Steven Moffat Talks ‘Doctor Who’ 50th, Eccleston’s Absence

Steven Moffat after the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.

Steven Moffat after the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.

With “The Day of the Doctor” premiering tomorrow (November 23), showrunner Steven Moffat discussed his own anxiety about the 50th anniversary special.

“I’m quite nervous, to be honest,” he told journalists at a rountable discussion at the Doctor Who convention in London. “It’s hard a certain amount of hype, shall we say, a certain amount of publicity. It’s becoming some sort of enormous event. This is a TV program we’re talking about!”

“I think it’s really good,” he added. “It’s going to be feel slightly odd seeing it on TV. Like a leak.”

Producer Marcus Wilson added, “We’ve spent so long preserving the secrets. So it’s finally being out there will feel quite strange.”

Asked how he thinks fans will feel about the special, he said, “I hope they’ll feel very, very happy. Speaking from my own experience as a fan, and I’ve spent most of my life being a fan of Doctor Who … an honest reaction would always be love from a Doctor Who fan … it’s got a big emotional wallop.”

As for Christopher Eccleston not being in the special, Moffat says, “I sort of knew that he wouldn’t. I know Chris a bit. I did a couple of meetings, and there was a moment, I suppose, a giddy moment where [I thought] ‘Would he actually do it?’ This wasn’t the kind of decision he took in a funk or that he was cross. He was very measured, very kind, very gentlemanly about it. He’s a good bloke. If you look at Chris’s career, this is not what he does. The Ninth Doctor turns up for the battle and not the party.”

Fans of Paul McGann, who returned as the Eighth Doctor in the much-celebrated “The Night of the Doctor,” don’t expect him to reprise his role in the series at the moment. “It’s the whole two Doctors at the same time thing,” he explained. But the door didn’t seem totally closed. He intoned, “As always, expect me to surprise and deceive.”

See more:
PHOTOS: ‘Doctor Who’ Celebration Begins in London
WATCH: Mark Gatiss Introduces ‘An Adventure In Space And Time’

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
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