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David Tennant
The Giggle
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The Toymaker and the Puppet
The Toymaker and the Puppet
 The giggle of a mysterious puppet is driving the human race insane.

 When The Doctor discovers the return of the terrifying Toymaker, he faces a fight he can never win.

Source: BBC Website

General Information

Season: Forty (60th Anniversary Specials)
Production Code: 60th-3
Story Number: 303 (New Series: 147)
Episode Number:874 (New Series: 178)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: May - July 2022
Broadcast Date: 09 December 2023
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: Wolf Studios (Cardiff, Wales)
Location: Bristol (Clare Street and Broad Street)
Writer:Russell T Davies
Director:Chanya Button
Producer:Vicki Delow
Executive Producers:Jane Tranter, Joel Collins, Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson and Russell T Davies
Production Executive for BBC Studios:John Hamer
Executive Producer for the BBC:Rebecca Ferguson
Commissioning Editor for the BBC:Lindsay Salt
Co-Producer:Ellen Marsh
Director's Assistant:Daniella Wilson
Script Supervisor:Lucy Dews
Script Editor:Scott Handcock
Editors:Mark Trend, Emily Lawrence (Assistant), Joseph Keirle (Assistant), Lucy Harris (Assistant) and Matt Nathan (VFX)
Colourist:Gareth Spensley
Head of Production:Alex Protherough
Production Executive:Steffan Morris
Production Manager:Delmi Thomas
Post Production Producer:Ceres Doyle
Post Production Supervisor:Liv Duffin
Location Manager:Daniel Wellstead
Supervising Location Manager:Iwan Roberts
Studio Manager:Richard Balshaw
Unit Manager:Kyle Yates
Production Designer:Phil Sims
Director of Production:Emily Russell
Director of Photography:Mika Orasmaa
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Online Editors:Christine Kelly and Geriant Pari Huws
Line Producer:Mark Devlin
Costume Designer:Pam Downe
Hair & Make-Up Designer:Claire Williams
Cameramen:Martin Payne (Operator), Martin Stephens (Operator) and Sarah MacLeod (Trainee)
Visual Effects:Automatik VFX
VFX Producer:Will Cohen
VFX Supervisors:Dan May and Sebastian Barker
Special Effects:Real SFX
Creature Design:Painting Practice
Creature FX:Millenium FX
Creature FX Designer:Neill Gorton
Stunt Co-ordinator:Derek Lea
Stunt Performers:Andrew Burford, Anthony Skrimshire, Chris Morrison, Chus Lucas, Gary Hoptrough, Jake Osborn, James Grogan, John Street, Michael Byrch, Nadia Hansell, Nellie Burroughes, Paul Bailey, Paul Joseph, Phill Campbell, Renato Gjini, Rob Jarman, Robbie Keane, Sofian Francis and Zoe Fry
Puppeteers:Brian Fisher, Eliot Gibbins, Kayla Teodoro, Olivia Racionzer and Sarah-Jane Waters
Choreographer:Tim Jackson
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Sound Designer:Rob Ireland
Sound Recordist:Alex Thompson
Dubbing Mixer:Paul McFadden
Music Orchestrated By:Alastair King
Music Conducted By:Alastair King
Music Performed By:BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Mixed By:Jake Jackson
Title Sequence:Painting Practice & Realtime Visualisation
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Magic Consultant: Peter Clifford
The Toymaker Created By: Brian Hayles
Number of Doctors: 2
The Doctors: David Tennant (The Fourteenth Doctor) (Regenerates) and Ncuti Gatwa (The Fifteenth Doctor) (Newly Regenerated)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Bonnie Langford (Melanie Bush) (Rejoins and Departs) and Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) (Departs) Guest Cast: Neil Patrick Harris (The Toymaker), Jemma Redgrave (Kate Lethbridge-Stewart) Additional Cast: Charlie De Melo (Charles Banerjee), John McKay (John Logie Baird), Ross Gurney-Randall (Middle Aged Man), Alexander Devrient (Colonel Ibrahim), Ruth Madeley (Shirley Bingham), Glen Fox (Pilot), Tim Hudson (Edward Lawn Bridges), Aidan Cook (The Vlinx), Nicholas Briggs (Voice of the Vlinx), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells), Leigh Lothian (Voice of Stooky Sue), Luke Featherston (The Toymaker Dance Double), Karl Collins (Shaun Temple), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Yasmin Finney (Rose Noble)Setting: Soho (1925), London (2023) Villain: The Toymaker

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
Duration Viewers
In Archive
874The Giggle09 December 202361'03"6.8Yes

Total Duration 1 Hour 1 Minute

Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 6.8


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.

