Welcome to The Last Centurion, a shrine to the always the loyal husband and part time centurion Rory Williams from the long running BBC sci-fi series, Doctor Who. This one page shrine was created for the third annual One Page, One Month Marathon for Amassment. This site will contain so many unmarked spoilers for the the entire period of Doctor Who where Rory and Amy were companions.
Please note that Doctor Who is a large fandom and while all of the statements made here are intended to be canon compliant, this website currently only applies to the TV series canon.
Who Is Doctor Who?
Doctor Who is a popular British science fiction series that has been running on and off, mostly on though, since 1963. It follows a time travelling humanoid alien known as “The Doctor” as he explores time and space in a sentient time machine known as the TARDIS, short for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space which takes the form of a blue police box that’s bigger on the inside. The Doctor travels the universe trying to right wrongs and help those in need; however he often goes overboard or gets in to trouble. Travelling alongside the Doctor are his companions. These are often ordinary and occasionally extraordinary people that with whom he can share his adventures with. The companions are often surrogates with whom the audience can identify and while they don’t share the Doctor’s genius or super human abilities they often serve as a moral compass when the Doctor goes too far.
With over 30 years of programming Doctor Who has become a worldwide phenomenon and several generations of fans have grown up watching it. There have been 11 Doctors and over 35 companions during that time. With the number of storylines (known as serials) and characters it has become common practice to divide Doctor Who into two major periods; The Classic Who Era from 1963-1989, when the series was taken off the air and the addition of the made for TV movie from 1996 and the New Series Era from 2005 until now. In 2005 the series was revived and the episode structure was completely reorganized making serials almost completely irrelevant.
The longevity of the show is attributed to the ability to “replace” the Doctor as needed. When an actor is ready to retire from the role of the Doctor the show can easily replace him due to the Doctor’s alien attributes. The Doctor is a Timelord, and in the Classic Era he was a rebel on the run from his race. In the New Series he is the last of his kind. Timelords are a race identical to humans on the outside however on the inside they have several key differences. They have two hearts, a body temperature that is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, a larger brain with an additional lobe dedicated solely to bodily functions, and two extra ribs. Additionally timelords also age differently, a timelord can live a single life for five or six hundred years before looking like an elderly human. After dying, a timelord also has the power to regenerate. A timelord can regenerate twelve times, each time changing their body completely while retaining their memories and most aspects of their personalities. This allows each actor to be replaced with a new actor.
The Eleventh Doctor and Moffat
Doctor Who is built around a team of skilled producers, writers, and directors, and while the fans have always related decisions to one of these top cast members. Since the New Series; the fans have come to relate major plot decisions to the producer who also acts as the head writer. This producer is most often in the spotlight and he’s the one who’s head the fans are after when they disagree with his writing. Since 2010, Steven Moffat has been the man in that role.
Moffat has been writing for the show since 2005. He had one serial in per season from 2005-2010 until he took over the series. During that time he became well known for writing scary and inventive stories with some of the most horrifying monsters to date. In 2008 Moffat wrote a two part serial, Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead that introduced River Song, an intimate relation of the Doctor’s from his future. Since then, she has become a recurring character, although not a full time companion and as of Series 6, Episode 7:A Good Man Goes To War she has been revealed to be Melody Pond; the daughter of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. The three years of forethought that went into creating her character has become another staple of the Eleventh Era. Moffat always makes sure he is a few steps ahead of his fans so that no one knows what to expect.
That being said Moffat is often criticized for his character development and world building. Many have said his individual episodes as an underwriter were far better than his overarching plots as a showrunner. This website won't heavily cover the criticism as the subject o the shrine s Rory williams and not the conflicts surrounding the fans of show.
Rory Williams, R.N. of Leadworth
Rory was friends with Amy, known by her full name Amelia, when they were growing up together in Leadworth, a village described as being the village that time forgot. This quaint town played home to Amy and Rory’s childhood games where Amy made Rory pretend to be the raggedy Doctor while she would be his companion, traveling among the stars. When they grew up their games inspired Rory to get a job working as a nurse at the Royal Leadworth Hospital.
