Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Celestial Toyroom 

The Doctor, Steven and Dodo arrive in the realms of the Celestial Toymaker, who forces them to play his deadly games.


Bill Sellars


Brian Hayles (by)

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Episode cast overview:
William Hartnell ... Dr. Who
Peter Purves ... Steven Taylor
Jackie Lane ... Dodo Chaplet
Michael Gough ... Toymaker
Campbell Singer Campbell Singer ... Joey the Clown
Carmen Silvera ... Clara the Clown


The Doctor, Steven and Dodo arrive in the realms of the Celestial Toymaker, who forces them to play his deadly games.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

2 April 1966 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Producing The Celestial Toymaker wasn't easy, even by Doctor Who standards. Most of the difficulties stemmed from the fact that it arose at a time of transition in the production office. Though commissioned by the team of producer John Wiles and script editor Donald Tosh, it was ultimately completed by the new team of Innes Lloyd and Gerry Davis. The two sides simply had very different ideas about how the story should proceed. All four episodes were in fact written three different times. Brian Hayles had delivered all four original scripts, likely in late 1965. Tosh and Wiles had immediately seen that the scripts could not be practically realised, and thus Tosh rewrote them entirely. By the time he was finished, though, he was no longer script editor. Davis, his replacement, now had to deal with the fact that Tosh had inserted the use of the title characters from a play called George and Margaret by Gerald Savory without obtaining permission. Since Savory was now Head of Serials, and had the power to veto scripts, he quickly rejected Tosh's approach to The Celestial Toymaker.

Davis therefore had to tackle the scripts again. These rewrites got Savory's approval, but the old production team were left wondering what had happened to their scripts. Tosh opined that Davis' approach was "much lighter, more pantomime" than his own. The results were no more pleasing to John Wiles, who wrote a memo to Savory on 25 February 1966, after he had technically left the Doctor Who production office. In it, he claimed that the central battle of wills between the Doctor and the Toymaker had been downplayed to the benefit of new elements involving a more childish confrontation between the companions and the Toymaker's creations. Ultimately, Wiles would have liked to have seen the entire production halted, since its commissioning producer and script editor had gone - and with them, the original, more adult intent of the story. See more »


[first lines]
Steven Taylor: We're landing now Doctor.
Dr. Who: Good. That means the gravitational bearing must have rectified itself.
Dorothea 'Dodo' Chaplet: [enters from one of the other rooms] Hey, look at this!
See more »


Referenced in Talking About Regeneration (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The Celestial Toymaker: Part 1 - Good start but very disappointing and bizarre otherwise.
19 August 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 4 parts:

The Celestial Toymaker is a 4 part story beginning with The Celestial Toyroom.

This story is the first instance of the series going off into pure fantasy with a whimsical, strange setting in which the TARDIS crew are tormented by a mysterious power with mind games and very odd goings on. Sound familiar? Well if you have seen The Mind Robber from the second Doctor's era or the episode Amy's Choice from the modern 11th Doctor's (Matt Smith) era then you will see that this is very much the story they are based upon.

This being a different kind of story to anything that went before is a big plus in the first part as it is unusual and therefore surprising and interesting. The character of the toymaker is also an interesting and well acted character with the smooth Michael Gough in usual good form. However the strangeness and bizarre 'toyroom figures' they meet start to grate more and more in parts 2 and 3 with poor scenes and acting from some silly guest characters. Part 3 is particularly weak and embarrassing, probably the worst Hartnell era episode. The mind games are not thrilling and the final part with things coming to a conclusion still fails to pick up the level above that of the unimpressive second part let alone to match the first part or to rescue the story. Writer Brian Hayles has not provided great material apart from the initial ideas. Gerry Davis and Innes Lloyd who were the new script editor/producer combination also seem to have neglected the first couple of stories they inherited from their predecessors letting this fall very flat.

Overall this is disappointing stuff after the good first part and could maybe have been a success given proper care or would have been better as a 2-parter with a lot of the nonsense cut out.

My Ratings: Episode 1 - 8/10, Episode 2 - 6/10, Episode 3 - 4.5/10, Episode 4 - 6/10

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