The second half of the Doctor Who season is in full swing, and we’ve already seen The Doctor and his companions tangle with killer jellyfish robots, creepy laughing dolls, and even Adolf Hitler. And though The Doctor (Matt Smith) has been the focus of much of the action thus far, this weekend’s episode promises to offer a companion-centric tale with Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill).
In “The Girl Who Waited,” The Doctor finds himself confined to the TARDIS and unable to search for Amy after she gets stuck in an alternate, fast-moving timestream. That means it’s Rory to the rescue — and Darvill couldn’t be happier about playing the hero.
“It’s funny the way Rory deals with things, because he’s quite nervous and he doesn’t really want to himself in danger, but as soon as there’s anything to do with Amy being in danger he’ll throw himself in straight away,” laughed Darvill during Thursday’s press call promoting this weekend’s episode.
In a wide-ranging Q&A with various outlets, Darvill discussed “The Girl Who Waited,” as well as the remaining season, Rory’s frequent deaths, and recent revelations regarding Rory and Amy’s daughter, among other topics. Here are the highlights from our chat with Rory… er, Darvill:
1. On Karen Gillan’s role in “The Girl Who Waited” and their action scenes together:
She has to play something very different from what she normally plays. That was a real challenge for her and she really pulls it off. She’s great. . . They let us do as many of our own stunts as possible.
As well as testing Rory and Amy’s relationship, it tests The Doctor and Rory’s relationship quite a bit as well, because The Doctor can’t actually do anything. . . Rory does all right, though. He kind of mans-up a bit.
2. Asked whether there’s a chance we’ll ever see Rory team up with one of The Doctor’s other previous companions, Darvill said he’s an uncertain as everyone else if such a thing could happen.
I don’t know. Steven [Moffat] is very good at keeping them all quite separate, but I wouldn’t put it past him to put us all together. Maybe it will be some kind of strange self-help group.
3. On how Rory has changed as a character over the last few seasons:
When he started traveling with The Doctor, he didn’t think he’d be there very long. . . Now, because Amy’s got such a bond with The Doctor and obviously because of fathering River Song, he’s completely in this world. He’s had to prove himself and man-up so many times now that it’s really affected him. It’s proved to him that even though all of these incredible things have happened – these horrible things – that his relationship with Amy is the strongest thing in the world, and it’s very real. He’s still wildly in love with her.
4. Asked what we can expect form the remainder of the season, Darvill said the second half of the season is “the strongest stuff that we’ve done.”
[The remaining episodes] are all so different and each one is like a different movie, it’s just great. After this next episode, “The God Complex” is set in a creepy hotel where there’s a minotaur and all these rooms with a different freaky thing. . . It’s almost like The Shining.
The season finale just blew my mind. It’s about as epic as Doctor Who has ever got, and it answers more questions that everyone is dying to hear the answers to.
5. On Rory and Amy learning that their childhood friend Mels was actually their daughter Melody, and seeing Melody regenerate into River Song:
I think he’s a bit freaked out about the whole thing, to be perfectly honest. But the thing is, with everything that happens in Doctor Who, there’s never really time to sit back and consider it.
I don’t think he’s really had that much time to sit back and go, “Oh my god, what has happened to my life?” . . . It’s kind of funny, because I think Rory and River’s relationship has been quite strange. I think Rory’s been quite nervous of her, and now obviously their relationship is going to change, because Rory is her dad. I’m quite intrigued to see how that develops.
6. When asked which of the creatures from the recent seasons were his favorite, Darvill went with the beasties from the current season, The Silence.
I’m a big fan of The Silence. I think they’re a brilliant creation from Steven. . . The psychological element of what they can do and how they affect people is brilliant.
7. One of the more interesting portions of the Q&A developed when Darvill was asked why Rory and Amy seem to be completely unphased by the loss of their daughter and the time they would have spent raising her.
There was time in between those two episodes, in the summer break, for [Rory and Amy] to sit down and talk about it. . . They’re so affected by what’s happened and by everything they’ve been going through every day, that this can happen and it can be not as freaky as it would be for your average person. They’ve been so completely sucked into The Doctor’s world, that to return to real life and to react how normal people would react to things, they can’t really do it. . . Obviously, they are freaked out, but I don’t think you want to see an episode where they sit and chat about it.
8. And finally, on the subject of Rory dying and being brought back to life as many times as he has:
Yeah, it’s gotten a bit much for him, all the dying. He’s a bit sick of that, to be perfectly honest. . . I personally hope that Rory just stops dying.
And there you have it, Whovians — straight from Rory’s mouth to your ears.
You can watch Arthur Darvill on the upcoming episode of Doctor Who titled “The Girl Who Waited” this Saturday, September 10, at 9 PM EST on BBC America.
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