The scene with Van Gogh writhing on his bed in despair and misery was unlike anything I can remember seeing in Doctor Who before, I was literally shocked and also impressed. And throughout the emotion was explicit, which is very typical of Richard Curtis. Things which are not normally said between people are said, and the world doesn't come to an end. Tony Curran gave a performance which did justice to the writing. I think the script managed to push the emotion up to 11, teetering on the brink of a great sea of cheese, without losing the audience. Very good. The visual design was also unusually good.
However, I think the entire monster sub-plot was woeful shite. Perhaps Curtis was told he had to have 'a monster threat'. In any case he clearly didn't believe in it or understand what it ought to be like. All the authentic feeling simply drained away. The monster was about as dangerous as an escaped tiger. No, a tiger would have finished them off tout de suite. He should have left the monster out completely, and structured the show in a way that suited his own style better. It would have been easy enough to create some other pretext to travel to Provence.