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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"Dolls... come out!"
―Steven Taylor
The Celestial Toymaker
Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 3
Story Number: 24
Doctor: First Doctor
Companions: Steven Taylor
Dodo Chaplet
Enemy: The Celestial Toymaker
Setting: Celestial Toyroom
Writer: Brian Hayles
Director: Bill Sellars
Broadcast: 2nd April - 23rd April 1966
Format: 4 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Ark
Following Story: The Gunfighters

The Celestial Toymaker was the seventh story of Season 3 of Doctor Who, and the first to be produced by Innes Lloyd. It was at one point considered writing out William Hartnell as The Doctor in this story, but the idea was vetoed.



The travellers arrive in a strange domain presided over by the Celestial Toymaker – an enigmatic, immortal entity who forces them to play a series of games; failure at which will render them his playthings for all eternity. The Doctor has to solve the complex Trilogic game while Steven and Dodo are faced with defeating a succession of apparently child-like but potentially lethal animated toys in contests such as 'blind man's buff', musical chairs and 'hunt the key'.

The Doctor finally overcomes the Toymaker by imitating his voice in order to complete the Trilogic game from within the TARDIS, which then dematerialises as his foe's universe is destroyed.


to be added

TARDIS hopscotch


The Celestial Toymakers' Dolls' house



Story Notes

  • This story had working titles The Trilogic Game and The Toymaker.
  • The Celestial Toymaker was to return in The Nightmare Fair, but this was never made due to BBC-1 Controller Michael Grade having decided to postpone the series for eighteen months. This was part of the unmade Season 23 in 1986.
  • In The Hall of Dolls, whilst deciding which of the seven chairs – six of which are deadly, while one remains safe – to choose, the King of Hearts recites a politically incorrect version of the children's counting rhyme "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe" (used to select a person to be 'it' for games and similar purposes), which includes the racial slur "nigger" in the second line. On BBC Audio's CD release of the story, this offending section has been obscured by placing part of Peter Purves's narration over the top.


  1. The Celestial Toyroom - 8.0 million viewers
  2. The Hall of Dolls - 8.0 million viewers
  3. The Dancing Floor - 9.4 million viewers
  4. The Final Test - 7.8 million viewers


to be added

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • When the Doctor imitates the Toymaker's voice, the last piece moves over slowly, whereas when the Toymaker commanded the pieces they moved instantly. Perhaps because the Toymaker's voice is more commanding.
  • Why does the Doctor not want to save the others trapped in the Toymaker's domain? It is stated in the story that those who lose the Toymaker's games are condemned to become his playthings forever. They are, no doubt, beyond saving.
  • In The Dancing Floor, Cyril tells Steven and Dodo that he was previously the Knave of Hearts and the Kitchen Boy. Were Joey and Clara, the King and Queen of Hearts, and Sgt. Rugg and Mrs. Wiggs also all one and the same pair? This could well be the case, though it is never confirmed in the story. (However, it does also appear that the Toymaker is somewhat short of 'staff', as he seems to have only three or four people working for him, in a variety of costumes!)
  • When the Doctor is on move 905, he moves a piece so it counts as move 906. However, when the Celestial Toymaker asks the pieces to go to move 930, they only jump 21 times so it should be move 927. It cuts to the Toymaker after 21 pieces – more pieces may move (unseen) after it cuts to him.
  • After the Doctor goes into the TARDIS, how come when the Toymaker steps on the electric board he is walking on, he isn't electrocuted? (a) he's immortal, (b) he made this world so he could turn it off, and (c) the game was over so there was no need for electricity. He knows this world, but they don't and so won't risk it.
  • When the Doctor walks from his TARDIS to the Toymaker, he moves onto the electric floor and doesn't react. The electric floor may well have been switched off since the game is over and even if it wasn't, the Doctor has shown a high resistance to electricity so it would not harm him.
  • In one spot of the Trilogic Game, the smallest piece can be seen to be on top of the 5 piece. In order to get the minimum 1023 moves for the game, the smallest piece can never be put on top of another odd numbered piece – so the Doctor shouldn't be able to do it in 1023 moves.
  • Also, at 1000 moves, there are pieces on all three edges of the board. In the optimum solution of 1023 moves, one of the edges should be blank at 1000 moves.


  • The Celestial Toymaker reappears in PDA: Divided Loyalties and DWM: End Game.
  • The Doctor cries out in pain in the cliffhanger that concludes the story; later revealed to be caused by a toothache triggered by biting into a hard candy, this event leads into the next serial, The Gunfighters. Despite the rather painful carryover, the next episode carries the title "A Holiday for the Doctor".


DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • The surviving episode, The Final Test, was released on VHS as part of Hartnell Years (with the "Next Episode" caption rather clumsily cut from the cliffhanger scene, as it was at the time missing from the existing 16mm Black & White Film telerecording).
  • The Final Test was also released in digitally re-mastered form on the Lost in Time DVD box set (with the "Next Episode" caption reconstructed and restored).


Main article: The Celestial Toymaker (novelisation)

See also

to be added

External Links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide for The Celestial Toymaker (includes a video clip)
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - The Celestial Toymaker
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) Guide to The Celestial Toymaker
  • The Celestial Toymaker transcript
Season 3
Galaxy 4  • Mission to the Unknown  • The Myth Makers  • The Daleks' Master Plan  • The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve  • The Ark  • The Celestial Toymaker  • The Gunfighters  • The Savages  • The War Machines

This article uses material from the "The Celestial Toymaker" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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