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Doctor Who star Tony Curran reveals he has shown daughter ‘powerful’ Van Gogh episode - exclusive

Tony played Vincent Van Gogh in the iconic Doctor Who episode

Tony Curran as Vincent Van Gogh in Doctor Who
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
7 March 2024
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If you are a Doctor Who fan, then chances are that the season five episode Vincent and the Doctor has a special place in your heart. Starring Tony Curran as Van Gogh, the story follows the Doctor and his friend Amy Pond as they attempt to help the artist with an alien-based problem. 

However, the moment that has remained in the hearts of viewers - and amassing over 25 million views on YouTube - is when the Doctor takes Vincent to the future and has an art expert (played by Bill Nighy) explain why his artwork is so essential, calling him the “world’s greatest man” and leading Vincent to thank him in floods of tears. 

WATCH: Doctor Who: the moment that Van Gogh visits the future

Chatting to HELLO! about the beloved moment in the series, while promoting his new drama, Mary and George, Tony explained: “I watched it a few years ago with my daughter actually and she was having a wee cry. It had a profound effect on a lot of people artistically. Van Gogh, the tragic artist, is tragic in the sense of his demise and how his life ended. But, the amount of art that he cranked out in such a short time, just before his death, in many ways was unprecedented. 

It's funny when people watch that episode who loved Doctor Who but didn't know about Van Gogh became Van Gogh fans, and people who love Van Gogh have heard about the episode and have also become Doctor Who fans.

Tony Curran in Doctor Who's Vincent and the Doctor
Tony Curran in Doctor Who's Vincent and the Doctor

I've met some fans of Doctor Who who really suffered from depression and they were in some very dark, dark places, sadly, and they said they watched the episode and it pulled them out of their melancholia… To have that correlation with an artist who didn't feel too good either. But he did all this beautiful art. So I think that was a very powerful piece of television.” 

The actor is now starring at King James I in the new historical period drama, and is set to star in Outlander: Blood of My Blood - the highly anticipated spinoff of the hit series. 

LISTEN: Tony Curran joins our latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast

“I've already started [filming] last week. I’m the grandfather of Jamie Fraser and my son Brian - it’s very confusing - is the father of Sam Heughan. Lord Lovat was 80 when he died, he was one of the last men in the United Kingdom to be decapitated. He fought in the Battle of Culloden, And he was captured and decapitated. Executed.” 

Tony Curran as King James in Mary & George© Rory Mulvey/ SKY UK
Tony Curran as King James in Mary & George

“Lord Lovat, he feels that he's been somewhat looked over. His lands, his title may have been taken away. He is a bit of a Machiavellian character who wants vengeance, and he's going to try his best to get it.” 

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