A few years ago, I got hooked onto the great British show Doctor Who, finishing the whole show in as little time as possible. Dr Who is a science fiction show about time travel in which the protagonist travels through time with a time machine that looks like a British phone booth. The first time you come to know about the way of time travel in this show, you’d be a little bemused. You’d think it’s weird that someone travels through time through a phone booth but soon enough you realise that time travel in itself is weird and not real, not at the moment at least, so it does not matter how a person travels through time.
There are many great moments in the episode but the one that hits closest to my heart is the last 3 minutes of Vincent and the Doctor. For those who don’t know who Vincent van Gogh is, what are you doing with your lives? Not knowing about one of the greatest people to ever live on earth is blasphemy in this day and age of technology.
Who was Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter who is most famously known for his printing starry night. His life was riddled with pain, something that led him to his death as well. Despite that, his painting showed the immense beauty of the world that fascinates people still today. The most heartbreaking aspect of his life however was the fact that his paintings and artwork only gained popularity after his death. He was subjected to heartbreaks and mediocrity all his life, but after the discovery of his art post his death, he has become arguably the greatest painter of all time.
Just the fact that his life was so full of self-doubt and pain makes everyone who knows of him sad. People wish Van Gogh found fame and popularity when he was alive. We wish he could enjoy even a fraction of the love that people have for him now. Sadly, it was not to be and he died in self-doubt, pain and sadness.
The fact that he died thinking he was a failure makes my heart ache.
This needs to be real
This brings us to the Dr Who episode called vincent and the Doctor. In this episode, Dr Who goes back to 1886 Paris to save Van Gogh from a monster. He helps Van Gogh defeat the monster but could not bear to live with the fact that Van Gogh would die without knowing of his worth, so he time travels and brings him to Musée d’Orsay, Paris in 2010. Musée d’Orsay is among the greatest museums on earth.
The next 3 minutes is what every person wishes to collectively achieve as human beings. Let Van Gogh know that he was a great painter and not everything in the world is bad. Watch it for yourselves and try not to cry.
The line from the clip, “He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty” is by far the greatest description of Van Gogh.