Although Rory is part of the emergency unit, he worked at least part time in the coma ward while he and Amy were dating. His attentiveness is what enabled him to realize that the coma patients were walking around outside during the Prisoner Zero Incident. Rory’s attentiveness got him in trouble when he reported the unlikely situation to his superiors because they wouldn’t believe him.
Rory takes pride in his skill as a nurse and helps out whenever he gets a chance. Usually Rory isn’t able to do much more than offer help to the dying, as with Idris who possessed the soul of the Tardis or give instructions, like when he reminds Amy how to perform CPR, which turned out to be very important because she had to perform lifesaving CPR on Rory.
Rory The Roman
After Rory’s death at the hands of Restac at the end of Series 5, Episode 9:Cold Blood Rory finds himself in a strange situation. Upon waking from his eternal slumber Rory Williams finds himself living as a Roman Centurion in 201 A.D. with a head full of “roman things”. Loosely defined Roman things include his skill and technique with a gladius, his ability to lead a troop of fellow Centurions, and anything else required to lead a successful life as a conqueror working under Ceaser for the glory of Rome.
Despite his adventurous new existence Rory found himself alone amongst his companions. Rory knew things about times and places that his comrades couldn’t even dream of. He remembered Amy, his beautiful and fiery fiancé and the Doctor, the outrageously mad time traveler that he died to protect. He remembered his adventures in the Tardis and his subsequent death.
When Rory saw the gun brought by River Song and heard the rumors of the blue box that appeared near the camp he knew that his chance to reunite with his fiancé had finally come. Rory volunteered to lead some troops to Stone Henge to help protect the Pandorica. Upon his arrival he immediately put his new talents to good use to save Amy from the remains of some Cybermen.
The Doctor told Rory about the crack and how his entire existence was erased from time, causing Amy to forget about him. Rory felt disheartened by this knowledge however he was determined to make Amy remember. He spoke with her outside of Stonehenge as the Doctor prepared for the invasion forces that he believed would try to take the Pandorica.
"You died, and then you were erased from time. You didn't just die - you were never born at all. You never existed!" - The Doctor (5.12 - The Pandorica Opens)
Meanwhile, River is forced to crash land the Tardis in Amy’s backyard. There she learns that the Roman soldiers were plastic replicas known as Autons. These soldiers were created from Amy’s memories of a report she once did on the Roman invasion of Britain. This included Rory who at one point dressed as a Centurion for Halloween.
River is unable to tell the Doctor in time and Rory’s Auton programming takes over forcing him to shoot Amy despite his desperate and heartbreaking attempts to resist. As Rory screams, “Not me! I’m human. I’m Rory.” trying desperately to save Amy despite the realization that he’s not the real Rory. Amy ‘s memory is jogged by the opening of the Pandorica, which causes her to remember Rory however it comes too late and Rory shoots her through straight through his heart.
Although Rory is unable to save her on his own, with the Doctor’s help and some time travelling as well as the imminent collapse of the universe, they are able to store Amy safely in the Pandorica to be revived when her younger self touches it in 1996. When the Doctor tries to take them “the quick route” by hopping through time Rory insists that he stay behind to guard Amy. Rory watches over her for nearly 2000 years protecting the Pandorica from intruders of all sorts.
Mr. and Mrs. Amy Pond
Rory and Amy are the first real couple the Doctor has had on the Tardis for any extended period of time, at least as far as the television canon. In some of his past incarnations he has had a hand in breaking up relationships and has even had companions who ended up married after their time aboard the Tardis. That being said, Amy and Rory are the first couple who lived together, shared a room, had sex, and generally did cute and romantic things together on the Tardis. This makes Rory and Amy’s relationship unique both to the fans and to the Doctor. Their dedication to each other brings another dimension to the Doctor’s relationship with these companions that he didn’t have when he traveled alone with Amy.
Rory and Amy’s relationship has a unique stance. Amy is clearly the boss in the relationship. She’s the one in charge and her word is law. She is a spitfire who won’t take no for an answer and she knows how to hold a grudge. Because of her alpha female personality the Doctor often refers to Rory as “Mr. Pond”, insisting that he, being the “woman" in the relationship took her surname.
