Gay Times October 12 - Issue 411
Doctor Who’s Rory has faced monsters and robots, spent thousands of years as a plastic Roman, died numerous times and fathered the extremely camp River Song. Arthur Darvill’s journey aboard the TARDIS is about to come to a final end, but not before GT puts him in a frock and talks about stuffed owls
More from Gay Times October 12 - Issue 411
I’m just going to go and put on some pants,” Arthur Darvill tells us without batting an eye.
It’s only taken us two years but we got there in the end.
When we first met Arthur in Cardiff on the set of Doctor Who in 2010, he was dressed as a Roman soldier and we didn’t know what the hell was going on. Cut to present day and we’ve put him in a completely different kind of skirt and poured water over him.
So when we say ‘we got there’ we do of course mean giving Arthur his first proper fashion shoot.
But our tale doesn’t start here. Nor does it begin with Rory the Roman. It starts, in typical Doctor Who fashion, at the beginning of the end, four months ago in Roath Lock, the brand spanking new BBC studios in Cardiff and home to Doctor Who. We’re the first press to get access to series seven, which returns to BBC One on Saturday nights this month for five ‘movie-like’ episodes. A Christmas Day special, which introduces Jenna Louise Coleman as the new companion, follows before the remaining eight episodes screen in the spring.
Make no mistake – this is once again event television.
And the biggest part of that journey this year? Why, saying a fond farewell to Rory Williams and his wife Amy Pond of course.
The recently-turned 30-year-old Arthur has gone on to win the hearts of fanboys – OK, and girls – around the globe. He’s up there, alongside co-star Matt Smith, as one of the geekily hot stars of cult television.
He’s also, along with co-star Karen Gillan, the longest running companion since Doctor Who was rebooted in 2005.
And today he’s fighting Daleks. He’s officially cool.
“It feels right,” he says when asked if he’s glad he’s just managed to fit in a Dalek encounter before he leaves. “It’s really easy to forget that you’re doing Doctor Who, because you’re just kind of doing it, but then I turn up to work and there’s loads of Daleks everywhere. It’s like, ‘oh right, this is what I imagined it would be like.’
“What I think is brilliant is, because there’s quite a few of them, [Dalek operators] and they all know each other, they all just kind of chat, quite normally about stuff [inside the Daleks]. Because they’re in there for a long time – it’s just kind of two Daleks chewing the fat, which I find really amusing.
“I’ve had quite a few where I’ve started talking to them and you realise there’s not actually anyone in it, I’m just talking to nothing, talking to a piece of plastic…”
Plans were afoot a year ago for both Arthur and Karen to leave at the same time – importantly, when they felt it was right.
“I think the worst thing to do would be to outstay your welcome on a thing like this. We were both very keen to do a really good chunk of time on it and get the best out of it that we could. But I think as soon as it becomes normal or boring, for us and for the audience, I don’t think that could be a positive thing.
“We’re pushing it to a peak and then we’ll leave it there, rather than hanging around for ages and making the same choices. The programme’s so much about change, the whole concept is about change and regeneration and new things happening. Every week’s a new thing.
“It feels right, but very sad.”
Words: Darren Scott
Image: Photography by Leigh Keily assisted by Stephen Conway, Style Editor Dennis Maloney, Styling by Russell Philip Peek, Grooming by Evan Huang using M.A.C and Clinique. Arthur wears shirt and scarf by Holland Esquire, hollandesquire.com, Trousers by Percival, percivalclo.com, Watch by Thomas Sabo, thomassabo.com
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