Why I Love Rory Williams
Guest contributor Luke Gwalchmai celebrates Arthur Darvill’s companion.
Quite a lot happened in 2010. Icelandic Volcano Eyjafjallajökull (which is a cracking name, it must be said) began to erupt, leading to the closure over the airspace of most of Europe due to the resulting ash from it. Tom Hanks fans rejoiced as Toy Story 3 hit our cinema screens, and in the really big news: Simon Cowell left American Idol. I’m sure you all remember where you were when you heard the news. But anyway despite all this, there was another significant event which occurred in 2010: the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who began, and with it came the arrival of a new Doctor, companion and then recurring character. That recurring character went on to become a full time companion and subsequently appear in 27 episodes and become a fan favourite. That character’s name: Rory Williams, played by the brilliant Arthur Darvill, who turns 33 today. Here I would like to celebrate the character of Rory, and share with you all what it is that makes me love the guy.
His Love for Amy
Rory was first introduced as Amy’s boyfriend in The Eleventh Hour, and over the course of his time in the TARDIS the one thing that was always abundantly obvious about him is how much he loves Amy. Having known Amy since they were very young, Rory was protective over her and was always willing to put her first. He was a very normal guy, Rory, who had very normal wishes out of life; to settle down with the woman he loves and start a family. But he was very patient with her need to be spontaneous and travel with the Doctor, as she had an unwillingness to “grow up” as it were.
Rory wasn’t too bothered about travelling with the Doctor, but he grew to really enjoy his time with him and the adventures they had together, as well as forming a strong relationship with him along the way. However, I personally always had the feeling that, especially in Series 5, he was only really going along with it all because it was what Amy wanted to do, and he wanted to be able to keep her safe, as opposed to waiting behind never really knowing what could be happening to her. This shows just how much he loves Amy, as he was settled in his life in Leadworth and would have happily lived out his days having a quiet life with Amy, but he was prepared to be patient to wait until she is as ready as he is, and was also prepared to go along and make sure that she is safe. Rory’s unwavering love and devotion to Amy is truly demonstrated in The Big Bang, where he waits 2000 years outside of the Pandorica to keep her out of harm’s way. His love for Amy is one of the main things that made Rory a very engaging character, and his whole outlook on life in general, in terms of just wanting a quiet life to settle down with Amy makes him very relatable and very real, just like a normal everyday guy.
These first two reasons tie together on occasions. Another reason why I love Rory is his bravery in the frightening situations that he, the Doctor and Amy faced over their years travelling together. Many people say Rory started out as a weak character, but I don’t agree with this personally. He never really gets a chance to shine in The Eleventh Hour, which is understandable really given what the episode had to accomplish, but he was still brave enough to go to the hospital with Amy, knowing Prisoner Zero would likely be there. In The Vampires of Venice, the episode which featured his first TARDIS trip, he stepped in to take on Francesco with just a broom. Over the course of the next 25 episodes we saw many more demonstrations of Rory’s bravery, such as when he threw himself in the way of a Silurian shot to save the Doctor, or when he faced down a legion of Cybermen on his own in one of the biggest badass moments in Doctor Who’s recent history. His bravery was another unwavering quality in Rory’s character that made him an inspirational character, one that you could really look up to and aspire to be like.
This is the probably the main reason why I love Rory; he was just so damn hilarious! Arthur Darvill was brilliant during his time on Doctor Who in every aspect, but his comedic timing is a thing of beauty, and he plays the humorous side of Rory so well. Every episode he was in, he would make you laugh. He’s one of those actors that can make you laugh just though a little look, or just by raising an eyebrow. Rory was a very sarcastic character, which is something that endears him to me personally because I enjoy that style of humour. He had some cracking lines throughout his time on the show, far too many for them all to be listed here in this article, but I thought I’d share with you my top three:
- “Well I died and turned into a Roman. It’s very distracting.”
- “Did he just bring them back? Did he just save the world from aliens, and then bring all the aliens back again?”
