Arthur Darvill is best known to TV fans as Rory, the boyfriend (and later husband) to Amy Pond – and then one of The Doctor’s companions – on the BBC’s long-running sci-fi show Doctor Who. But Darvill made his way into American television this season, and now stars in a vastly different role this season as Rip Hunter on the latest DC Comics series, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
We spoke to the actor at New York Comic Con to discuss how working on one big genre franchise compares to another, and what his thoughts are about the time travelling (and hopefully time-changing) that Rip is up to.
“The TARDIS is great and it’s an iconic thing, but this is very different,” Arthur explained of the difference between the Who and Legends sets. “It’s got a different feel and it’s on a massive scale. It [takes] a lot of space to house these nine people who are on this big journey.”
As you’d expect, the methodology of time travel is different on each show as well. “I think the fact that history can change and the responsibility of that is such a fascinating thing to explore,” he continued.
“The first day I walked onto the set to see the method of time travel, I was just like a kid at Christmas. This stuff’s amazing – it’s the coolest set I’ve ever been on and all my childhood fantasies rolled into one.”
That doesn’t mean Arthur is eager to do any time traveling of his own. “I wouldn’t change anything. I’d go and change what happened that day,” he said, laughing, “The responsibility of changing anything before then is just too much, and then we come back and everyone’s got like three boobs or whatever.”
As for Rip, he conceded that just because he’s the one responsible for bringing the heroes and villains of Legends together and is the technical leader of the group, that doesn’t mean he has the situation under control.
“The recruitment process is quite swift because I don’t think he wants to give [them] very much time to consider and also for him, even though he can travel, there’s still very much pressure,” he explained, “I don’t want to say too much, but he’s thought about his plans with purpose and he doesn’t quite realize how difficult this group of people can be.”
“He knows of them. He knows what their skills are and doesn’t quite realize what big personalities, how difficult they can be. I think his plan is thought through to a point and then when he actually gets there, it’s a different thing.”
“What I love about these shows is they take the story somewhere new,” Arthur told us. “I think it’s going to be very exciting to DC fans to see how all these characters are going to interact together and where their story can go to. It’s paying homage to the past but giving something new.”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.