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Only the First 50 Story Notes are shown below - Click to Show All Story Notes

This story is the third and final of the three 2023 specials that was shown as part of the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary celebrations. It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Chanya Button. This is Chanya Button’s first Doctor Who story.

This story features the final regular appearance of David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor, introduces Ncuti Gatwa (his first appearance as the Fifteenth Doctor) and guest stars Neil Patrick Harris as The Toymaker (a character last seen in the 1966 First Doctor story "The Celestial Toymaker", then portrayed by Michael Gough).

This story also features the last regular appearance (since her return in "The Star Beast") of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, while Jemma Redgrave and Bonnie Langford return as UNIT commander Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Melanie Bush, respectively.

This story continues from the cliffhanger conclusion of the previous story "Wild Blue Yonder", which sees The Doctor, Donna and UNIT confronting the return of The Doctor's old enemy, The Toymaker, who is behind a series of signals in a form of a ‘giggle’ being transmitted, causing the majority of the human race to go mad over their beliefs. The Doctor is forced to battle The Toymaker, but incurs mortal injuries, causing him to split into two incarnations via a process of ‘bi-generation’ (an altered form of regeneration). The Fourteenth Doctor retires due to emotional exhaustion from past traumas, while the Fifteenth Doctor prepares to travel the universe and future adventures in the 2023 Christmas special and the next full season.

Russell T Davies was inspired to include the role of John Logie Baird during the production of the 2023 mini television drama Nolly (also starring John Mackay as John Logie Baird), and to write a story featuring the puppet used in the first television broadcast. He later realised that a two-foot tall puppet wouldn't be the most intimidating foe, so decided to use The Toymaker as the antagonist.

Most notably however, this story creates the opportunity for it not to be the final appearance for David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor following his regeneration in the same sense as a usual regeneration sequence would.

This story introduced the concept and the very first depiction of bi-generation, an extremely rare variant of the regeneration process that splits the previous incarnation of a Time Lord from their succeeding incarnation, allowing both the previous and newer incarnations to co-exist at the same time, with both incarnations retaining all their memories from their past incarnations up to the most current one.

This means that as well as being the Fourteenth Doctor's regeneration story "The Giggle" is also a multi-Doctor story and also marks the first time, since the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie", that The Doctor regenerates part-way through the story rather than at the end. This also uniquely made "The Giggle" the first time that a regeneration story also acted as a post-regeneration story.

This story marked the first time that both the preceding and succeeding incarnations of The Doctor are shown to exist within the same timeline rather than the current incarnation teaming up with a past incarnation during a multi-Doctor event.

With such a unique regeneration resulting in the continuing existence of two different incarnations of The Doctor, this story concluded the Fourteenth Doctor's adventures by showing him being the first incarnation to fully retire from travelling through space and time while letting his successor continue in their place, with the Fourteenth Doctor himself shown being accepted as a surrogate family member of the Nobles. It also answered the question as to why the Fourteenth Doctor had regenerated with the face of his tenth incarnation, with Donna believing The Doctor had subconsciously chosen the face of the Tenth Doctor so that he could not only find her again but finally settle down into a normal life.

Before broadcast there was a myth that the Fourteenth Doctor's regeneration would go wrong, causing the Fifteenth Doctor to physically separate from the Fourteenth, resulting in both incarnations existing at the same time. (This was partially true. But instead of the regeneration going wrong, the Fourteenth Doctor underwent a bi-generation that resulted in him remaining split from the Fifteenth Doctor).

