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April 23, 2014

Arthur Darvill Tries His Hardest Not to Spoil the New Season of 'Doctor Who'

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 23rd 2011 2:00PM
Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams on 'Doctor Who'As Rory Williams, actor Arthur Darvill started his first season of 'Doctor Who' as a mild-mannered nurse engaged to marry Amy Pond, the love of his life. Entering his second season, Darvill's Rory is a veteran time traveler who has faced down Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, and a host of others; been wiped clean from history and brought back again as an Auton; and spent 2,000 years guarding Pond in a box outside the reach of time. He and Pond are married, and both are companions to the Doctor.

We know that in series 6, which debuts tonight at 9PM ET on BBC America, the Doctor, Amy and Rory will do battle on a pirate ship, come to America, and face "The Silence." Darvill wanted to tell AOL TV all of the details about the upcoming adventures, but that would ruin the surprise. Still, we tried our hardest to get everything we could from the actor.

How much of this season was filmed here?
We came over to Utah just for a week. But we managed to fit in quite a lot of stuff there. The whole first two episodes are set in America, and there's only so much you can do in the studio in Cardiff. So it was just great to come over here and have such amazing, amazing scenery. All that stuff you see in movies, we were there. It's really upped the scale of the show. We stopped a lot in Monument Valley. And that was just unbelievable. It's one of those places you go and you can't quite believe you're there. I'd go and touch the rocks to really believe it.

What leads you to America?
We get a mysterious summons. And that's all I can really say. But it was the most fun to film. We're coming back with a bang. 'Doctor Who' in America. We go to town on it, really.


Are you able to say if there's crossover with 'Torchwood?'
I don't really know much about any of that stuff. But they've started filming again, haven't they?

Yes, for Starz. Probably a lot of people in America are assuming that since 'Torchwood' has come here and 'Doctor Who' has come here that there's going to be some kind of crossover.
Maybe there is, but I don't really know if there's going to be.

Do you find fans have gotten attached to Rory?
Yeah. It's really nice. We went down to the cinema where they're doing the screening tonight. There's people already waiting outside. There are people dressed in nurses costumes and Roman Centurions out there, and I was like, wow! That's insane. So yeah, it constantly shocks me. It's great. There's something really wonderful about 'Doctor Who' fans. They're just so enthusiastic and so committed to it.

Rory seems to be the character who undergoes the biggest change from the beginning to the end of series 5, is he a much different person in series 6?
He's still him. But he's been through a lot, and you have to be affected by that. I think the fact that he sacrificed so much for Amy, he waited for 2,000 years and has been on these adventures and really got out of his comfort zone, I think it's made him a bit more confident. And she's married him now, which has taken that weight off his mind. He was quite amazed that she actually married him. But he's got more confidence. He's going to man up and try and save the day himself a bit. It's funny because now they're married, it's like, you have a couple on the TARDIS and the Doctor is kind of the odd man out. Which is kind of weird. So Rory's man stakes have gone up a little bit.

I don't know if this is any more than speculation, but there's speculation that Amy will be pregnant in series 6. Is that something that's been confirmed?
I just love all the rumors. It's really funny that you get things popping up on the Internet. I'm not going to go into it. It's so funny, there's so much kind of secrecy surrounding 'Doctor Who,' which is brilliant, because so many people come up with these crazy theories. You're just going to have to wait and see what happens. But I guarantee you won't be disappointed when people do find out what's going on. I'm not going to confirm or deny anything.

I'm sure you get a lot of very detailed questions from fans.
About the history of the show. "In episode 3, why were you wearing that?" It's really funny. Real fans that have gone through the episodes with a fine-toothed comb.

Do you ever find you just don't know the answer?
Oh completely! It's really funny. The fans know more about the show than I do, and I'm in it. I do it every day. Their level of detail is unbelievable. I don't know how they keep it all in their brain.

So I hate to be one of the people asking the nerdish questions --
Oh, nerd away.

-- but in the wedding scene, as Amy is running --
[laughs] Right ...

-- towards the TARDIS, it sounds like Rory turns to the person next to him and says, "I'm plastic." Did I hear that right?
Uh, yeah. What the line was, and it's really quiet, and I don't know how much of it was kept in, but the line -- wow, I can't believe I remember this. As soon as the Doctor appears, I suddenly remember all about him. Which I love. So I go, "That's the Doctor. Of course it's the Doctor." Then I turn around and go, "I was made of plastic." It's not about being currently made of plastic. Rory's definitely flesh and blood.

What can you say about "The Silence?"
I don't want to give too much away because obviously, that should be a surprise. But they're my favorite monster. It's a real Steven Moffat monster. They look scary. What they do is terrifying. I think they're going to become one of those iconic monsters. They're great. We were scared to film with them. We knew they were costumes, but they are very scary. It's a really, really good idea. That's about as much as I can say about them.

So "The Silence" is a particular thing and not a story arc?
Well, I mean, it's been going on for a while. And I think different things get revealed about this silence, the whole "silence will fall" thing that's going on. What Steven does so beautifully is that almost everything that we mention in the stories is to do with the bigger picture. And what I think he's so clever at is, there's a big story arc for the whole series. But even for the first-time viewer, it's so accessible and really good stories every episode. You can sit down and watch an episode without having seen any of the other stuff and know what's going on. I think it's a really fine balance that he's got there, really clever writing.

I love all those little details he puts in. Sometimes we're saying stuff and we don't realize the significance of it until months down the line when things are revealed. It makes it really exciting to film. It's exciting for us because we're not told what's going to happen until we get the script.

Is the approach the same this series, is there an arc to series 6?
Yeah, very much so. I think that's how Steven's working it. I'm nervous to say anything about it, but yes.

'Doctor Who' castDoes this put you on the spot more than any other acting job you've had?
Yes. The level of secrecy is hilarious. Sometimes it's really funny. Because, you know, I go to work and I come home to be with my friends, my girlfriend, and they're like, "Oh, what have you done today?" And I'm like, "Oh, I can't really tell you. Uh ... How are you?" It kind of makes me really boring in my day-to-day life because I'm not actually allowed to talk about my job at all. But it's really exciting. It's one of the only shows that really has that level of secrecy. But try to find stuff out. The exciting thing is when episodes you know are really going to surprise people are on, it's so good if the secrets haven't been given away.

When you were doing press for last season, was there ever a time when you thought you gave something up?
Oh, constantly. I kind of have to really think. But I think we've been well trained just to not answer questions. It gives you this skill of being able to waffle on about nothing. You're actually not allowed to give any information so I can just talk about nothing for hours and have given no information about anything away.

Is there a temptation to just start making things up?
Oh yeah, I've done that in the past, as well. It was quite fun.

What was the most egregious thing you think you've said?
The thing is, I could tell you what I've made up, but it would be giving it away.

About last season?
Oh, about last season. I think I've only starting making things up recently. But then ... No, I can't give anything away, because it's a process of elimination.

Do you have any favorite moments from filming this season?
Yeah. Utah was amazing. And then we did -- I think I can say this, yeah, it's out there -- we did an episode on a pirate ship. Which was brilliant. It was like a boyhood dream come true. We were in Cornwall in the south of England on a pirate ship. I watched 'Hook' three times that week, really getting into it. I felt like a kid and we were all just so excited to be there. It was all pirate-y and cool. We were on an adventure. But there's so much exciting stuff going on in this series. And I just wish I could talk about it. That's one of the things I love about, once it's come out, I can actually talk about it, rather than just keeping everything a secret.

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