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Doctor Who’s Toymaker Return After 57 Years Explained By RTD: “Best Villain Ever Created”-TGN


  • Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies explains why he chose the Toymaker as the main villain for the 60th anniversary special, praising the character’s balance of intimidation and humor.
  • The Toymaker, portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris, will take center stage in the third special called “The Giggle” and unleash his full power on Earth.
  • Despite the lengthy hiatus and failed attempts to bring back the character, The Toymaker has appeared in various Doctor Who expanded media, showcasing his reality-warping abilities and challenging different incarnations of the Doctor.



Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies explains why he chose to bring back the Toymaker for the show’s 60th anniversary 57 years after his original appearance. The Toymaker appeared in the classic era’s season 3 storyline “The Celestial Toymaker,” in which the powerful being was portrayed by Michael Gough alongside William Hartnell’s First Doctor. The Toymaker will take center stage in the 60th anniversary’s third special, “The Giggle,” where Neil Patrick Harris will take on the role and unleash the villain’s full power on Earth.

With The Toymaker set to return as part of Doctor Who‘s 60th-anniversary storyline, Davies has opened up to SFX Magazine about why he selected the villain as a main antagonist for the milestone celebrations. The showrunner explained that he enjoyed writing The Toymaker for his balance of intimidating and humorous moments, seeing that the character was a figure that could easily be understood by audiences unfamiliar with the older continuity of the classic era while promising that the story would be rewarding to existing viewers. Check out Davies’ full explanation below:

My lord, one of the most exciting days of my writing life was writing page one of “The Giggle” script, when I realized how brilliant The Toymaker was. I thought he’d be a good villain, that I’d have a laugh with him. I started writing the script and thought “This is the best villain ever created.” So powerful. So funny. So dangerous. I love him!

Obviously, that was written before the streamer was decided. Bear in mind, a lot of this went into production. It could have been Netflix, it could have been Amazon. It could have been anyone – You could say any name there that we went to. It’s our job to go to every streamer in the world. All of them were very interested. So I’m writing this knowing that no matter where it went out it would go to a bigger audience – So do you have to explain who the Toymaker is?

I’ve got to say, in a science fiction setting, a great cosmic villain called the Toymaker played by a big star kind of makes sense anyway. Spier-Man could swing into an apartment tomorrow and meet the Toymaker, and you’d go “Oh,it’s that kind of villain.” So he makes sense enormously. There’s a flashback. Let’s say it. There is a flashback to Michael Gough, which is wonderful. It’s funny, when I handed in that script my agent went “Ooh, I remember the Toymaker, played by Michael Gough.” So there’s a very powerful memory of him. She’s not a science fiction fan at all.

So where we thought there’d be possibly resistance to old characters and old continuity and adventures, there’s been none. As long as there’s some nice clarity to it. They will ask “Who’s this? Who’s that?” But they know equally that fans will come on board for that. It’s been lovely. It’s been really lovely.

Why Doctor Who Took 57 Years To Revisit The Toymaker

While The Toymaker took 57 years to return to television screens, there had been attempts to bring the villain much sooner and fulfill the First Doctor’s prophecy from “The Celestial Toymaker.” Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor was originally set to face the being in the classic era’s season 23 episode, “The Nightmare Fair,” a story which would have seen Gough reprise the role to challenge the Doctor at a Blackpool amusement park. However, with a change in format and a lengthy hiatus, the story was never produced for the television series.

RELATED: The Toymaker Returns? Doctor Who’s 60th Anniversary Villain Origin & Powers Explained

As such, The Toymaker has returned across Doctor Who‘s expanded media, showcasing his power in comics, novels, and audio dramas. In Big Finish’s audio drama range, The Toymaker finally faced the Sixth Doctor in an adaptation of “The Nightmare Fair,” battled the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) in a Sanatorium in 1926 Switzerland, and challenged Eighth Doctor companion Charley Pollard (India Fisher) to a deadly game in a mysterious toyshop. With the 60th-anniversary also adapting Beep the Meep (Miriam Margolyes) to screen and the Toymaker returning to a toyshop, “The Giggle” could similarly be inspired by these off-screen encounters.

While other classic foes are more recognizable to general audiences, The Toymaker is one of the Doctor’s most powerful classic enemies due to his reality-warping abilities that even left the First Doctor trapped. Pulling from the show’s long history can be difficult due to wanting a striking balance between respecting lore and being accessible to newcomers, but Davies took that into account during the writing process. As such, “The Giggle” will be a worthy reintroduction for one of Doctor Who‘s oldest, most powerful villains.

Doctor Who‘s 60th-anniversary specials will begin airing on November 25 on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer for UK viewers and will be available for international audiences on Disney+.

Source: SFX Magazine

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