The Doctor: Amelia, from now on, I shall be leaving the... kissing duties to the brand new... Mr. Pond! Rory Williams: No! I'm not Mr. Pond. That's not how it works. The Doctor: Yeah it is. Rory Williams : ... Yeeaaaah, it is. (5.13 - The Big Bang)
Rory appreciates his wife’s fire and he knows how to stop himself from being burned. During the Pandorica incident the Doctor suggested they use River’s vortex manipulator to take a shortcut so they could arrive in 1996 when Amy would wake up from where she was trapped inside the Pandorica. Rory insists that he can’t because he needs to stay with her even though he knows that logically she won’t be able to feel that he’s there watching out for her. Rory however claimed that somehow she would find a way to know and that no matter what she would be safer if he stayed by her side. Rory, still an Auton kept watch over the Pandorica for nearly 2000 years and carried it out of a burning building during the London Blitz all on his own.
Compared to his wife’s fire Rory is a balance between worrying and cool determination. Rory will do anything for his wife. He’ll take down anyone who hurts her and do whatever he has to in order to make her happy. Rory’s biggest opposition is his own confidence, or lack thereof. Rory often fears that Amy will leave him for a more impressive man, someone like the Doctor. He loves her desperately but occasionally gets jealous when he thinks it isn’t enough.
"There's someone coming. I don't know where he is, or what he's doing, but trust me, he's on his way... There's a man who will never let us down. And not even an army can get in the way... He's the last of his kind. He looks young but he's lived for hundreds and hundreds for years. And wherever they take you, Melody, however scared you are, I promise you, you'll never be alone... Because this man is your father. He has a name but the people of our world know him better ...as the Last Centurion. - Amy Pond (6.7 - A Good Man Goes to War)
Amy tries to remind Rory that he’s the one she chose when he really begins to doubt his own self-worth. She thinks the world of Rory and holds him in the highest regard. The way she describes Rory makes him seem more like a super hero than her husband.
Rory in turn is dedicated to her and her alone. He chases her across the universe when she is kidnapped and remains dedicated to her even when she tries to give him up so he can have a chance at the family he wanted. In the end after the trauma they go through as a couple they give up the plans that they had for a family and eventually they give up their future together in order to have a past together when they are sent back in tim
Rory and The Doctor
The stereotypical companion for the Doctor has become a sexy female companion; however the Doctor has also had several male companions during his time. The Doctor has a similar relationship with every companion where he acts as a teacher showing them the universe and they act as a moral compass keeping him out of trouble. That being said, the Doctor also has a unique relationship with each of his companions.
Rory is no exception to this rule and despite their rocky start they’ve developed a close respect for each other. Rory has always held the Doctor with respect, albeit begrudgingly in the beginning, because while he didn’t like the Doctor, Amy always thought highly of him and Rory respected her opinion. The Doctor held Rory with the respect he gives all humans as a species but he saw nothing unique about him that made him worthy of being his companion. The Doctor thought of Rory as more of a “pet” for Amy who was the impressive one. This changes after Rory takes the shot meant for the Doctor because he knows the Doctor will be able to get Amy back to the surface and protect her long enough to get her home. The Doctor realizes how much he actually liked Rory and he realizes that Rory’s worth as an individual is in his determination to protect others.
After his time as a Roman, Rory becomes capable of defending both himself and Amy. He’s also matured to the point where he seems older than the Doctor because of his physical age, his relationship maturity, and his mental maturity. Between all those factors has become close to the Doctor’s equal. The Doctor has begun to send Rory to do work on his own or to let him run off without protection. The Doctor even lets Rory help out with the TARDIS from time to time though that’s due in part to his lax nature, his previous incarnations would never have let Rory though the Tardis.
The Curious Case of Melody Pond
Rory and Amy spent their honeymoon travelling through space and time with the Doctor. They stayed on luxury spaceships on the verge of crashing, sentient planets on a honeymoon of their own, and most importantly the TARDIS. Like most newlyweds on their honeymoon Amy and Rory did “stuff” as the Doctor would call it. This “stuff”, led to, as it often does, a baby on the way. While Amy and Rory would normally be very excited about becoming parents their mood was dampened by those who wanted to kidnap their daughter and raise her as a weapon.
