Vincent Van Gogh, Dr Who and a Church for #SundayStills

My Dr Who moment in Auvers-sur-Oise

Church in Auvers by Vincent Van Gogh
Church in Auvers by Vincent Van Gogh

Sunday Stills

Terri’s Sunday Stills this week has the theme of Churches, Temples and Spiritual Centres so I’m sharing a travel memory from a few years ago. (Please note this post is modified from one I wrote in February 2016).

To explain

While on a cycling tour in France a few years ago I was very excited to see that we were visiting the town of Auvers-sur-Oise.  What was so special about this little town (apart from the fact that Vincent van Gogh had lived there for a while and painted a few lovely paintings in the town) – was also the place where an episode of Dr Who was set.

I was the only one in our group who recognised the church from the Dr Who series and obviously the only one to be very excited by the fact that we were there! I am a Dr Who fan and so this was a very big moment for me!

Sometimes life can imitate art

Auvers Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Auvers Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, France

My photos show the Church at Auvers and a photo of  Van Gogh’s painting that was on display outside the church (first pic). Throughout the town there were many displays of Vincent’s work and it was a great reminder of his talent.

The Church at Auvers plays a prominent role in “Vincent and the Doctor“, the tenth episode of the fifth series of the revived science-fiction television programme Doctor Who in 2010. In it, the painting depicts a strange, griffin-esque creature (called a “krafayis”) at a window of the church, which signifies to the show’s time-travelling protagonist, the Doctor, that something evil was lurking in Auvers-sur-Oise in June 1890. Only when van Gogh himself, played by Tony Curran, defeats the creature at the church, does the painting revert to its original, unaltered, state. The krafayis is later revealed to have been blind, with blindness to the colors and shapes of the world and sky (as Vincent drey) being a recurring theme of the episode.[8] Source

I really enjoyed the episode with the creature and the depiction of Vincent Van Gogh – he was a very likeable fellow and took to the Doctor and the whole time-travelling theme quite well, all things considered!

Auvers Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Auvers Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, France

That God of the clergymen, He is for me as dead as a doornail. But am I an atheist for all that? The clergymen consider me as such — be it so; but I love, and how could I feel love if I did not live, and if others did not live, and then, if we live, there is something mysterious in that.

Vincent Van Gogh

The church was also the resting place of Vincent Van Gogh.  He was buried with his brother Theo who died just 6 months after Vincent. I didn’t know this fact until we were there.

Grave of Theo and Vincent
The graves of Vincent and his brother Theo

So on that note I will finish by saying thanks to Terri for the opportunity to share a moment in time.

Any other Whovians out there who recognise this church?

Deb 🙂

All my Sunday Stills posts can be found here – I’ve been doing these for a while and enjoy the challenge it gives me each week!

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27 Replies to “Vincent Van Gogh, Dr Who and a Church for #SundayStills”

  1. Hi Deb – I didn’t recognize the church, but I knew which episode you were referring too. With a church like that, you really need to throw in a weeping angel or two for effect! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely photos Debbie, sadly I’m not whovian, but it is exciting to see something you’ve seen on TV in real life. I went to Richmond recently and got super excited to stand in the alleyway where Ted Lasso lived 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I’ve heard of Dr Who, and Vincent van Gogh, but anyone who is a fan like you must have been super thrilled to see and recognize the church, then find that the artist was buried there. Like full circle or something, right? Glad this theme sparked your memory and you could share your story about this. Love how that works, Debbie, brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great dip into art, history, churches and Dr Who! I haven’t watched Dr Who for years but two of my boys are fans. I’ll have to test them in that episode!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a die hard Whovian who recalls episode one way back I’d probably suuggest- butting in before Deb – you start with the Christopher Ecclestone Dr and move forward. But if you want to dip into the old series dig out the episodes written/directed by a young Douglas Adams of the Hitch Hikers Guide fame.
      Sorry Deb. Your turn!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh boy what a treat. I’m swooning. Yep long term Whovian who goes right back to the first episode. In truth I much prefer today’s series. It became too self regarding, bit like Bond under Roger Moore. Will you find time for the experience in Cardiff on your upcoming trip. You’re within a short hop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was such a blast Geoff! I was introduced to Dr Who by my father and can remember watching it through my fingers, it was so scary! I too like the latest versions more. I went to the Cardiff experience back on a visit in 2013, I dragged my daughter along, she is NOT a fan!

      Liked by 1 person

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