Five Great Arthur Darvill Performances on ‘Doctor Who’

Amy and Rory

Given the impressive range of abilities displayed by the male traveling companions of the Doctor, it’s startling to consider that Rory Pond (né Williams) had any ground left to break. But he did: first companion to die more than once, first companion to turn bumbling inefficiency into a battle plan, first companion to live for over 1,000 years, and the first to father a child within the TARDIS.

For the actor playing him, these moments of newness can’t have been that big a deal, as he has to play Rory as if everything is a first, which of course he does. However, all credit to Arthur Darvill, whose last appearance as the Last Centurion is this Saturday, for not only playing wide-eyed innocence, but also comedic huffiness at being perpetually ignored, desperate loyalty to the willful Amy, and of course, lots and lots of death scenes.

Here’s just a sample of his range:

“Look After Our Baby”

Just one of many death scenes for Rory, who showed remarkable willingness to continue travelling with his wife’s Time Lord BFF given the amount of times those adventures resulted in his premature demise. Even when it turns out that everything was just a dream, Rory dies. This is all great practise for Arthur, should The Royal Shakespeare Company come calling.

“Shut Up Hitler!”

Grr! Tough Rory! Well, sort of. What you often get with Doctor Who is the internal and external monologue of the characters at the same time, and with Rory, his internal monologue is often slightly flustered. So Arthur’s job is to deliver the action hero line with an undercurrent of doubt, as if he’ll be laughed at for even trying to be tough.

“SHE IS TO ME!”

Not that he can’t be tough too. There are times where Rory’s love for Amy gives him the strength and courage of a battalion, and allow him to overcome any obstacle, such as being turned into an Auton and shooting his wife dead. You get a definite sense that this is an amiable man (arf!) with a spine of pure steel.

“You’re Turning Me Into You”

And he’s not above judging the Doctor. Clearly there is a lot of affection between the two men in Amy Pond’s life – Rory even kisses the Doctor when he books them into the first night of the Savoy – but again, Arthur has to play Rory as a friendly guy who sees everything and worries about it. So when the elder version of Amy is denied entry to the TARDIS, Rory’s distress is what causes his internal worries and criticisms of the Doctor to spill out.

“Where Is My Wife?”

Because Rory is also ROCK. HARD. But only when he needs to be.

What’s your favorite Arthur/Rory moment? Tell us here:

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

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