Apparently, having sex on a moving TARDIS travelling through the time vortex has consequences. Their unborn child was sought out by Madame Kovarian; a woman who believes the best way to destroy the Doctor is to use another timelord against him. Luckily, the Doctor is the last of his kind; however the aforementioned consequences make Rory and Amy’s baby the next best thing. Timelords evolved after centuries of exposure to the time vortex from a safe distance away. In the case of Rory and Amy’s baby, she was exposed to the time vortex while travelling through it during her conception. This caused a DNA mutation which made her the equivalent of a half timelord.
The Doctor: Octavian said you killed a man. River Song: Yes, I did. The Doctor: A Good Man. River Song: A very good man. The best man I've ever known. (5.5 - Flesh and Stone)
The most curious thing about Amy and Rory’s newborn, who Amy names Melody Pond, is that Rory and Amy both know the woman she grows up to be. Melody Pond is the real name of River Song, the Doctor’s on-and-off romance and travelling companion when one of them is in a tight bind, and River isn’t spending her time in jail. River spends her days away from “sweetie” serving time for killing an “a good man” whom she describes as "the best man she’s ever known".
Fans have recently been complaining about how Rory "dies" in every other episode. They’ve come to hate the constant over-kill and his death is one of the few major criticisms that have come up in recent episodes. Doctor Who’s producer and lead writer Steven Moffat has no remorse for Rory’s constant deaths and is quick to respond to any negative comments about the subject with a witty response.
While I agree that fans have a point their statements are only partially accurate. Rory has only truly “died” twice during the series. He first dies and is subsequently erased from history in Series 5, Episode 9:Cold Blood while taking a shot meant for the Doctor; Rory dies again in Series 6, Episode 3: The Curse of the Black Spot when he drowns after falling overboard. Additionally, it could be said that his Auton replica was destroyed during Series 5, Episode 13: The Big Bang, when the universe reset, which could by a stretch of the imagination be counted as a third death. While this number is higher than that of any other companion it isn’t as far-fetched as the death count in certain Doctor Who spin off series.
That being said, the number of times the audience is led to believe Rory is dead is quite higher. Of the twelve full length episodes (not including specials or mini-episodes) Rory appears in, he dies in two, his replica dies in one, and in three other episodes he is thought to be dead at some point during the episode; in Series 5, Episode 7:Amy’s Choice he is killed in the dream world only to wake up in reality, in Series 6, Episode 2: Day of the Moon his death is faked as a way to keep the Silence from knowing what their plans are, and in Series 6, Episode 4: The Doctor’s Wife the malignant consciousness known as “House” takes over the Tardis and creates an illusion to separate Amy and Rory and make Amy believe Rory is dead. Put together his deaths, real and imagined occur in half of his appearances.
The man behind Rory Williams is Thomas Arthur Darvill, who is professionally known as Arthur Darvill. Arthur Darvill was born in June 17, 1982 in Birmingham, England. His mother was a member of the Cannon Hill Theatre which prompted Arthur’s interest from a young age. Darvill joined the Stage2 Youth Theatre Company at the age of 10 and performed with them until the age of 18 when he moved to London to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Darvill’s professional career began in 2006 with his stage debut playing condemned criminal Harrison in Edmund White’s Terre Haute. His performance was praised by Nicholas de Jongh of the Evening Standard and Susannah Clap of The Observer. Additionally, his performance also gained him a nomination for the Best Newcomer award at the 2007 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. In 2007 Arthur Darvill played Rob in the monologue Stacy where his performance was described as “compelling” by The Times. Later that year, he was also in Swimming with Sharks where he appeared with Christian Slater, Helen Baxendale, and future Doctor Who co-star Matt Smith. This performance gained him a London Newcomer Award nomination.
Darvill made his television debut in 2008 with the ITV crime dramaHe Kills Coppers. Later that year, he became a recurring character in the BBC series Little Dorrit. In 2010 Darvill was then recruited for Doctor Who as the recurring fiancé of Amy Pond. For 2011, Darvill joined Karen Gillan and Matt Smith in a starring role where he would appear in every episode of Doctor Who.
Darvill ended his run as Rory Williams in 2012. Since then he performed in several stage productions in London before returning to the U.S. to play Rip Hunter in the D.C. Comics TV Series, Legends of Tomorrow.
Resources and Credits
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Rory Williams and Doctor Who are properties of the BBC. Written and Graphical content created by Anise, unless otherwise stated. No infringement intended.