Comic-Con: Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill Talk DOCTOR WHO, Leaving the Show, Their Favorite Moments, and More

     July 19, 2012


The all-new season of Doctor Who doesn’t premiere until later this year on BBC America, but in the meantime, the cast and creative team headed down to Comic-Con for a presentation and panel, and to debut footage for the show’s loyal and dedicated fans.  This season will see the last days of the Ponds, with Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) returning for their final rollercoaster voyage with The Doctor (Matt Smith), and then see a dramatic turn of events when The Doctor meets a new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.

During this interview, co-stars Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill talked to the press about how much more emotional things will get before their characters leave the show, their favorite moments on the show, how satisfied they were with their departure, the reason they wanted it to be a final goodbye, and how surprised they’ve been by the fan love for their characters.  Darvill also talked about doing a play next, before shooting a series called Broadchurch (written by Chris Chibnall), and Gillan will shoot Not Another Happy Ending in Glasgow, before going to Alabama to shoot a horror film called Oculus.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

doctor-who-comic-conQuestion: With everything your characters have been through, where else can they go, emotionally, before your done with the show?

KAREN GILLAN:  They really have gone to all of the extremes imaginable.  But, they haven’t because they go to more.

ARTHUR DARVILL:  We can’t say too much about it

GILLAN:  Their relationship is in a sticky situation, shall we say.

DARVILL:  Yeah, that’s something we haven’t explored, so far.

GILLAN:  And they’re coming to terms, generally, with dealing with an actual life with the Doctor and how that works and how that manifests itself.

DARVILL:  They want their life at home to be stable and good, but there’s always this pull of this man in a box who has completely changed their lives.

Is there much reflection on last season and their child, or are you moving on?

DARVILL:  The nature of the show is that it’s always moving forward.  There’s not that much reminiscing or looking back, but it obviously affects them.

doctor-who-castWhat has been your favorite moment, on the show?

GILLAN:  Actually, you haven’t seen it yet.  It’s in the final episode.  That is, by far, my favorite.

DARVILL:  Previous to that, I liked “The Big Bang.”

GILLAN:  I quite liked “The Girl Who Waited” because that was fun.

Were you satisfied with your departure?

GILLAN:  More than satisfied.  After doing it for three years, I wanted it to be really epic, and it’s more than that.  It’s the most epic episode we’ve ever shot.  It’s in New York as well, so just the production value of it looks really movie-like.  And the weeping angels are in it, who are clearly the best monsters.  It’s really cool!

DARVILL:  It was brilliant!  Whenever any script came out, Steven always surprised us by what was in it.  This was no exception, at all.  It’s huge and brilliant.  We all finished reading it and we were all in tears, just from reading it in our houses.  We phoned each other and were like, “Have you read this?!”

GILLAN:  I didn’t read it for weeks.  I was like, “I’m not reading it ‘cause then it makes it real.  I’m not reading my ending!”  And then, finally, I did.

karen-gillan-arthur-darvill-doctor-whoDARVILL:  She had to read it, in order to film it.

GILLAN:  So, I left it until the last minute.

In years past, when companions have left, they’ve occasionally returned.  Would you be open to doing that?

GILLAN:  When I left, I wanted it to be done.  I want people to go and rewatch the final moments and actually feel sad still, but not like, “Oh, they’re coming back, so it’s fine!”  So, probably not, but you should never say never.

DARVILL:  Anything can happen in this show.

Was that something you had talked to Steven Moffat about?

GILLAN:  Yeah, definitely!  We wanted to have the strongest impact.

Arthur, do you have a favorite death for Rory?

DARVILL:  In the Dream Lord episode, I liked him turning to dust just ‘cause it was really cool, watching myself turn to dust.  I really liked that.

GILLAN:  I liked the pirate ship, when you got casually thrown overboard.

karen-gillan-doctor-who-image-2DARVILL:  I was really gutted that that was a stunt double who actually got thrown off.  I really wanted to do it.  And then, I saw him come out of the water, freezing, and I was like, “It’s probably fine that I didn’t do that.”

How do the weeping angels play into your final episode?

DARVILL:  They have grown and developed into something more scary.

GILLAN:  They’ve become bigger and better than ever.

DARVILL:  How to answer a question while not saying anything at all.  They are really scary!  You look at statues in different ways.

GILLAN: Gargoyles are pretty freaky.  They were anyway, but now, with this new-found knowledge that they could actually be weeping angels just freaks me out.  Sometimes they have actual statues and sometimes they have dancer girls, and it just takes away from it.

Arthur, how come you don’t have an action figure?

DARVILL:  I’m really angry about that!  I made a call about it.  There is a petition.  I’ve already seen prototypes, but ages ago.  The head was too small, and I do have quite a small head.  It wasn’t to scale.  I don’t really know, but it should be coming out soon.  They just couldn’t release one with a small head and a big body.

doctor_who_image_karen_gillanHave you guys been amazed by the fan love for your characters?

DARVILL:  Yeah, and Comic-Con really helps it hit home.  It’s 100,000 people who know what it is and are really enthusiastic about it.  We’re always surprised about the reaction.

GILLAN:  I just can’t believe it, sometimes.  I’m just taking it as this crazy, once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never have again.  I’m just really enjoying it.  It’s just mental, though.  It really is!  When people are physically shaken because they’ve seen you, it’s amazing.

DARVILL:  You’re like, “This isn’t real life!”

GILLAN:  There was a guy chasing the car last night!

DARVILL:  Comic-Con, for me, was a whole series of awkward moments with people.  I’m like, “I don’t really know what to say to you.”  They seem pretty happy, but I’m just a quivering wreck about it.

GILLAN:  I get nervous, sometimes.

Was there ever any discussion about why you’re known as The Ponds and not The Williamses?

DARVILL:  No, it’s just standard.

GILLAN:  It’s just the way it is, and it won’t change.

matt-smith-karen-gillan-doctor-who-imageWhat are you guys going to do next?

GILLAN:  We’ll answer for each other.  So, Arthur is about to do a play with his best friend in London, which he’s really excited about because they’ve known each other since they were eight.  And then, he’s going to do a series called Broadchurch, which is written by Chris Chibnall, who wrote episodes of Doctor Who, starring Arthur Darvill, David Tennant and Olivia Coleman.

DARVILL:  Karen is going straight back to Glasgow to start a film called Not Another Happy Ending, which is about a writer.  It sounds very, very interesting.  And then, she’s going to Alabama to do a horror film about a mirror, called Oculus.

GILLAN:  It’s a great script!  Basically, it’s psychological horror about these two siblings facing this mirror that my character believes to have paranormal powers.

To catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2012 coverage, click here.