When he starts to regenerate, The Doctor remarks it does not feel like dying, contrasting how the Tenth Doctor thought it did in "The End of Time". He is also heard saying ‘Here we go again’ and ‘Allons-y’. The former was uttered by Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (AKA The Brigadier) when witnessing the Third Doctor begin to regenerate, in the 1974 story "Planet of the Spiders", and also by Madame Vastra when she saw the newly-regenerated Twelfth Doctor in "Deep Breath". The latter is a catchphrase the Tenth Doctor enjoyed saying in multiple adventures, like "Voyage of the Damned" and "Midnight" and more recently by the Fourteenth Doctor in "The Star Beast".

Upon bi-generating, the Fourteenth Doctor remarks that it ‘feels different this time’. These are the exact same words the Fifth Doctor said just before regenerating into the Sixth Doctor in the 1984 story "The Caves of Androzani".

The bi-generation allows an incarnation of The Doctor to remain with a companion whilst another continues to travel the universe; this echoes the Tenth Doctor's aborted regeneration which created the Meta-Crisis Doctor, who stayed with Rose Tyler in "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End".

The bi-generation also allows The Doctor to retain memories of meeting his successive incarnation; previous incarnations of The Doctor have been unable to do this because of the Laws of Time as seen in numerous multi-Doctor stories like "The Three Doctors", "The Five Doctors", "The Day of The Doctor" and "Twice Upon a Time".

This story would make it the second time The Doctor had subconsciously regenerated into a familiar face following the Twelfth Doctor having the same face as Lobus Caecilius (also played by Peter Capaldi and who the Tenth Doctor encountered in the 2008 story "The Fires of Pompeii") after subconsciously regenerating with that face for a specific purpose.

When The Doctor starts to regenerate, Melanie Bush remarks that all of The Doctor's past selves were ‘fantastic’. This was the catchphrase the Ninth Doctor used many times, as in "Dalek" and "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances". He also said this about himself, also when regenerating, in "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways".

As The Doctor starts to regenerate music from the 2005 story "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways") when the Ninth Doctor regenerated is briefly heard.

During this story The Doctor is heard remarking to Donna that he is a ‘billion years old’. It is unclear if he has taken into account the four and a half billion years he spent in the Confession Dial, as seen in ("Heaven Sent/Hell Bent").

The Doctor still remembers key things that happened in his past lives; such as his exile period, working for UNIT, the Key to Time quest, the events of "Logopolis", Adric's death, his wife River Song, the passing of Sarah Jane Smith and losing Rose Tyler.

Kate Lethbridge-Stewart recalls that she knows The Doctor has two hearts and can change his appearance, as depicted in "The Power of Three", "The Day of The Doctor" and "The Power of The Doctor".

Donna mentions how The Doctor tends to keep traveling, refusing to confront or think back on things that have happened to him. Davros once made the same observation in "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End", that The Doctor keeps running because he dared not look back, as did Tecteun in "Flux Chapter 5 - Survivors of the Flux".

The Toymaker mocks The Doctor's treatment of his companions, notably Amy Pond's demise against the Weeping Angels in "The Angels Take Manhattan", Clara Oswald's encounter with the Raven in "Face the Raven", Bill Potts's battle as a CyberMondan with the Cybermen in "World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls" and then the universe's suffering during the Flux event in "Flux Chapter 6 - The Vanquishers".

The Toymaker notes that The Doctor was a ‘different doctor’ when they last met, recalling how their first encounter in "The Celestial Toymaker" was with the First Doctor.

The Doctor remarks to Donna that he used to believe he was always right, remarking he has a sense of arrogance typical of his younger selves, recalling how he previously stated similar remarks in "Time Crash" and "Twice Upon a Time".

The Fourteenth Doctor remains more open with his emotions, stating he loves Wilf and Donna, as he previously said in "The Star Beast" and "Wild Blue Yonder". He even remarks that he loved Sarah Jane Smith and Rose Tyler, something the Tenth Doctor always struggled to say, as seen in "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" and "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End".

The Fifteenth Doctor seemingly has knowledge of events that have not yet happened to the Fourteenth Doctor, specifically calling out that the Fifteenth is emotionally stable because the Fourteenth takes time to fix himself.

