Who is the Toymaker?

The all-powerful villain returns for the upcoming 60th Anniversary – but just what is it that makes him such a legendary enemy of the Doctor?

The Toymaker made his Doctor Who debut 57 years ago, in The Celestial Toymaker (1966), trapping the First Doctor and his companions, Dodo and Steven, within a series of deadly games.

The Toymaker played by Michael Gough

Who is the Toymaker?

An immortal being with the ability to create entire universes, the Toymaker can trap his victims and bend them to his every whim, using them as tools for his entertainment. He has the power to manipulate everything within his world and appear and disappear whenever he chooses.

Yes, the Daleks are deadly and the Master’s Time Lord abilities can hinder the Doctor at the best of times. But with the sheer power that the Toymaker holds, he might just be the biggest threat the Doctor has ever come up against.

The Celestial Toymaker, standing with two clowns, and the First Doctor polishing a monocle and sitting in front of him, looking forlorn

What happened when the First Doctor met him?

During the Doctor’s previous encounter with the Toymaker, the villainous being managed to penetrate the TARDIS, control what its inhabitants saw on the scanner, and even make the Doctor invisible – all before they had even begun to play the ghastly games he had prepared for them!

The Doctor, Dodo and Steven were trapped in the Toymaker’s realm; playthings for his amusement. It’s revealed that he and the Doctor had met once before – and this time, he intended to keep the Doctor there forever. “We shall play endless games together, your brain against mine,” he declared.

Steven Taylor, surrounded by two clowns

Let the games begin

The Time Lord’s pals were put through a series of mental and physical challenges, and the Toymaker promised them access to the TARDIS if they won. Totally evil, right? But he didn’t stop there. The games were rigged and Dodo and Steven were set up to fail from the outset.

However, friends of the Doctor should never be underestimated. From sabotaging clowns, killer chairs, a thimble hunt and a deadly dance floor, Dodo and Steven made it through every trial.

The Doctor, meanwhile, was forced to play the Trilogic game: 10 triangular playing counters, stacked in a pyramid, that needed to be moved from corner A to corner C. Only one piece could be moved at a time, they needed to be rearranged in the same order – and in exactly 1,023 moves!

While watching his friends suffer and attempting his own game, the Doctor had his voice and visibility stolen. The Toymaker was no easy scoundrel to contend with.

Steven and Dodo with a chubby schoolboy


The trio finally made it back to the TARDIS after defeating the Toymaker with great heart and wit. However, the Toymaker, not one to do things fair and square, compelled the Doctor to make his final move. The Doctor quickly realised that once he did, he and his companions would disappear along with the Toymaker and his realm.

What does our hero do best? They talk their way out of a jam. The Doctor eventually tricked the Toymaker and verbally made his final trilogic game move from the safety of the TARDIS, in order to dematerialise out of the torment-filled land.

Leaving the world of games behind, the Doctor remarked that the Toymaker was indestructible, and that “there will be other meetings in another time…”

A New Game?

With the return of the Toymaker imminent, what games will the Fourteenth Doctor and Donna Noble face? What manipulated universes and puppeteered trouble will he create this time?

Whatever is in store for the Doctor, it’s bound to be the biggest challenge yet – with one of Doctor Who’s most powerful villains at the core of the story.

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