After three years of starring as Amy Pond and Rory Williams in "Doctor Who," Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill sometimes talk as if they are one person.
"They really have gone to all the [emotional] extremities imaginable, but they haven't—because they go to more," Gillan said at San Diego Comic Con in July, talking about Amy and Rory, in the new season of "Doctor Who."
"But we meet them in quite a funny point, don't we?" Darvill added. "We can't say too much a—"
Gillan: "Yeah. They're relationship is in a sticky situation, shall we say?"
Darvill: "So that's something that we haven't really—"
Darvill: "So far."
The season—the 49-year-old show's seventh since being relaunched in 2005—begins with "Asylum of the Daleks" at 8 p.m. Sept. 1 on BBC America. It's the first of five episodes this fall that end with the married Ponds, the time-traveling Doctor's longest serving companions of the modern era, leaving the series.
"There is a goodbye, and there's a hello" this season, said Steven Moffat, head writer and executive producer since 2009, when Matt Smith became the Doctor and Gillan and Darvill joined him in the flying police box known as the TARDIS. After the emotional farewell to Amy and Rory, fans and the Doctor will meet a new companion named Oswin and played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. ("She's doing really well, and as you can imagine coming into a big juggernaut like this isn't an easy thing to do," Smith said at Comic Con. "She works terribly hard and I think everyone's going to love her.")
Before we say hello to Coleman's Oswin we must say farewell. According to the cast, it's an emotional but ambitious exit.
"[I am] more than satisfied," Gillan said of their swan song. "After doing it for three years I wanted it to be really epic, of course. And it's more than that. It's the most epic episode we've ever shot. It's in New York ... and the Weeping Angels are in it, which are clearly the best monsters. So it's really cool."
The emotions began as soon as Moffat's script showed up, Darvill said. "[Steven] always surprises us. This was no exception at all," he said. "It's huge and brilliant. We all finished reading it and we were all in tears."
The tears didn't end until the final scene was shot, the cast said. Since Gillan and Darvill wrapped their episodes, Smith said he's missed his pals on set while shooting the second part of the new season.
The threesome became great friends, he said, not only because they worked together for three years but because of the pressure put upon them by fans of the series. While "Doctor Who" continues to gain popularity in the U.S. each year, it is an institution in Great Britain. And when Smith replaced David Tennant as the Doctor, it was huge news that caused fans to debate the merits of the new cast.
"We really had to stick together and come through a period of people going, 'This isn't going to work,'" he said. "Hopefully we've reinvented in a way that has worked. For me, personally, they are my favorite companions. I just think they've been brilliant."
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SEASON
The Doctor will say goodbye to the Ponds in the coming weeks. But what else will we get in the fall season of "Doctor Who?"
In "Asylum of the Daleks," airing Sept. 1
"There have been many monsters to face the Doctor over the years," Moffat said, "but only one that can sum up the whole series just by being there."
In "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," airing Sept. 8
"I always thought dinosaurs and the science of ‘Who' would be funny," Smith said.
In "A Town Called Mercy," airing Sept. 15
"I am a huge fan of Westerns ... so it was kind of like living out a boyhood dream," Darvill said.
In "The Power of Three," airing Sept. 22
"There's never been an extra-terrestrial incursion like this one," Moffat teased.
Weeping Angels (and River Song!)
"They've become BIGGER and better than ever," Gillan teased. "I'm giving you a clue."