The Fifteenth Doctor recalls how so much suffering has impacted the previous incarnations of The Doctor: the Dalek Supreme's plan with the Time Destructor hinted through the name of Mavic Chen in "The Daleks' Master Plan", being put on trial in "The War Games" and again in "The Deadly Assassin" as well as an epic one from "The Mysterious Planet" to "The Ultimate Foe", his time on Earth from "Spearhead From Space" to "The Three Doctors", his quest for the Key to Time from "The Ribos Operation" to "The Armageddon Factor", the destruction around Logopolis in "Logopolis", Adric's death during the Cyber-Invasion of Earth in "Earthshock", fighting the Gods of Ragnarok in "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy", the Time War from "The Night of The Doctor" to "The Day of The Doctor", the Total Collapse Event Incident hinted through mentioning the Pandorica in "The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang", the Flux in "Flux", losing Rose Tyler to a parallel universe during the Battle of Canary Wharf in "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday", River Song from "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" to "The Husbands of River Song" and Sarah Jane Smith having passed away in ‘Farewell, Sarah Jane’ - a webcast that was made specifically for the Doctor Who: Lockdown! event to coincide with the anniversary of Elisabeth Sladen's passing.

Bonnie Langford’s return to the show as Melanie Bush marks her first full story following her cameo in "The Power of The Doctor", with this story revealing that she now works for UNIT. Her previous full regular story was in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story "Dragonfire".

After his appearance in the previous story, "Wide Blue Yonder", Bernard Cribbins was originally intended to appear again in this story as Wilfred Mott. However, his health prevented him from doing so, making the previous story his final acting performance prior to his death. Wilfred Mott still appears briefly in this story, through use of a stand-in actor, and archive audio from the 2008 story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky".

Russell T Davies revealed in his in-vision commentary that this story almost included a scene mentioning that Wilfred Mott has passed away, saying ‘It was immensely sad, it was beautiful, and it was very much a reaction to what had literally just happened, because it felt very, very strange so I felt like we had to acknowledge it’, and mentions that it was Phil Collinson who prevented the scene from happening, which Russell T Davis agreed that this was the right decision.

Kate Lethbridge-Stewart offers Donna a job at UNIT, having lost her last one prior to the events of "The Star Beast". Melanie Bush confirms that Kate offered her a job, which was alluded to at the support group meeting in "The Power of The Doctor".

Donna notes that she wasn't the first red-haired person to travel with The Doctor after meeting Melanie. The Dream Lord once informed Amy Pond that she shouldn't believe she is the first red-haired person to travel with The Doctor, noting Queen Elizabeth I also wrongly thought so, as depicted in the 2010 Eleventh Doctor story "Amy's Choice".

The Doctor recalls how Donna is the fastest keyboard typer in London; Donna prided herself on being able to type 100 words per minute while working as a temp in Chiswick, as shown in "The Runaway Bride" and "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End".

Donna recalls facing the Ood in "Planet of the Ood", Davros and the Daleks in "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End", the Adipose in "Partners in Crime", and the Dalek's use of a reality bomb also in "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End".

The Doctor is aware of the survival of Bill Pott's consciousness, which the Twelfth Doctor learnt in "Twice Upon a Time", and Clara Oswald surviving in her last second of life, which The Doctor remembered in "Twice Upon a Time" after losing his memory of it in "Heaven Sent/Hell Bent".

Melanie informs The Doctor about her travelling with Sabalom Glitz and eventually leaving him. It is also revealed that Sabalom Glitz died at the age of 101 after tripping over a whiskey bottle.

When seeing Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, The Doctor recalls how her father Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart once ran UNIT and worked to keep it a secret, as depicted in much of the Third Doctor's era from "Spearhead From Space" to "Planet of the Spiders" as well as the Fourth Doctor's era from "Robot" to "Terror of the Zygons".

Kate Lethbridge-Stewart remains in charge of UNIT, a position she has held since "The Power of Three". She has also reverted to using her full name, the same name that was used when this character was introduced in "Downtime" - the 1995 direct-to-video production from Reeltime Pictures.

Trinity Wells appears as a news presenter again, but this time on her own eponymous news programme. She previously worked for American News Networks in "Aliens of London/World War Three", "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday", "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky" and "The End of Time".

This is Ruth Madeley’s second appearance, as Shirley Bingham - UNIT's scientific advisor, as first seen in "The Star Beast".

