What a concept! The Doctor meets the one and only Vincent van Gough, the world's greatest ear-less painter! The only way that idea could possibly get any better was if it was written by, say, Richard Curtis, British comedy legend- The man behind Blackadder, Mr. Bean and the Vicar of Dibley, co-founder of Comic Relief, he was also responsible for Hollywood marvels such as Bridget Jones' Diary and Notting Hill. Since first putting pen to paper scripting Not the Nine O'Clock News, he has gone from Bean to KN favourite Robbie the Reindeer to adapting the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency into a BBC One drama and much more in his long and lustrous career.
However, writing about anything by Curtis quickly becomes very tough, as it's hard to not just write about how brilliant the man's credentials are. If there was ever an episode of Doctor Who we where sure would be fantastic, it's this. Although, we are forgetting something- The story. After all, comedy in Doctor Who has always been a side-dish to the main course of adventure, and let's not forget: Nobody remembers Mr. Bean for it's amazing plot twists.
We'd tell you to rest easy, but then all the BBC has given us on the episode's story is "In Provence, the Doctor, Amy and Vincent van Gogh join forces to fight a dangerous alien." Yeah, thanks Beeb. We never would have guessed that. Keep us informed.
Going back to the food imagery though, while the comedy has gone up in the world, it has only increased to being a starter, something ease us into the weirder side of Curtis' imagination. (According to the man himself, the episode includes a scene win which van Gough "Stabs a yellow monster". Which is nice, because there aren't nearly enough yellow monsters in Science Fiction, although the knifing isn't so good.) However, comedy is further pushed when we see another England laugh-legend doing his 'thing' with Matt Smith's Doctor in Bill Nighy. He plays the somewhat villainous Dr. Black, although he and the Doctor do engage in a spot of 'Bow Ties are Cool!'
This was this season's 'filmed over seas' story, with all of the story that wasn't shot in Cardiff's National Museum of Wales and Roald Dahl Plass being filmed in Croatia. Really, it's just an excuse for the production team to have a holiday, because we're sure we've seen places in Carmarthensheir that will double as Paris pretty well, although we guess passing through Llanelli is almost the same as visiting a foreign country.
All in all, this is building up to be an episode to savour. A mix of mystery, comedy and yellow monster-stabbing should make for fantastic fun this half-term weekend. The BBC might as well transmit the word 'FUN!' in flashing colours for 45 minutes tomorrow...