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Cult Interview

Christmas 'Who': Q&A with Arthur Darvill

By
Rory from Doctor Who

© BBC

Earlier this year, we popped along to the Doctor Who set in Cardiff and quizzed the show's stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill all about this year's festive special, 'A Christmas Carol'. We begin our string of on-set chats with Mr Darvill, who shared his thoughts on working with Michael Gambon, being mates with The Doctor and a possible new look for Rory!

What is Rory's role in 'A Christmas Carol'?
"Amy and Rory are on their honeymoon at Christmas time. We're on a spaceship that's obviously in some terrible danger, so it's a slightly short-lived honeymoon! It's with The Doctor, so it's not going to be a safe holiday at all! The spaceship starts to crash and we all have to be saved somehow. Meanwhile, The Doctor's on this amazing planet and has a Christmas adventure to try and save us. It's all very dark and misty like a good, traditional Christmas episode should be!"

What was it like working with Sir Michael Gambon?
"Michael's brilliant. He's just been acting for so long that you can't help but be slightly in awe of him. But it's surprising, because he's so invested as an actor, but he's also a lot of fun. Once you get over those initial nerves, he's hilarious. He's just a joy to be in the same room with."

Was it strange filming Christmas scenes in July?
"It's really odd. You do scenes where it starts snowing and then you walk outside and you're swelteringly hot! Some people have to walk around with coats and big wooly hats on as part of their costume, then they come outside and there's puddles of sweat! But I think everyone is getting into the Christmas mood. Steven [Moffat] said he was going to bring mince pies down at some point. He hasn't done that yet, so I'm waiting!"
Amy Pond and Rory Williams get married in Doctor Who

How does it feel to be part of the first married couple to travel in the Tardis?
"It's really cool to be a married couple in the Tardis. It's obviously something that's never been done before, and it's not just any old married couple! It's still Amy and Rory, but they've both been through so much. I don't think they're going to settle down and start eating TV dinners. Not that that's all married couples do! I know lots of very exciting married couples who do lots of fun stuff. But I think Amy and Rory have grown up a bit and they're both a bit more used to being in perilous situations. I think it's going to be an interesting dynamic."

Do you think Rory has changed after the events of the last series?
"I think Rory has changed a hell of a lot. He's waited 2,000 years for Amy, he's died a few times, he's been a plastic Roman soldier and he's had a gun come out of his hand! I don't think you can get over those things particularly easily! I think he has grown, so while he's still probably going to be terrified of everything, he's now more willing to go the extra mile. I also think being around The Doctor and Amy brings out the adventurous side of him."

How has Rory's relationship with The Doctor changed over time?
"I think it's a pretty good relationship now. Rory's grown in confidence throughout all this and I think he feels like he's proved himself. It's just the three of them in the Tardis. I think they've all become really close and Rory and The Doctor are now quite good mates. They trust each other a lot and are able to tell each other what they really think."

Is it exciting being one of the few male companions to have featured on the show since the 2005 revival?
"Yeah, I think it's great. The dynamic between a male companion and The Doctor is always going to be really interesting. It's like how you are with your closest male friends and that's something that hasn't really been explored so far in recent Doctor Who. I'm really interested to see how The Doctor and Rory's relationship develops."

Do you feel more confident, returning to the show for a second run?
"I suppose I feel a bit more confident. I still have some panics and worries that come in every day! I'm going to say something really cheesy, but it's like a big family on-set. It's a really lovely bunch of people to work with. It would have to be for something that takes so long and for it to turn out so well!"

How do you think Rory is going to evolve in the next series?
"I think Rory's going to start working out. I think he's going to start pumping iron quite a lot and get on the protein shakes. He's going to shave his head and there'll be a few piercings and knuckle dusters. How about a tattoo with Amy's name on? 'Amy' and 'Rory' written on each side of his chest. He's basically going to become a bit of a meathead. A bit like the Jean-Claude Van Damme of the programme... which is obviously why I was cast!"

Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Christmas Day at 6pm.

Looking forward to 'A Christmas Carol'? Leave your thoughts below!

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