Saturday, 30 April 2016

115 The Gunfighters Episode 1: A Holiday for the Doctor

EPISODE: The Gunfighters Episode 1: A Holiday for the Doctor
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 30 April 1966
WRITER: Donald Cotton
DIRECTOR: Rex Tucker
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 6.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Earth Story (The Gunfighters/The Awakening)
So fill up your glasses,
And join in the song.
The law’s right behind you,
And it won’t take long.
So come, you coyotes
And howl at the moon,
Till there’s blood upon the sawdust,
In The Last Chance Saloon.
The Tardis arrives in Tombstone Arizona with the Doctor seeking a dentist. Found by the sheriff, Wyatt Earp, the Doctor passes them off as a group of travelling players. He finds Doc Holliday, newly arrived in town and recently set up shop, who's being pursued by Seth Harper and the three Clanton brothers who want revenge for Doc Holliday killing their brother. Harper,who has never seen Holliday before, mistakes the Doctor for him and lures him to the Saloon where they've forced Dodo to play piano and Steven to sing for them. The Doctor unwittingly wanders towards the gunmen lying in wait inside the saloon.

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Another historical comedy story, once again from the pen of Donald Cotton who wrote the Myth Makers. I watch the episode and smile, as the whole regular cast look like they're having a great time dressing up as cowboys, with Peter Purves once again giving an airing to the American accent he used for Morton Dill in The Chase and Hartnell, once again, obviously rising to the comedy which he does so well!

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There's a couple of nice aerial shots of the interior of the Last Chance Saloon which help give the area a sense of space.

Needing a quick explanation of what they're doing in the town the Doctor bluffs that they are Entertainers:

MASTERSON: Who're your friends, Wyatt?
WYATT: Well I, er
DOCTOR: Oh, quite, quite so. Allow me, sir, to introduce Miss Dodo Dupont, wizard of the ivory keys, and er Steven Regret, tenor. And lastly sir, your humble servant Doctor Caligari.
MASTERSON: Doctor Who?
DOCTOR: Yes, quite right.
The Doctor's name is taken from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a famous German horror film

His companions are less impressed with his choice.

STEVEN: Look I don't know why you wanted to say it in the first place. Steven Regret? What kind of a name's that for a singer anyway?
DOCTOR: Oh, my dear young man, can't you sing a little?
STEVEN: Well yes, a little, but why say it at all?
DOCTOR: Well, I had to find some sort of suitable cover. After all, you can't walk into the middle of a Western town and say that you've come from outer space. Good gracious me, we'd all be arrested on a vagrancy charge.
Sure enough they're soon being forced to play their roles in The Last Chance Saloon while The Doctor gets set up for a case of mistaken identity! There's a nice play of words in the title which is used again in the episode:
DOCTOR: What? Yes, yes, what is it?
HARPER: Holliday!
DOCTOR: Holliday? Yes, I suppose so. Yes, you could call it that.
HARPER: My name's Harper, Seth Harper.
DOCTOR: Oh, well, I'm very glad to know you Mister Harper. Yes, I suppose you've brought a message from my friends.
HARPER: Well, a kind of a message, Doc. The boys are waitin' for you at the saloon. They'd sure like to buy you a drink.
DOCTOR: Oh, well, that's very sociable of them, but unfortunately I don't touch alcohol.
HARPER: That's not what I heard, Doc, but we'll play it your way.
HARPER: Look, we'll give you five minutes, and if you ain't there we'll come looking for you, okay?
The Doctor thinking he's talking about having a Holliday of sorts while Harper thinks he's Doc Holliday!

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Charlie the Barman is, at last, an in front of the camera appearance for David Graham who has voiced many of the Daleks before now. Curiously the cast also features Shane Rimmer, as Seth Harper. Both Graham and Rimmer will later find fame in Thunderbirds as Brains and Scott Tracy respectively. You'll have seen Shane Rimmer in front of the camera in many other places including UFO, Space 1999, The Spy Who Loved Me, Superman II and Batman Begins. I recall watching Batman back and loving it, then up pops Shane Rimmer as the monorail controller! A few years back Liz had Superman II on recently and even over a crying four year old I recognised that voice! He's allegedly in Star Wars but I'd never clocked that the character he plays was him!

