Arthur Darvill took time out to talk to What's On TV about playing Rory in Doctor Who and to fill us in on his latest adventure set in an acid mine. The second part of this Doctor Who story begins this Saturday with Rory in terrible danger as he looks for 'ganger' Jennifer in the monastery... Rory seems to have a bigger role in this series? “Absolutely, he’s really part of the gang now. I think getting married and proving himself to everyone. Waiting 2000 years for Amy has helped his confidence. It hasn’t made him ‘Mr Total Confidence’ because I don’t think he’ll ever be that, but he definitely feels like he deserves to be there, and has a role to play and can help out with whatever adventure they have. There are still various tensions there, but he’s not still trying to work out what’s going on between the Doctor and Amy and the whole time travel thing. He’s got it now!” Do you see him as a fully fledged companion this time then? “Absolutely and his nursing skills have definitely come into play this time around. The Doctor finds him more useful now. Their relationship is growing and it’s a very complicated relationship, but they are getting quite close. They’re now good friends and can tell each other what they think, rather than Rory kind of shying away from that.” Rory has quite a big part to play in this latest two-parter? “This is quite a good adventure for Rory because he’s really at the point where he really wants to prove himself. Here he knows he’s useful and can help out. He really goes for it in these episodes. There’s a big war going on between the ‘gangers’ and people, and it’s really a battle of humanity. He sometimes thinks the Doctor gets swept away to solve a situation and forgets about individual people who are being hurt.” This episode is a big one for Amy, is that right? “Right I’m going to be very diplomatic about this. There are really things that up the stakes about how much danger they’re in, affecting each other, and how much danger the Doctor is putting Amy in. But Rory feels a responsibility to keep everyone safe. There’s the ending to end all endings in this episode. I’m not saying exactly what it is, but it’s a biggie! Saying that, there’s a terrific cliffhanger in the next story, in episode seven. You won’t want to miss that either.” Have you got over having to sport a ponytail, like in the last series? “I’d like Rory to cut himself a Mohican and travel back to the 1970s to the punk rock era. Everyone, friends and family, loved that ponytail! It was really attractive, wasn’t it?” Were you ever a sci-fi fan before you joined Doctor Who? “I was just a kid when Doctor Who was on before and caught the end of Silvester McCoy’s Doctor. I’ve now caught up on Tom Baker’s stories on DVD and they were brilliant - he’s the Doctor I really like. I do dip in and out of sci-fi stuff. I think Star Trek The Wrath of Khan is one of the best films ever made! And I did watch Masters Of The Universe the other day and that’s a classic.” *Doctor Who next screens on BBC One on Saturday, May 26
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.