Steven Moffat: We didn’t have enough money for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special

"We were making a feature-length Doctor Who on the schedule and budget for an hour. We’re doing it in 3D on the budget for 2D," admits the show-runner

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Given that Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special is one of the most eagerly awaited events in television history, you’d think Steven Moffat would be deep-sea diving in a vault of gold. Not so, apparently.

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“It was unbelievably tough actually making the 50th,” he said. “It was extraordinarily difficult mainly because we were trying to push the boat out and as ever we didn’t have enough money. We were making a feature-length Doctor Who on the schedule and budget for an hour. We’re doing it in 3D on the budget for 2D.”

The show-runner was quick to add, however, that the special – which is being funded by both the BBC and its commercial arm BBC Worldwide – does not suffer from the constraints. “You will not see that on screen,” he says. “It looks amazing.”

Beyond the undisclosed budget, Moffat was also asked by sci-fi site Three If By Space if he felt any pressure with such a monumental episode:

“It’s always pressure on Doctor Who, it really is. I’m always wary of the episodes where you announce in advance ‘This is a very important episode!’ because it’s up to the audience. [Weeping Angels story] Blink has become my calling card and that was a filler episode to get around a scheduling problem! So I’m very wary of saying this one is really good in advance. I think it’s a lot of fun and I think you’ll see some stuff you haven’t seen before. And you’ll see it in three dimensions if you don’t mind the headache and glasses.”

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The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, which will see Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt and Billie Piper unite, will air on BBC1 on 23 November.