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After David Graham the member of the cast with the largest connection to Doctor Who is Richard Beale who plays Bat Masterson. He'd already been the voice of the Refusian in The Ark episodes 3 & 4: The Return & The Bomb. He returns as the voice of the Broadcaster in The Macra Terror and The Minister of Ecology in The Green Death episode three. He's also got a Blake's 7 appearance to his name as Saymon in The Web.

His fellow lawman Marshal Wyatt Earp is played by who I've seen in The Biderbecke Tapes as Tracy.

Onto the Clanton Brothers:

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David Cole is Billy Clanton. He'll return to Doctor Who in Full Circle Part Two as an uncredited Citizen.

William Hurndell is Ike Clanton and you can hear him interviewed on Toby Hadoke's Who's Round #73.

For completeness the final brother Phineas Clanton is played by Maurice Good.

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Sheena Marshe plays Doc Holliday's lady friend Kate. She's got an appearance in The Prisoner episode The Girl Who Was Death as The Barmaid to her name.

There's 4 cowboy extras credited on each episode of this story. For this episode IMDB says they are John Caesar, Roy Curtis, Bill Smith & John Doyle. For the following episodes Doyle is replaced by the similarly named John Doye. Same actor? Having consulted with M'Learned Colleagues the consensus is that it is the same actor for all four episodes of this series and, because Mr Hadoke has seen an obituary for him, that the correct spelling is Doye. So do the contents of both entries on IMDB belong to the same actor? Lets have a look at their credits:

Episode 1 John Doyle

Cowboy in A Holiday for the Doctor
UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians episode 2
Grecian Man in Four to Doomsday part two
Grecian Man in Four to Doomsday part three
Episodes 2-4 John Doye
u Cowboy in Don't Shoot the Pianist
u Cowboy in Johnny Ringo
u Cowboy in The O.K. Corral
Interviewer in The War Machines episode 1
Now if you've been reading the bits of the blog that have looked at extras you'll have spotted that The War Machines and The Silurians keep popping up on CVs from around this time some I'm inclined to say that the Silurians credit is for Doye. The Greeks in Four to Doomsday are either older bearded men or warriors in helmets with masks so we can't be sure there!

John Caesar meanwhile has been in Doctor Who before: he was an uncredited Egyptian Warrior in Dalek Masterplan 9: The Golden Death and credited as Monoid Four in The Ark part 4 The Bomb. After this he's a guard in all four episodes of The Macra Terror, uncredited for the first three but credited for the fourth, a Pirate Guard (episode 1) and a Pirate (episodes 3 & 4) in The Space Pirates (all uncredited), followed by two credited roles in the Pertwee era: C.P.O. Myers in The Sea Devils episode six and the R / T Soldier in Invasion of the Dinosaurs part one.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

114 The Celestial Toymaker Episode 4: The Final Test

EPISODE: The Celestial Toymaker Episode 4: The Final Test
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 23 April 1966
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Bill Sellars
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time

"Lady Luck will show the way, win the game or here you'll stay."

We're back on DVD and with the trusty Doctor Who - Lost In Time set for the final episode of this story, and indeed it's our last use of Lost in Time for the Hartnell era.

Dodo & Steven play schoolboy Cyril at a version of hopscotch involving numbered stepping stones surrounded by an electrified floor. Cyril's cheating results in them being penalised and he winning the game. However Cyril slips from a stone celebrating and is killed.

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The Doctor reaches the penultimate move in his game and is poised to win becoming visible again. He goes to leave with Steven & Dodo but the Tardis is immobilised by the Toymaker who won't let them leave until the Doctor completes the game. However the Doctor knows that completing the game and defeating the Toymaker will destroy the Toymaker's realm. A chance remark from Steven about not being able to talk their way out of the situation gives The Doctor the solution: he impersonated the Toymaker's voice and orders the Trilogic game to advance to the final move. Celebrating with a packet of sweets Dodo obtained from Cyril, The Doctor hurts a tooth.

A game of two halves this episode: The hopscotch game works well and the Trilogic Game interludes work much better on screen than on sound, both of which make me wonder how much better the preceding three episodes might have worked with their pictures.

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The visuals here shed a lot of light on some things: The Robots, which I've seen in several publicity photos and couldn't work out what role they played in the story, have a counter in their chest that shows Steven and Dodo how many moves the Doctor has left!

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We catch a brief glimpse of the Toymaker's Dolls house and the space he has set aside for Steven and Dodo, both of which look superb.

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Unfortunately we can also see the Hopscotch game room and the Toymaker's control area both of which look like television studios and are shouting Play School set at me!

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To make matters worse you can see that the Tardis prop is obviously mounted on castors!

However there's some great missing effects here with the illusionary Toymaker and the Doctor's disembodied hand!

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And it would be reminisce of me not to point out how bad Dodo's costume is now we can see it.... though she does become the first character in Doctor Who to wear fishnets!

After Steven, Dodo & The Doctor conquer their respective challenges the episode sags a bit as the travellers try to find out why they can't leave.

We do learn some things about the Toymaker in the later half of the episode though:

DOCTOR: If we destroy the Toymaker, we destroy this world.
STEVEN: Well, is that bad?
DODO: Surely, that's a good thing. This is really a very sad place.
DOCTOR: I don't think neither of you understand. As the games are over, and won by us, everything outside the Tardis disappears. And if we are there, we disappear also.
DODO: But we have won and it hasn't happened yet.
DOCTOR: But it will, my dear, the moment I go out there and make the final move of the trilogic game.
STEVEN: Why doesn't he just let us go? He can't want to be destroyed.
DOCTOR: Oh, he won't be.
DODO: But if everything disappears, why not him?
DOCTOR: If the Toymaker loses the game, his world will vanish, but he has the power to build a new one.
DODO: How?
DOCTOR: The Toymaker is immortal. He's lasted for thousands of years. Very occasionally, of course, he loses a game, and then he has to pay the price.
STEVEN: And that price is the loss of his world?
DOCTOR: Yes, but he himself is not destroyed. He goes on forever.
STEVEN: So we can't leave.
DOCTOR: There must be a way.
DODO: We'll never see him again, will we, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Oh, my dear, don't talk too soon. The mind is indestructible. So is the Toymaker.
STEVEN: What, you mean he can never be destroyed?
DODO: But you defeated him.
DOCTOR: Yes, just at this moment, but there will be other meetings in an other time.
DODO: Then your battle with him will never end.
DOCTOR: Yes, you're quite right, my dear, but anyway, let us cheer up. After all we did win the games.
The kind of power The Toymaker has and excises puts him in the same league as some of the godlike beings in Doctor Who: The Animus, The Great Intelligence, The Nestene Consciousness, Omega, The Black & White Guardians, The Mara, The Eternals, Rassilon, The Gods of Ragnarök & Fenric. Indeed there's several groups there to which he could belong, several of which like amusing themselves with games: The quest for The Key to Time might as well be one big game, and the Eternals race in Enlightenment certainly is. See also The Game of Rassilon in The Five Doctors, designed to trap the greedy and power hungry in his race, the circus Entertainment in Greatest Show In the Galaxy and the overlong chess match between the Doctor & Fenric in Silver Nemesis and the Curse of Fenric. Games, tests and traps, although set by more mundane beings, also play a part in Death to the Daleks, Pyramids of Mars and The Hand of Fear.

The nearest thing to the Celestial Toymaker story wise in Doctor Who is the Mind Robber, set in a fantasy realm albeit with a displaced human in control.

My refrain right the way through this story has been "would be better if we could see what's going on" and I think that sums the whole thing up nicely. There's some nice inventive ideas here, which can be seen by how often Doctor Who uses similar themes, but a lot of them are very visual. Equally the one episode we do have isn't the most exciting visually and has some limits.

The original version of this blog entry concluded with one of those paragraphs that it's now necessary to revise :-)

Incredibly the run of five episodes from here through the four episodes of the Gunfighters is the most number of consecutive episodes present in the BBC archives from Seasons 3, 4 or 5 of the program!
As we shall see that's now not true!
Season 4 has a three episode run, the first three episodes of Tenth Planet, the only consecutive episodes from that season existing,
There's now two consecutive episodes of The Underwater Menace, the second and third, which feature Peter Stephens who plays Cyril in this story.
while season 5 has a four episode run, the entirety of the Tomb of the Cybermen, and a three episode run, the last three episodes of the Ice Warriors, plus the final episode, Wheel in Space, marks the starts of an Eleven episode run into Season 6 through The Dominators & The Mind Robber.
Season 5 now has an ELEVEN episode run in the middle of it: the aforementioned last three episodes of The Ice Warriors, all six episodes of The Enemy of the World and the first two episodes of Web of Fear. This is now the longest run of existing episodes in decimated seasons 3-5.

Season Six contains 14 consecutive episodes: The last four of the Invasion, The four episode Krotons and six episode Seeds of Death. For completeness I should mention the ten consecutive episodes of the War Games at the end Season 6, but that marks the point from which all episodes of Doctor Who are known to exist, and the question then becomes what format do we hold them in and are they in colour........ but we'll talk about that much later.

The Celestial Toymaker was novelised by Script Editor Gerry Davis and Alison Bingeman in 1985.

Episode four is the only episode of the Celestial Toymaker to exist, returned from the ABC in Sydney. It's believed it was a copy sold to the ABC, passed to TVS in Singapore and the returned to the ABC by accident who put it into storage, forgot about it, found it and returned it to the BBC in early 1984. It was released on the Hartnell Years VHS tape along with the Pilot episode and The Crusade part 3, and on DVD as part of Doctor Who - Lost In Time. All four episodes have had their soundtrack released with narration by Peter Purves. Doctor Who: the Celestial Toymaker was released in April 2001 and has recently been re-released as part of Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

Saturday, 16 April 2016

113 The Celestial Toymaker Episode 3: The Dancing Floor

EPISODE: The Celestial Toymaker Episode 3: The Dancing Floor
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 16 April 1966
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Bill Sellars
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 9.4 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"Hunt the key to fit the door that leads out on the dancing floor. Then escape the rhythmic beat, or you'll forever tap your feet!"

Steven & Dodo find themselves in the kitchen of Mrs Wiggs, who's arguing with Sergeant Rugg while Cyril the kitchen boy dozes in the kitchen.


Dodo & Steven need to hunt the key, which they eventually find hidden in one of Mrs Wigg's pies. Alas the Tardis at the end of this game is a fake too. They then proceed to a dance floor where they are forced to dance with the dolls against Sgt Rugg & Mrs Wiggs.

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Steven swaps partners to unite with Dodo and the both jump off the Dance floor by another Tardis.... which is again fake.


They then meet Cyril, now dressed as a schoolboy who says they can call him Billy. He will be their opponent in the next game.

Worked a bit better for me again this episode. I'm feeling the absence of Hartnell somewhat, especially after the Doctor is missing from Dalek Masterplan 11 and most of the Massacre. I know the invisible Doctor's game with the Toymaker is meant to be adding tension and a time limit to what Steven & Dodo are doing but this isn't for me. Peter Purves says this is one of his favourite stories, along with the Massacre, both of which feature Steven working away from the Doctor for a period of time thus giving the actor more to do.

It should be noted that the schoolboy Cyril seems to resemble Billy Bunter, and the comment he makes would make it seem that that was the intention:

Hello, remember me? I'm Cyril, known to my friends as Billy. Had you that time! Scare ya?
However the copyright holders for Billy Bunter complained and a voice over announcement was made denying any connection between the characters.


Peter Stephens plays the schoolboy, Cyril. Stephens was The Knave in the previous episode too who, like Cyril in the Kitchen, slept on the sidelines of the clash with the King & Queen in the last episode. He makes a return Doctor Who appearance as the priest Lolem in The Underwater Menace.

Sgt Rugg & Mrs Wiggs are played by Campbell Singer and Carmen Silvera who were the Clowns in the first episode and the King & Queen of Hearts in the second. The Dolls/Dancers are played by Beryl Braham, Ann Harrison and Delia Linden . Meanwhile the Doctor's Hand is provided by Albert Ward, who performs the same role in The Smugglers!

The next episode of The Celestial Toymaker exists and from the start of the following story we have telesnaps for all of the missing episodes up until the point where John Cura stopped taking his telesnaps during The Dominators. The next episode with no visual record is episode 220 The Invasion: Episode One. That didn't use to be the case: when the telesnaps were discovered the photos for episode 189 The Enemy of the World part 4 were missing but fortunately this episode was returned in 2014.

One of the concepts in the story, the invisible Doctor, was meant to serve as a means to replace Hartnell with another actor. Producer John Wiles and lead actor William Hartnell never got on as several people testify, notably Peter Purves in The Ark DVD commentary. However Wiles' BBC bosses, the aforementioned Gerald Savory and his superior Sydney Newman, who was involved in the creation of Doctor Who, refused and so that function of the plot had to be dropped contributing to Wiles' departure from the series. In fact this story marks the production debut of Innes Lloyd, who inherited his first few stories from Wiles. His first decisions can be seen in The Savages episode 1, where the individual story episode titles disappear in favour of story titles, but the War Machines is a much better picture of what he was really after creatively.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

112 The Celestial Toymaker Episode 2: Hall of Dolls

EPISODE: The Celestial Toymaker Episode 2: Hall of Dolls
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 09 April 1966
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Bill Sellars
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 8 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"Four legs, no feet, of arms no lack, it carries no burden on its back."

Steven & Dodo are forced into a new game by the Toymaker. Attempting to help them, the invisible Doctor is silenced too by the Toymaker who advances the Doctor's own game and thus depriving his companions of time.


Faced with a set of seven chairs the companions have to find which one is safe by using dolls. However they're playing against a King & Queen from a pack of cards who cheat sacrificing their Jack to test a chair while the Knave sleeps through the experience. Three dolls remain after Steven & Dodo complete the task and the dolls follow them out of the room.


This episode was a little easier to follow than the previous one and made more sense to me. The chairs are a little easier to visualise than the boardgame/hopskotch from the previous episode. It's still very very odd though.

You remember the agreement? They must find your Tardis before you finish your game. If they don't, then you will have to stay here and you'll be in my power forever!
Conceived as a way of pushing the boundaries of the show into the relams of fantasuy the story was redrafted firstly by then script editor Donald Tosh followed by his successor Gerry Davis leaving it unrecognisable from what was originally written. Included had been George & Margaret, characters from the play of the same name written by Gerald Savory, then head of serials at the BBC, in an attempt to flatter him. He objected and forced the final rewrite to remove them! However actors has already been cast in these roles so they needed to be utilised for these first three episodes....


.... so the King & Queen characters in this episode are played by the same actors that were the clowns in the previous episodes and will play Sgt Rugg/Mrs Wiggs in the next episode.

Clara Clown, The Queen & Mrs Wiggs are played by Carmen Silvera, later to find fame as Edith Artois in Allo, Allo. She returns to Doctor Who in the 1974 story Invasion of the Dinosaurs where she plays Ruth.

