Who is The Toymaker in Doctor Who? Background and powers, explained

The Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials are concluding with 'The Giggle' which features the return of the villainous Celestial Toymaker.

The Toymaker in Doctor Who

Who is The Toymaker in Doctor Who? The last of the three 60th anniversary specials is now here, and the climax pits David Tennant and Catherine Tate against Neil Patrick Harris’ villainous Celestial Toymaker.

He’s a villain from Doctor Who’s past, and The Doctor has confronted The Toymaker before a long, long time ago. To get you up to speed, here’s everything you need to know about The Toymaker’s backstory in the best sci-fi series around.

Who is The Toymaker?

The Toymaker is an immortal alien who manipulates reality to create games and traps to ensnare unsuspecting travelers across the galaxy.

These games are rigged in The Toymaker’s favor, and are solely designed to delight The Toymaker’s own ego. Having existed for thousands of years, he yearns to amuse himself by creating chaos around him and interfering in the lives of ‘lesser’ beings, relishing their attempts to beat his games. He possesses extraordinary intelligence, but his arrogance is his weakness as he underestimates humanity, and The Doctor.

The origins of The Toymaker are unknown, and the character mostly remains a mystery as he takes center stage in ‘The Giggle’. Here, he aims to take revenge on The Doctor… but what for?

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When did The Toymaker meet The Doctor before?

Audiences first saw The Toymaker meet the first Doctor, played by William Hartnell, in an episode titled ‘The Celestial Toymaker’ that aired in 1966. However, in their interactions, it’s made clear that The Doctor has faced The Toymaker before.

In this episode, The Doctor and his two companions accidentally enter The Toymaker’s reality and become trapped. Their only means of escape is to beat the various games and challenges he sets for them. Eventually, The Doctor and his companions outsmart The Toymaker through collaboration and ingenuity. They beat The Toymaker’s games and the villain is seemingly banished from their plane of existence. However, thousands of years later, The Toymaker returned to take his revenge on the 14th Doctor, as the first Doctor predicted he would.

Showrunner Russell T Davies chose to bring The Toymaker back as a villain in the 60th anniversary specials because he’s a relic from Doctor Who’s past. Additionally, he enjoyed the synchronicity in the fact that the character appeared in the ‘60s and that this is the 60th anniversary of the show.

For more on Doctor Who, read our guide to the TARDIS, or see our picks for the 10 best David Tennant episodes. Or, you can see what else is new on Disney Plus this month.