- “Okay… I’m trapped inside a giant robot replica of my wife…I’m really trying not to see this as a metaphor…”
Rory is one of the funniest characters that I have had the pleasure to watch, and the lighter side to the character gave Arthur Darvill another opportunity to make Rory a likeable guy.
He Was Never Afraid To Confront the Doctor
Yet another brilliant thing about Rory was his ability to confront the Doctor when he didn’t agree with him. His rational arguments and confident way of expressing his discomfort at a situation is what made Rory feel like the definition of your everyday guy thrown into the world of the Doctor’s. He wasn’t swept away with everything going on around him, and didn’t just go along with the Doctor all the time, when he didn’t agree, he let him know. A notable example of this are in The Vampires of Venice, where Amy volunteers to infiltrate the school. Rory is never comfortable with this plan, and voices his concerns immediately, though he is eventually forced to help her get ‘enrolled’ in the school. Whilst sneaking in another with the Doctor, he calls him out on how dangerous he can be to the people around him, without knowing it himself.
“You know what’s dangerous about you? It’s not that you make people take risks, it’s that you make them want to impress you. You make it so they don’t want to let you down. You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you’re around.”
I think this quote is brilliant, because it is so true. The Doctor is a danger to the people around him, as the companions he sweeps along with him all perform noble acts for him, so they won’t feel as though they have let him down. This made me really like Rory, as while it is amazing to see the fun side of travelling with the Doctor, it’s nice to also see a character with his head screwed on who is fully aware of the dangers around him, and that the Doctor, whilst he means well, is inadvertently a danger to the friends he surrounds himself with.
Another example of Rory confronting the Doctor comes in The Girl Who Waited, which is a very tough story for Rory (and Amy too), as he has to see how much his wife has suffered on her own, and knowing he wasn’t there to save her for so long from her point of view. Angry at what had happened to Amy, and that he has to choose between saving the Amy that suffered through 36 years of solitude, or to save Amy earlier on in her timeline, meaning the older Amy will cease to exist, Rory rages at the Doctor for not researching the places that he intends to take them. The Doctor insists that that is not the way he travel, which leads to Rory proclaiming “Then I do not want to travel with you!”
This is a very big development in the relationship of Rory and the Doctor, as it shows just how different they are. Here we see Rory at the end of his tether, a man who has been put through the emotional ringer, and while it is a bit harsh to lament the Doctor the way he did, as it’s not his fault that Amy pressed the wrong button, he’s not entirely wrong in his claim that the Doctor should do some research on where they’re going, as otherwise he has no idea what he is leading his friends into. I love that Rory was able to confront the Doctor, and wasn’t a yes man who followed blindly. This made Rory a very believable character, and was used to showcase his different attitudes to life from the Doctor’s.
These are just a few reasons why I love Rory, and in truth I could have easily made this article much, much longer, as I could talk all day about why. He is very high on my list of companions, as he brought a very refreshing attitude to life with the Doctor, and offered the audience a different perspective. Rory is one of the most relatable characters created in Doctor Who since it came back in my opinion, in his general attitude to life and his unwavering love for his partner. He is an amazing written character, and received some of the best character development I’ve seen, and had a brilliant character arc; he was definitely much more confident in The Angels Take Manhattan than The Eleventh Hour.
Arthur Darvill is one of the best actors we have seen on Doctor Who in my opinion; he has a terrific emotional range and is utterly sublime when it comes to comedy. His performance had me on the edge of my seat on more than one occasion; he was especially brilliant in The Angels Take Manhattan, A Good Man Goes to War and The Girl Who Waited, but in all honesty I couldn’t tell you an episode where Arthur gave a bad performance. Rory is a brilliant character, and it was a privilege to watch him develop as a character and to see Arthur develop as an actor over the course of three years.
I sincerely hope that you have enjoy reading this article, and will all join me in wishing Arthur Darvill a very happy birthday. I look forward to seeing what he does in the future. Thanks for reading!