This story notably marked the return of The Toymaker, 57 years after his introduction, making him so far, the Doctor Who antagonist with the longest gap between television appearances.

While having appeared in other media "The Giggle" was The Toymaker's only second onscreen appearance after the 1966 First Doctor story "The Celestial Toymaker". This time though with a new appearance portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris, making The Toymaker the second established Doctor Who antagonist to be played by an American actor following Eric Roberts portrayal of The Master in the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie".

Between "The Celestial Toymaker" and "The Giggle" The Toymaker was due to have appeared in a Sixth Doctor television story called "The Nightmare Fair" for the original Season 23, before the show was put on hiatus in for eighteen months between March 1985 and September 1986. It would have featured the return of Michael Gough as The Toymaker, as well as revealing The Toymaker's previously unexplained origins. "The Nightmare Fair" would have followed straight on from the previous season's concluding two-parter story "Revelation of the Daleks". "The Nightmare Fair" was subsequently adapted into a Target novelisation published in 1989, with both the novelisation and original television script used for a Big Finish Productions Sixth Doctor audio story in 1999 that included David Bailie as The Toymaker.

Colourised footage from "The Celestial Toymaker" is shown when The Doctor recognises The Toymaker. This footage also appeared at the end of "The Daleks in Colour" - the re-colourised version of the 1963 First Doctor story "The Daleks".

The Master is mentioned in this story, with it being revealed he had survived his last encounter with The Doctor following his defeat in the 2022 Thirteenth Doctor story "The Power of The Doctor" and then having challenged The Toymaker to a game in a desperate attempt at preserving his life as he was close to dying, but lost and was imprisoned in The Toymaker's gold tooth.

After The Toymaker's defeat, the gold tooth containing him is shown being taken by an unknown individual. This scene, with the unknown hand picking up The Toymaker's gold tooth containing The Master is similar to a scene in the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords" where an unknown hand picks up The Master's ring after his death.

The voices of multiple incarnations of The Master are heard from The Toymaker's gold tooth when it is released, as Professor Yana had experienced when scrutinising the fob watch containing the War Master in "Utopia". In "The Giggle" The Master's laugh is provided by a mixture of previous actors who played The Master (namely Anthony Ainley, John Simm, Michelle Gomez and Sacha Dhawan) via archived audio.

This is the only post-2005 regeneration story not to feature either the Daleks or The Master (not counting the appearance of The Toymaker's gold tooth containing The Master).

The Doctor recalls how he played a game at the edge of the universe against the Not-things in the previous story, which he believed allowed The Toymaker into the universe. He blames this error on him becoming clever, something the Tenth Doctor lamented as one of his greatest flaws in "The End of Time".

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First and Last

The Firsts:

 Ncuti Gatwa’s first appearance as the Fifteenth Doctor.

 The first appearance in the show for The Toymaker played by Neil Patrick Harris.

The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last of three stories celebrating the show's 60th Anniversary

 David Tennant’s last appearance as the Fourteenth Doctor.

 Catherine Tate’s last appearance as companion Donna Noble.

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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor
The Doctor

Soho, London, in 1925, a man called Charles Banerjee enters a toy shop to purchase a Stooky Bill doll for his employer, John Logie Baird, who needs to use it as a test subject for his newest invention. The pair place the dummy's head under the bright lights and begin the test - the first ever television broadcast. As the two men watch with anticipation, a grainy picture of the doll appears on the screen. Then a mysterious giggle is heard as the Stooky Bill doll bursts into flames.

In London, 2023, there is chaos everywhere, rioting in the streets, people insisting that they are right, all the time, and even when The Doctor tries to intervene this seems to drive the people he confronts into a further rage. UNIT arrives on the scene and take The Doctor and his travelling companion Donna Noble to UNIT HQ where they are reunited with the head of UNIT, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, UNIT’s scientific adviser, Shirley Bingham, and also The Doctor’s former travelling companion, Melanie Bush.

