THE CELESTIAL TOYMAKER

Season 3, 1966; 4 episodes


`The Celestial Toymaker' was unlike any previous Doctor Who story. Until then stories had been in either of two very broad categories, historical or science fiction. In a bold departure from this formula the Doctor and his companions find themselves in the realm of the Celestial Toymaker. This is the first time we see the Doctor encounter an enigmatic and immortal being in a place outside of space and time.

"You will become my perpetual opponent. We shall play endless games together, your brain against mine."

The Toymaker, played with sinister menace by Michael Gough, forces the Doctor to play his Trilogic game. At the Toymaker's whim the Doctor is sometimes invisible and mute, at other times only a disembodied hand. Meanwhile Stephen (Peter Purves) and Dodo (Jackie Lane) are occupied playing macabre versions of children's' games, much to Stephen's disgust. Should they win, they get back to the Tardis. If they lose, they might lose their freedom or their lives, and the opponents provided by the Toymaker do not always play by the rules.


Credited to Brian Hayles, Toymaker was rewritten by story editor Donald Tosh with input from producer John Wiles as well as Gerry Davis. Carmen Silvera played several roles in Toymaker, she also played Edith in the comedy series 'Allo 'Allo.

Viewer opinion of the story was divided, some considering such surreal stories to be not "proper" Doctor Who, however it says much of the original format of the series that it allowed scope for such experiments. The concept of immortals or journeys outside space or reality would be used again with stories such as `The Mind Robber' in Season six, `Enlightenment' in the Davison era, and various encounters with the Guardians.


The only surviving footage of this story is Episode 4: The Final Test; this can be found on the BBC compilation "The Hartnell Years".


Click to read the script for:


Introduction by GARY ZIMMER (g.zimmer@ballarat.edu.au).


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