There’s only five episodes left until we have to say goodbye to Amy Pond and Rory Williams-Pond forever - possibly better known by their actual names, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill - so it was a little bittersweet when we sat down with them backstage at San Diego Comic-Con to chat about their long goodbye. But credit where it’s due: they’re having fun on the way out.
The first question, of course, was whether they can give ANY info on the last five episodes (and just note, this was before the big Hall H panel, where we found out about Dinosaurs on Spaceships). “Oh yeah, we’ll just give it all away now,” joked Darvill. “So what happens is--” he continued, before Gillan cut him off, saying more seriously, “We have five, major, epic, movie style episodes which are standalone stories, but all leading towards our departure in episode five.”
Gillan continued, teasing that the first episode would be the return of the Daleks. But unlike the slow moving tin cans of the past, both Gillan and Darvill agreed: this time, they’ll actually be scary. “I think it’s a really exciting episode,” said Darvill. Continued Gillan, “I’ve never been massively scared of them before... I like them, because they’re iconic, but they’ve never scared me before. They did in this episode.”
Next up, they chatted a bit about the Western episode, “A Town Called Mercy,” with Gillan saying they all got to play with horses. “The boys were in their element,” joked Gillan, and Darvill mentioned that they made friends with a horse called Moonshine, and they made a song for “Mistress Moonshine” - but wouldn’t take the bait to actually sing it for us.
And then, the fifth episode was, of course, shot in New York. That’s the goodbye episode, featuring Weeping Angels, River Song, and more... But the biggest surprise for the duo was how many screaming fans turned up to watch them shoot scenes, particularly in Central Park. Darvill noted they didn’t expect so many fans, with Gillan adding with a laugh, “Well they didn’t, because there was no security!” Happily, the fans were respectful, and when the Director would call action, every single one of the hundreds of fans would quiet down.
We then chatted a bit about how that fanbase has grown over the years - from their first appearance in New York before the first episode had aired, until now. “It seems to get bigger and bigger every year,” said Darvill, with Gillan adding, “No one ever knows what it’s going to be like until we come over for it, and they’re always underprepared--” “In every single way,” finished Darvill, with a laugh.
Talk then turned to other fan experiences, and particularly the Tumblr meet-up held for fans at Comic-Con. The attending fans expected Who themed drinks, and free t-shirts, but they got an even bigger surprise when Darvill, Gillan, and Matt Smith all walked in to the tiny bar. “We got out of a car, and suddenly we were in a room full of hysterical people,” said Gillan, adding, “It was great!”
As a left turn, we threw out the owl costume that Darvill keeps tweeting pictures of himself wearing, which Darvill qualified isn’t actually a costume, it’s a Japanese animal onesie. “In your house, you have a guest onesie?” asked Gillan, with Darvill adding, “Yeah, all my house-mates have one, and then there’s a spare. They’re really comfy, and I like owls. I’m going to an owl sanctuary next week.”
A little more on topic, we brought up that in every report about how the Ponds would be exiting, they’ve never used the words “dying” or “dead,” it’s always been “going,” or some variation of that. “This is true,” said Darvill. “We are going,” added Gillan. “In what way, we can not say!”