In UNIT HQ, The Doctor and Donna learn of the chaos that has been taking place in the last few days and, with the help of an alien named The Vlinx, members of UNIT are protected by the wearing of a small armband. Kate though demonstrates what happens when these armbands are de-activated as she becomes agitated and argumentative. The Doctor is able to observe a distortion that become present in Kate’s normal brain activity - a waveform that was not there previously. With Kate’s armband replaced The Doctor explains that without it a radio signal is making people go mad over their beliefs, while Donna, Melanie and Wilfred Mott are immune due to their extensive travels with The Doctor. Upon analysing the waveform and playing it as a sound, they find that it corresponds to laughter, laughter that accompanies the first broadcast of Stooky Bill which has been hidden in every screen since 1925, waiting until two days ago, when the launch of a South Korean satellite finally gave the whole of the human race access to the internet.

The Toymakers Emporium
The Toymakers Emporium

The Doctor and Donna travel back to 1925, to locate the source of the hidden signal that is the cause of the madness sweeping humanity, and trace the Stooky Bill doll to the toy shop in Soho. On entering The Doctor recognises the shop owner as none other than The Toymaker - who he last encountered in his first incarnation (see "The Celestial Toymaker"). The Doctor realises that his old foe was let into the world due to his invocation of a superstition - a line of salt - at the edge of the universe. As The Toymaker disappears into the back of the shop The Doctor chases after him, telling Donna to return to the TARDIS. However, Donna does not obey The Doctor’s instruction and so the two become trapped in The Toymaker's funhouse labyrinth where the two soon become separated and have to stumble their way around. The Doctor encounters Charles Banerjee, turned into a marionette for losing a game to remove the giggle in his head and now forced to dance on command at The Toymaker will. Donna encounters living dolls and is forced to break them as they start to attack her.

The Doctor and Donna are eventually reunited and find themselves the guests of honour at The Toymaker's puppet show, an attempt to recount The Doctor's adventures since The Doctor and Donna initially parted company. The puppet show depicts the deaths of Amy Pond, Clara Oswald, and Bill Potts. As each are mentioned, The Doctor objects, stating that none of them died under his care, all lived on in some form or fashion. The Toymaker is dismissive and treats The Doctor’s nitpicking with contempt and reminds The Doctor of his involvement with the destructive impact of the Flux.

The Toymaker in 1925
The Toymaker in 1925

The Doctor, unable to take anymore, challenges The Toymaker to a game. As The Toymaker shuffles a pack of playing-cards he brags about the fun he has had since arriving in the universe, defeating God and turning him into a Jack-in-the-Box, making a jigsaw out of The Doctor's history, being The Master's last hope of life, and sealing him inside a gold tooth when he lost. The Toymaker also reveals that he transmitted the signal to make humanity play a never-ending game of debates by making all of their opinions supreme and get violent if they are proven wrong.

The Toymaker and The Doctor decide on a game to play, a simple cut of the deck, highest card wins. But when The Doctor turns over an eight, The Toymaker wins with a King. As the Toymaker goes to claim his prize, The Doctor points out that long ago he was the one that won their game. Meaning that the two of them are now tied, and the rules of games dictate that it must be the best of three. The Toymaker agrees but then disappears, causing the labyrinth to collapse around The Doctor and Donna as they manage to escape from the toy shop just before it folds up into a small toy box.

Back in 2023, UNIT manages to shoot down the satellite using a galvanic beam, breaking the chain of satellites being used to place the giggle into people's heads. The Doctor arrives and hands Melanie the toy box telling her to look after it before addressing the rest of UNIT. He informs them that they are facing an elemental force that can meddle with reality and can step from 1925 to now as easily as walking through a door. As he explains this, The Toymaker literally walks through a door, he has created in the middle of the room, and starts to do a song and dance routine. Everything anyone tries to do, to stop him, is completely ineffective - even their bullets turn into rose petals. When The Toymaker finishes his musical piece, he disappears through the floor before then showing up at the galvanic beam. The Doctor, begging him to stop, offers to leave with him, to take their games to the stars, the Time Lord and The Toymaker, just to leave this planet alone. The Toymaker at first appears tempted by The Doctor’s offer, but declines as he considers Earth to be his ultimate playground.


