The history of Doctor Who is full of interesting gaps to plug – and audio drama producers Big Finish are experts at plugging them with exciting new stories.
Their latest release will explore exactly what happened to companion Rory Williams during the two thousand years he acted as the Lone Centurion, protecting his beloved Amy Pond trapped inside the Pandorica – with Arthur Darvill reprising his TV role of Rory for new adventures.
"It seemed like an offer I couldn’t refuse," Darvill said of playing Rory again. "As soon as I read the scripts, I was like, 'Oh well, they totally get it, they’ve really nailed his voice'.
"It's been a lovely way to revisit it in a very different way to what it was, but to do something more with this character. It’s funny but also quite epic, which is so lovely with what you can do on audio: to have these huge stories which in another medium would break the budget!"
A synopsis for The Lone Centurion reads: "Legend tells of the Lone Centurion — a mysterious figure dressed as a Roman soldier who stood guard over the Pandorica, warning off those who would attempt to open it; a constant warrior whose story appeared in the folk history of a dozen civilisations.
"Only... he seems to have misplaced it."
The Lone Centurion: volume one will contain three stories: Gladiator by David Llewellyn, The Unwilling Assassin by Sarah Ward and I, Rorius by Jacqueline Rayner, with Rory travelling to Rome in search of the misplaced Pandorica and finding himself forced to perform as a gladiator in the Colosseum... where he attracts the attention of the Imperial household.
Producer Scott Handcock said: "I’ve worked with Arthur on a few Big Finish projects before now, so I know first-hand how much he loves the audio medium.
"It’s lovely when an actor wants to do more, but I knew he was nervous about revisiting Rory and upsetting established story arcs, which is how The Lone Centurion came about.
"Set during the centuries he waits for the Pandorica to reopen, these stories allow us to explore new sides to the character while remaining true to his on-screen journey. As soon I started suggesting it to Arthur, I knew we were onto a winner..."
The Lone Centurion: volumes one and two are now available to pre-order as collector’s edition three-disc box sets or downloads from just £16.99 each from bigfinish.com. Volume one is due for release in May 2021, with volume two to follow in July 2022.
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