Arthur Darvill in Doctor Who

As Doctor Who travels to New York and the Weeping Angels return, the show gets ready to bid farewell to Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams forever. Arthur Darvill, who plays Rory, tells TV Choice more.

Can you talk about the process of leaving Doctor Who?
It happened a while ago. Karen Gillan (who plays Amy) and I sat down with Piers Wenger and Beth Willis (the then producers) and also Steven Moffat (Doctor Who’s boss) and just had a chat about what our plans were, and what their plans were. It came out of that discussion. We’d all been thinking along the same timeline. And now it’s here! It’s quite emotional in some ways, but it’s also exciting.

Doctor WhoThis week’s episode was filmed in New York – how did you react when you heard you’d be going there?
Well I just bloody love New York. I’d been once before when we went on a press trip last year. I feel like I could live there at some point. I definitely want to work there for a while, and quite a few of my friends are doing plays over there, which is great. It’s funny, I’ve seen the city so many times in films and stuff, and when you get there it’s exactly how you expect it to be! I kind of feel like I know it really well because of that.

Tell us about the script for your swan song.
It’s amazing. When we were discussing how we were leaving, Steven just said, ‘You’re going to go out with a bang,’ and it’s brilliant. There were lots of people crying at the read-through. It was great, because it does mean so much to all of us, and I think that’s right. I don’t think we were being over-emotional about it, it’s a really emotional script.

Can you even really accept you’ve left the show?
No, not really. I can’t really conceive that I’ve even been in it, yet! Do you know what I mean? When we’re filming we concentrate so much on making each moment good. Then you see a screen with your face on or a big poster and you’re like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t quite compute in my mind.' I just get on with my job, I don’t think it will hit any of us – all three of us, really – until we’ve been a few years out it. Then we’ll realise what we’ve been doing for the last few years.

Doctor WhoJenna-Louise Coleman, who we met at the start of this run, is going to be the new companion. Does that feel weird, she’s stepped into your place?
Do you know what? It doesn’t. I’ve only met Jenna briefly, but I hear she’s absolutely lovely and I know she’s really excited. I don’t know what her story will be, I know nothing about anything that she’s involved with, but I don’t think she’s going to be a replacement for us. She’s a brand new companion, she’s a brilliant actress and she’s going to be great.

Do you know what you want to do next? Have you got a plan?
I don’t know if you can have a plan really. I do have a vague plan – I want to play some horrible people and I want to do some comedy, and I want to do some more theatre. Variety.

You’re a musician too – so more of that?
Yes. I‘ve started a band! But we don’t have a name yet. That’s the hardest bit.

One last thing – are you going to become one of those actors who in two years time will get snippy when people bring up Doctor Who?
No! I’ll always be proud of it. I think it’s an amazing thing.

Some people have a big success, and then consider it something to live down…
I think that comes from being insecure about stuff. I can’t really speak for anyone else but I’m so proud of what we’ve done on this show, and it’s been the best job I’ve ever had.

BBC1, Saturday

Graham Kibble-White