The Doctor was rendered invisible at the end of the previous story. Steven and Dodo think that it might have something to do with the Refusians in the last story, who were also invisible. However the Doctor confirms that it is actually some form of attack.
The Tardis has landed, or has been brought to the world of the Celestial Toymaker. The Tardis team are forced to play games against the Toymaker and if they lose then they will be turned into his playthings for the rest of eternity. It’s such a fantastical idea that it immediately put me in mind of the Patrick Troughton story, The Mind Robber.
It was famously in this story that William Hartnell was originally considered being replaced. When he is made invisible, he was to reappear played by a different actor. We can be very grateful that this didn’t happen; since it would have more than likely negated the idea to ever come up with the idea of regeneration meaning that Doctor Who may well not have lasted anywhere near as long as it has.
The whole story has quite an interesting premise, and it is a bit of a shame that Michael Gough never got the opportunity to reappear in the show later down the line, similar to the Monk.
The Doctor recognises the Toymaker and the location fairly quickly and talks about how he had been here and must have faced the villain before.
I do think that it is such a great shame that the first three parts of this story are missing. Mainly due to the fact that the Toymaker is a really interesting and different villain, and would have been great to see more of him than in just the final part.
It transpires that the Toymaker is an immortal being who constructs these toy rooms in order to trap people there for eternity. However every once in a while he loses a game and his world is destroyed, leaving him to start building all over again. Irritatingly, we don’t find out any more information about the Toymaker and the Doctor meeting previously. I do love the tremendously lackluster cliffhanger that this story ends on. After the Doctor reveals that completing the final move on the game would cause his world to be destroyed, the Doctor says his final move before dematerialising very quickly. Following this triumph over evil, the Doctor writhes in pain – because of a broken tooth. Isn’t it wonderful? Also for the second story in a row we get an interesting use of a kitchen. First the Security Kitchen in The Ark, and now a large old-fashioned kitchen in The Celestial Toymaker. Both equally brilliant.
This leads the adventurers neatly into the next story, with the Doctor seeking dental care…from the wild west. I can obviously understand that the Doctor hasn’t learned how to fly the Tardis yet, but it doesn’t explain why the Doctor wouldn’t just take off again and take his chances at finding a dentist in the distant future where it would be completely painless or instant. But hey, that’s for the next review I guess.
I’ll look forward to all the singing at the Last Chance Saloon.
Overall I loved the premise of this story but perhaps not the execution so much. I also enjoyed the villain very much. I give this story six toy robot heads out of ten.