Arthur Darvill won over Doctor Who fans last year playing Amy Pond’s devoted boyfriend, Rory Williams. The pair are now enjoying life as newlyweds aboard the TARDIS and returning for his second series, Arthur reveals how his character has grown, what being married to the feisty companion is really like and how filming on a pirate ship made his childhood dreams come true.
Out of all the characters, Rory has perhaps been on the biggest journey since stepping into the TARDIS. “Last series I think Rory felt like he was on the outside looking into this world he was desperately trying to save Amy from,” admits Arthur. “But he’s very much inside that world now and married life has stopped him feeling so unworthy. He feels that he’s proved himself.”
Arthur believes that Rory’s new-found confidence is all down to his exciting travels with the Doctor and Amy. “His sense of adventure has awoken,” reveals Arthur. “But he hasn’t become arrogant in any way, he’s just more comfortable.”
However, his new self belief hasn’t helped him shake the nickname “Mr Pond”. “I think Amy will always wear the trousers in the relationship. As much as Rory has proved himself, it’s Amy after all, and I dare any man to be in charge of that relationship. She’s a firecracker,” laughs Arthur.
It’s obvious that three isn’t a crowd when it comes to life in the TARDIS, but how does Arthur find working with Matt and Karen? “They’re brilliant, it’s lucky we all get on so well. The most fun I have is when all three of us are together; it’s a really good working relationship. It helps that we all came on board together because we’re growing as a unit and keeping each other on our toes.”
Doctor Who is known for its fantastic guest stars and the new series is no exception, featuring the likes of Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain and David Walliams as a mole-like alien. Alex Kingston also makes a welcome return for Arthur, “Alex is back, which makes the team feel complete. She’s just a dream to work with and is hilarious on set.” But Arthur isn’t daunted at the prospect of working with such household names. “Funnily enough I get more nervous meeting writers than actors,” he recalls, “even more so with Neil Gaiman as he’s just brilliant.”
This year, the cast swapped Cardiff for Utah in the USA to film the epic opening two-parter set in the Sixties. “Filming in America was amazing, especially going to an area of America which I’ve seen in so many movies,” says Arthur.
Asked what his highlight of the series has been, Arthur excitedly reveals that it was filming on board a pirate ship for the third episode. “Going on a pirate ship was unbelievable; it felt like we were on a movie set.” But it wasn’t pirates that Arthur was worried about; instead it was clumsy Karen Gillan let loose with a sharp weapon. “Karen got to do a massive sword fight and I thought she was going to be a liability. Someone was going to have their eye out at the very least! But she was actually pretty good, I think she’d been practising secretly,” confides Arthur.
It appears Amy’s swashbuckling skills could come in useful this series as Arthur hints that the monsters are scarier than ever before. “The ambition of the show has grown, there are a lot of surprises this year,” hints Arthur. “It’s not necessarily a big monster on the screen, but ideas that are presented in episodes one and two that keep building throughout the series.” One monster stands out in particular for him. “I think The Silence are really going to blow people’s socks off. They’re terrifying,” exclaims Arthur.
Rory and Amy may be settling into the routine of married life, but the honeymoon period definitely isn’t over for Arthur when it comes to the show: “Everyone cares so much about it, which is what makes coming to work such a joy every day,” he says.
Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday 23rd April. In the meantime check out our news, spoilers and galleries here.