaps the fact of watching it with a 9-year-old who is seeing it for the first time is part of that, but it really does feel like there was a bit of a streak across the David Tennant and Matt. Smith series. I wonder what I'll think about Capaldi.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought