Friday, June 5, 2009

Y4 - The Final Test

The most interesting aspect of The Celestial Toymaker is actually mentioned early on in Episode One, and then never again. It's the fact that The Doctor mentions that he has met the Toymaker before, and is aware of the fantastical nature of the world that he has created.

It's been rare, even by this relatively late stage in the William Hartnell era, to hear The Doctor mention people, creatures, and events from his past that were never seen on screen. The Toymaker seems to exist outside of reality itself, though. So when and how did The Doctor meet him for the first time? And how did The Doctor manage to get out of the situation? The Toymaker's powers bear more than a slight resemblance to those of the Eternals in the Peter Davison story Enlightenment. Are they of the same species? Is the Toymaker, perhaps, akin to the computer in The Mind Robber? Does he have the powers, even, of the Black or White Guardian? It's a great shame that the intended 1985 sequel to this story, The Nightmare Fair, was never made as it may have provided some of the answers to these questions.

It's the unanswered questions and the desire to know the history of the Toymaker and his relationship with The Doctor that make this an interesting view, making up for the lack of scenes featuring The Doctor (and, indeed, the Toymaker) and for the fact that the games don't provide much a challenge for Steven and Dodo. Still, it's Doctor Who's first solid stab at surrealism, and it must be applauded, at least, for the effort.


Anonymous said...

There's an excellent article about this in Doctor Who Magazine #408, including all the appearances in spin off media (which touch on all your questions and speculation above)...

Anonymous said...

And lets hope the Toymaker and his origins are expanded upon in the Big Finish audio version
of The Nightmare Fair coming in November!

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