The original version of The Celestial Toymaker was written by debut Doctor Who author Brian Hayles and it's his name that is credited on the finished program. His efforts, despite later alterations, were obviously thought to be good enough as he was asked back to write the historical story The Smugglers shortly after. The next year Brian Haylessssss would be back again with a much more memorable creation that would make a lasssssting contribution to Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors.

The director for this show is also making his Doctor Who debut but unlike Hayles this is Bill Sellars only job on the show. He later became a BBC producer most notably working on All Creatures Great and Small, the show that brought actor Peter Davison to national attention before he on the role of the Fifth Doctor.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

111 The Celestial Toymaker Episode 1: The Celestial Toyroom

EPISODE: The Celestial Toymaker Episode 1: The Celestial Toyroom
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 02 April 1966
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Bill Sellars
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 8 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"Turn away from it, dear boy! We're now in the world of The Celestial Toymaker, and that screen is hypnotic. He's trying to dominate your mind!"

The Tardis is in the domain of the Celestial Toymaker, a Mandarin like figure. He has compelled the crew to play his games to regain the Tardis. Steven & Dodo are forced into playing against the Toymaker's clown dolls which he has brought to life, whilst the invisible Doctor plays the Trilogic Game. Steven and Dodo win their round of Blind Man's Bluff discovering the clowns are cheating, but the Tardis they find at the end of the game is a fake.

Welcome to one of *the* oddest Doctor Who stories ever. VERY highly thought of by fans who saw it on first broadcast it's reputation has slipped somewhat since it became widely available in audio form, for the first three episodes, and the fourth episode which was recovered during the 1980s. Whenever I listen to the first 3/4 of the story it just sounds very odd to my ear and I think moving visuals would help no end. Unfortunately this is one of those stories for which there are no telesnaps existing so we don't know what a lot of it looks like. The are, however, a number of high quality colour publicity photos covering almost all the credited characters and cats so we've a pretty good idea how they looked.


There's some interesting stuff with the visuals we are missing though:

STEVEN: Hey! Look! That's me!
DODO: What is?
STEVEN: Here, on this screen!
DODO: What screen?
STEVEN: Here! That's me on the planet Kemble!
DODO: There's nothing there.
DOCTOR: But I believe I now know where we are.
STEVEN: It's changed again. There I am in Paris.
DOCTOR: Now turn around this instant! Turn away from it, dear boy! We're now in the world of The Celestial Toymaker, and that screen is hypnotic. He's trying to dominate your mind.
STEVEN: But, Doctor....
DOCTOR: There is nothing there. Do you understand me? There is nothing there at all. You must believe me.
STEVEN: What was it? What happened?
DODO: What's the matter, Doctor? I couldn't see anything on the screen.
DOCTOR: Come here, child. Now whatever you do, you must not allow yourself to be trapped into looking at it.
We visited Kemble in The Dalek Masterplan and Paris in The Massacre. Obviously there's some sort of visual representation there but is it still photos or actual footage from the story? Either way it's the first time something from a previous story has been shown, rather than just being referred to, in Doctor who.

The Toymaker uses the same trick again on Dodo:

TOYMAKER: Just watch over there.
DODO: It's me the day my mother died!
DOCTOR: Turn away from it this instant!
STEVEN: Look away.
We knew Dodo was an Orphan, who lived with her Aunt, from her introduction at the end of The Massacre part 4.

