‘Doctor Who’ star Arthur Darvill: ‘I love people believing you are someone totally different each time.’

Emily Jupp
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  • Last updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2012 at 4:13 pm

Arthur Darvill Keith Pattis 300x225 Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill: I love people believing you are someone totally different each time.

(c) Keith Pattison

Arthur Darvill has now left ‘Doctor Who’ in which he starred alongside Karen Gillan and Matt Smith as the Doctor’s ineffectual but endearing second assistant. After two years on the show, he tells Emily Jupp what the future has in store.

The theatre inspired your love of acting. Are you going to do more now that you’ve left Doctor Who?

Yes definitely. My first proper play was with Nabakov theatre, called Terre Haute. I was playing a character based on the Oklahoma bomber, which was interesting. I’m in a play at the moment - Our Boys at the Duchess, and I’m filming Broadchurch [a TV series on ITV, in which he plays a priest] during the day.

That’s a lot of work. When do you sleep?
Good question. I’m good at sleeping in cars, between things.

What will you miss most about Doctor Who?
I think it’s the people that I’ll really miss. We are all very busy but I try to see Karen [Gillan] and Matt [Smith] when I can. Also I love the character of Rory. The journey he went on is close to myself… It’s odd, I will never speak in his way again. Karen and I sat down with Steven Moffat about a year ago and worked out that [it] was the right time. It feels good to go when people still want you to stay.

What next?
I made the choice after leaving Doctor Who of doing lots of work that is far away from myself. I did an episode of The Paradise (BBC1) as a barber. I suppose he has the same voice and values as me, it was a really fun part to play. Other than that I’ve taken really different roles. For The Globe’s Shakespeare on Screen season I play Mephistopheles in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, which is essentially like playing the devil, which I really enjoyed. I love playing a variety of people and having people believe you are someone totally different each time.

I write music as well, so I work a lot with Sean Walker. We’ve been working on a twisted version of The Bacchae called The Lightening Child with carnival music, so I’ve co-written music for that. We made it really big and refused to scale it down. Finally, the Globe said they would love to do it, so we’ll be doing that next summer. I’ve been back and forth to the US, next year I will spend some time there. Eventually I want to split my time between the UK and there. I have loads of friends over there, I love New York and LA is really sunny. Who wouldn’t want to go?

Jenna-Louise Coleman will be introduced this Christmas. Did you all give your seal of approval to her joining full-time?

It’s not my place to give approval, but she is a really good actress. It will be good actually to watch it not knowing what happens next! And I know Matt Smith is having a laugh with Jenna.

The Globe on Screen season 2012 continues with ‘Doctor Faustus’, featuring Arthur Darvill, in cinemas October 24. For more information about the cinema season and how to book tickets please visit the official website.

‘Our Boys’ is now playing at the Duchess Theatre until 15 December. For more information visit

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  • that ol gal in Texas

    I loved Rory. What a neat character. Cool that the actor writes music also.

  • Roderick Tracy Long

    “Ineffectual”? Obviously never watched the show past the first few episodes of series 6.

  • Spanner1960

    I always found the Rory character surplus to requirements, and rather diluted the whole Doctor/Companion relationship. Sorry, not Arthur’s fault though.

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