This weekend, Neil Patrick Harris will do battle with the Doctor and Donna Noble in the third and final Doctor Who 60th anniversary special—playing a new version of one of the show’s oldest and most obscure villains. Mostly obscured by the fact the last story they were in aired 57 years ago, and 75% of it is lost to time. That’s about to change though.
In the run up to this weekend’s episode, “The Giggle,” the BBC has released a new preview clip briefly introducing the 14th Doctor and Donna to Harris’ Toymaker—who’s apparently dropped the “Celestial” moniker since he last appeared in 1966—as he dances amid the havoc of a London driven mad by the burning conviction that everyone suddenly thinks they’re right, all the time.
It’s nice and creepy, and there’s even a very little tiny, largely obscured bit of Bernard Cribbins’ Wilf, likely all we’ll see of the character after his scene at the end of “Wild Blue Yonder” marked the late actor’s final full appearance on Doctor Who. But it doesn’t really give us much about the Toymaker himself, or why he’s returned after all these years. We’ll have to wait until the episode for that, presumably, but if you’re left wanting more, then good news: the BBC is regenerating the Toymaker’s original story early next year, too.
Already previously rumored as a tie-in to the character’s appearance in “The Giggle,” the BBC has now confirmed that “The Celestial Toymaker” will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray some time in 2024, as part of the restoration of litany of lost and missing episodes from Doctor Who’s early history. Just the fourth and final episode of the serial remains in the BBC’s archives, which will now be released in a new restoration alongside animated recreations of the first three episodes using archival audio recordings paired with new, 3DCG animation.
While the stylization might not be to everyone’s taste—it’s a little early Clone Wars, and quite different to the 2D animation prior restorations of missing episodes the BBC has gone with in recent years—it’ll be good to at least have a complete version of “The Celestial Toymaker” available in people’s hands, should “The Giggle” spark an interest in a formerly one-hit wonder of a foe.
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