In Review: Big Finish: The Lone Centurion Volume 1

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
Lone Centurion

Synopsis: 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.

Travelling to Rome in search of the Pandorica, Rory finds himself forced to perform as a gladiator in the Colosseum… where he attracts the attention of the Imperial household.


The Stories

The Lone Centurion is the Doctor Who spin-off that tells us a few stories about what Rory got up to when he was a Roman soldier. These three interlinked stories fill us in on what Rory got up to in Ancient Rome when he spent quite a bit of time guarding the Pandorica.


Gladiator – By David Llewellyn

In this first adventure. Rory finds himself fighting as a Gladiator in Rome’s ancient arenas. The only problem is. He can’t seem to die. Indeed, a gladiator that can’t die is a rarety. As he becomes more and more adept at working the arena. His inability to die gets the attention of the Emporer. All of a sudden. Rory finds his status elevated from lowly Gladiator to the Emperor’s personal bodyguard. A responsibility that he takes very seriously.


 The Unwilling Assassin – By Sarah Ward

Rory’s knack for failing upwards continues. After having failed in his duty to protect the Emperor. He is now given the role of the Empress’s personal Assassin. The only trouble is. Rory is more of a live and let live sort of fellow. So instead of following orders. He hatches a plan to assassinate without actually killing anyone. Which takes a huge degree of deception and guile.


 I, Rorius by – Jacqueline Rayner

In this final story. Rory has become the new emperor of Rome and is busy making preparations for the festival of Vulcanalia. It isn’t very long before Rory learns that it is lonely at the top. And sure enough, there are factions working against him. To be blunt. Rory just wants his life back. He’s not into all the standing-on ceremony stuff. He just wants a quiet life. Thankfully, he finds a friend in Anna who helps him out when it comes to dealing with General Marinus who doesn’t particularly like Rory’s progressive ideas.


The Acting

‘The Lone Centurion’ is a welcome return for Arthur Darvill to the role of Rory Williams who is perhaps to this day. One of the most underrated companions from the new era of ‘Doctor Who’. Darvill does a great job of reprising the role of Rory and walks the fine line between light drama and comedy really well. He plays off brilliantly against Joseph Tweedale and Joanna Van Kampen in the first two stories. Tweedale doing a brilliant Caesar and Van Kampen as the duplicitous Augusta.

We also get an excellent performance from Max Hutchinson in the final story as Marinus.



This box set is well worth the money and is what we’d refer to as a keeper. The in-jokes are thick and fast. As are the funny references to 21st-century personalities. I particularly loved Rory doing the “Friends, Romans, and Countrymen” speech as his acceptance on becoming Emperor.  Of course, he completely botches it. But that’s when Rory is at his best.

Overall. If you loved the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who and want to know what happened to Rory during that handful of episodes where he was believed dead. Then you’ll really enjoy this box set.


You can get hold of your own copy of ‘The Lone Centurion’ at Big Finish’s website

Big Finish: The Lone Centurion Volume 1
  • Stories
  • Voice Acting
  • Sound Design & Music
  • Artwork

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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