Richard Curtis says 'Vincent and The Doctor' was a tribute to his late sister Belinda.

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis

The former 'Doctor Who' writer used his wife and script editor Emma Freud's account during a live tweet with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan during a rerun of the emotionally charged episode, and he revealed how it was inspired by his older sibling.

He wrote: "So - here's the thing - the key reason I wrote this episode - was out of love for my sister Bindy.

"She was a gorgeous and brilliant person, 2 years older than me. She loved Vincent Van Gogh and life. She couldn't have been more full of generosity and joy.

"But half way through her life she was hit by depression and intermittently it hurt her for the rest of her life. And a few years before this show, like Vincent, she took her own life."

Through the classic episode - which first aired on 2010 - Richard wanted to shine a light on his sister, and the importance of mental health awareness and understanding.

In a series of tweets, he continued: "I was so keen to think about this - and talk about it a little - and try to understand how mental health can work - how it is part of the lives of the most wonderful people.

"And in the key scene of the episode - when they bring Vincent to the future... that was me trying to show Bin how glorious she had been in our lives - and how nothing could change that.

"And then also to deal with the fact that mental health issues are hard - and the capacity for joy, as I know Bindy did know how much she was loved, is intertwined with the immense difficult of the illness sometimes...

"So taking her own life wasn't a failure by her, or a rejection of all of us. It was, as they say on 'Love Island', what it was."

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