The Doctor then insists that they finish their game, but The Toymaker fires the galvanic beam at him and The Doctor begins to regenerate. But when he accepts the change that is taking place again, he realises that something feels different this time. As his regeneration process fades away, he asks Donna and Melanie to pull on him. As they do, The Doctor breaks in two in a shimmer of regeneration energy, one being the Fourteenth Doctor, the other being the Fifteenth Doctor. Everyone is confused, not sure as to what has just happened, which the Fifteenth Doctor explains that he has apparently bi-generated - something that is supposed to have been just a Time Lord myth.

Both incarnations of The Doctor, united, challenge The Toymaker to a game. Incensed, he decries that this is cheating, but as he triggered The Doctor to bi-generate they insist that it is part of his own games. The Toymaker begrudgingly accepts the contest - the trio playing a high stakes game of catch with the one who drops the ball will lose. As the three of them dash across the helipad, they toss the ball back and forth, barely catching it many times, before ultimately a throw manages to slip out of The Toymaker's grasp and over the side of the building. The Fourteenth Doctor decrees that as his reward for winning he wants The Toymaker gone from this universe forever. Unable to prevent this The Toymaker folds up like a paper doll and slots inside the toy box, which UNIT takes away to their deepest vault. With The Toymaker defeated the waveform that has been inside people's minds dissipates. But unseen by anyone a mysterious hand appears from the edge of the building and takes the gold tooth, containing The Master, that fell to the ground when The Toymaker was defeated.

Back at the TARDIS, both incarnations of The Doctor discuss about how things can work with two of them co-existing. The Fifteenth Doctor insists that the only reason he is stable is because the Fourteenth Doctor takes the time to fix himself. He needs to take the time to rest, something he has never done before in his life. But the Fourteenth Doctor is hesitant, he could never bear to give up the TARDIS. The Fifteenth Doctor though comes up with an idea - as he still has not yet received a prize for winning, perhaps The Toymaker's domain is still lingering and can be used to create a duplicate TARDIS. To everyone’s amazement after the Fifteenth Doctor hits the outside of the TARDIS with a large mallet, it splits into two identical looking time machines.

The Fourteenth Doctor decides to take the advice of the Fifteenth Doctor to stay on Earth with Donna and Melanie, at least for the time being. In the Noble family’s garden, he is just happy to rest up with a family at last. While the Fifteenth Doctor, in his new TARDIS, flies away for more adventures in space and time.

The Toymaker in 2023
The Toymaker in 2023
Melanie Bush
Melanie Bush
Kate Lethbridge-Stewart
Kate Lethbridge-Stewart
The Toymaker Greats The Doctor
The Toymaker Greats The Doctor
The Toymaker's Game
The Toymaker's Game
The Fourteenth Doctor
The Fourteenth Doctor
The Fifteenth Doctor
The Fifteenth Doctor

Quote of the Story

 'The human race might be clever, and bright, and brilliant - it's also savage, and venal, and relentless. All the anger out there on the streets! The lies, the righteousness, that's human, that's you! That's who you are! Using your intelligence to be stupid. Poisoning the world! And hating each other, you've never needed help any help with that! But today, something else is using your worst attributes. Playing with you. Like toys.'

The Doctor

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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
60th Anniversary SpecialsDecember 2023BBCDVD 4563Photo-montageDVD containing the 3 special 60th Anniversary stories.
60th Anniversary SpecialsDecember 2023BBCBD 0579Photo-montageBlu-Ray containing the 3 special 60th Anniversary stories.
60th Anniversary SpecialsDecember 2023BBCBD 0581Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing the 3 special 60th Anniversary stories.

In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
The GiggleJanuary 2024BBC BooksJames GossTarget Collection. ISBN: 978-1-78594-847-3
The GiggleFebruary 2024BBC AudioJames GossAudio version of the BBC Books Target Novel read by Dan Starkey.
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 598 (Released: January 2024)

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Photo Gallery

The Doctor and Companions

David Tennant
The Fourteenth Doctor

Ncuti Gatwa
The Fifteenth Doctor

Bonnie Langford
Melanie Bush
Catherine Tate
Donna Noble

On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

Blu-Ray Cover
Blu-Ray Cover

Blu-Ray Steelbook Cover
Blu-Ray Steelbook Cover


In Print

BBC Books Target Collection Cover
BBC Books Target Collection Cover

BBC Audio CD Cover
BBC Audio CD Cover



Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 598
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 598

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