Anniversaries are scary most of the time – either the knee-knocking comes from not wanting to forget (which leads to all sorts of existential quandaries when you do) or that the celebrations just won’t encapsulate the general loved up feeling you have for that person, animal or Chinese motorbike.
Now factor that by a million fear experience points and you have the state of mind of Steven Moffat who – according to The Sun (the newspaper that is, things haven’t gotten so bad that he’s now holding confessionals with our planet’s life-giver) – is ‘terrified’ of the show’s upcoming 50th anniversary episode:
I’m writing the 50th anniversary episode right now and it’s half exciting and it’s half absolutely terrifying. I feel tremendous pressure not to let people down. So that’s very hard.
We don’t envy him.
But as Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben says: “Peter, look. You’re changing. I know. I went through exactly the same thing at your age.”
Not that one, the other one. The one about responsibility and power; with that burden Moffat at least knows the limitations of writing for every single fan:
You can’t please everybody all the time and it’s a mistake in a way to try. But you don’t want anybody to feel let down by a big anniversary episode.
You can almost hear him squirming in his seat.
Never before has the meme ‘In Moffat we Trust’ been more pertinent. The Christmas special and its accompanying trailer have more than raised the bar of what to expect in this anniversary; if anything Moffat should take some solace in the fact that expectations are so high because he has done such a good job so far.
He’s proven more than adept at writing complex and (mostly) satisfying conclusions involving large ensemble casts (not that I’m hinting that that particular skill might come in handy soon…) so if anything the ground work has been done.
We’re all excited, right?
Well, let’s hope that Moffat can take on this impossible task and bring us some truly memorable telly.