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Like the Monk, who we met in The Time Meddler and The Dalek Masterplan, the Doctor appears to have met the Toymaker before:

STEVEN: What's this extraordinary place?
DOCTOR: Well, I'm not quite sure, dear boy, but it's, it's somewhat familiar.
DOCTOR: You! I might have guessed.
TOYMAKER: Of course. I've been waiting for you a long time.
DOCTOR: You will kindly cease this practical joking, and let us go at once.
TOYMAKER: Patience, Doctor, patience. You've only just got here. Relax. It's so nice to see you again.
DOCTOR: And now you have, so let us go.
TOYMAKER: You're so innocent, Doctor. The last time you were here, I hoped you'd stay long enough for a game, but you had hardly time to turn around.
DOCTOR: And very wise I was, too. You and your games are quite notorious. You draw people here like a spider does to flies. TOYMAKER: How absurd. It amuses me to give amusement.
DOCTOR: And should they lose the game they play, you condemn them to become your toy forever.
TOYMAKER: That is one of my rules, certainly. But if they win, they're perfectly free to go.
DOCTOR: And if I refuse?
TOYMAKER: Then you lose by default. Is that what you choose?
DOCTOR: No, I do not. I should never have left the Tardis.
TOYMAKER: You're so insatiably curious. That's why I ensured that the scanner would be blank. I knew that would bring you out.
He's certainly not impressed with their captor:
DODO: Who's the Celestial Toymaker?
DOCTOR: He's a power for evil. He manipulates people and makes them into his playthings.
But the Toymaker has the Tardis and like many early stories the Tardis crew are forced to participate in events because it's the only way to get the Tardis back.
TOYMAKER: So you still think that you can pit your mind against mine?
DOCTOR: Of course I can.
TOYMAKER: Good. I hope that the time you have spent dabbling in your researches round the universe hasn't dulled you. I need you.
DOCTOR: You need me?
TOYMAKER: Yes. I'm bored. I love to play games, but there's no one to play against. The beings who call here have no minds and so they become my toys. But you will become my perpetual opponent. We shall play endless games together, your brain against mine.
DOCTOR: As you said, if I win the game, I can go.
TOYMAKER: So you can, Doctor, so you can. But I think you will lose.

The Doctor is playing the Trilogic game, which is based on The Towers Of Hanoi. Counters of decreasing size from top to bottom are arranged on the first post. The object is to move all the counters to the third post. Only one counter can be moved at a time. No counter can sit on one smaller than itself.


The solution for 1 counter is trivial:

Move counter 1 from Tower 1 to Tower 3.
One Move.

For two counters you move:

Counter 1 from Tower 1 to Tower 2
Counter 2 from Tower 1 to Tower 3
Counter 1 from Tower 2 to Tower 3.
Three moves.

For three counters you move:

Counter 1 from Tower 1 to Tower 3
Counter 2 from Tower 1 to Tower 2
Counter 1 from Tower 3 to Tower 2
Counter 3 from Tower 1 to Tower 3
Counter 1 from Tower 2 to Tower 1
Counter 2 from Tower 2 to Tower 3
Counter 1 from Tower 1 to Tower 3.
Seven moves.

In fact the minimum number of moves is always one less than Two to the power of the number of counters. For 1 counter it's 2 minus 1, for two counters it's two squared minus 1, for three it's 2 cubed minus 1..... 1023, the number of moves the Doctor has, seems to indicate that he's playing with ten counters: 2 to the power of 10 is 1024. Take one away you get 1023. Yes I studied it in college as part of my Maths & Computer Science degree. It's used to teach recursion and other programming concepts.... which reminds me of the dictionary definitions:

Repetition: See Iteration

Iteration: See Repetition

Recursion: See Recursion
Well I thought they were funny when I heard them at University!

Peter Purves kept the Trilogic game after filming. Believing it was bringing him bad luck preventing him from finding work he threw it away and was the next week offered the Blue Peter job.


The main guest character for this series, the Celestial Toymaker himself, is played by noted actor Michael Gough, who you may know as Alfred from the 80s and 90s Batman movies. He's got one return to Doctor Who, in 1983 as Hedin in Arc of Infinity, but may well have reprised the role of the Toymaker in The Nightmare Fair if the planned 23rd season of Doctor Who hadn't been cancelled during 1985. At the time he was married to the actress Anneke Wills who we'll be seeing in a few weeks time.