The Toymaker

The Celestial Toymaker



The Celestial Toymaker

Main Aliases:

The Guardian of Dreams
The Crystal Guardian
The Mandarin
The Cosmic Puppetmaster


Transcendental being



First Seen In:

The Celestial Toymaker


The Magic Mousetrap
The Nightmare Fair
The Celestial Toymaker
The Nightmare Fair
Divided Loyalties
From Wildthyme with Love
Gallifrey: A Rough Guide
Murder in the Dark
Trick or Treat
The Toymaker
The Greatest Gamble
Relative Dimensions
Double Danger
The Giggle

Main Actor:

Michael Gough

Other Actors:

Neil Patrick-Harris
Luke Featherston

Main Voice Actor:

David Bailie

Other Voice Actors:

Paul Antony-Barber


click on images to enlarge


The Celestial Toymaker, also known as the Crystal Guardian, the Mandarin, or simply the Toymaker, was a powerful being who ensnared sentient beings in apparently childish games, with their freedom as the stakes. However, the Toymaker hated to lose and the games were always rigged in his favour.


Within his realm, the Celestial Toyroom, the Toymaker commanded immense powers, but they were limited by the rules he set for any particular game, although he could bend these rules or “forget” to mention them to his opponents if he so chose. He himself was immortal and invulnerable, and appeared capable of space and time travel at will.

During the course of a game, one of the players might die outright or they might lose, in which case, the Toymaker would have total control over their life and personality, perpetually. (The Celestial Toymaker) Apart from these children’s games, the Toymaker sometimes played in person against his “guests”, most often games of chance such as cards or dice. There is evidence to suggest that if he was fairly beaten in such a game, the other player was allowed to go free, but if his opponent lost or tried to cheat, they became another exhibit in the Toyroom. Such opponents included Gaylord Lefevre, a professional gambler from the American west, and a Roman soldier — though it is unclear if the latter played fairly and thus gained his freedom. (The Greatest Gamble)

However, by some accounts, the Toymaker feared the outer-universe so badly that he feared the very idea of being forced to leave his toyroom. In this account, the Twelfth Doctor helped create a new one for him, leaving him drifting through time and space. (Relative Dimensions)


According to the Twelfth Doctor, the Toymaker was spawned in the chaos before time. (Relative Dimensions)

Some accounts claimed that the Toymaker was one of the Elder Gods, entities from an older universe who had escaped into The Doctor’s universe and become godlike there. (Black and White) Indeed, According to the Sixth Doctor, he originated in another universe before this one and was hauled into The Doctor’s universe by some kind of catastrophe. Because of this, the usual laws of physics didn’t apply to him. The Toymaker himself stated that, while he had used his powers forother things in the beginnings of the universe, he eventually got bored of thousands of millennia of pointless creation and pointless destruction, and found a new source of amusement — games. (The Nightmare Fair) In contrast, the First Doctor believed the Toymaker to be native to the same universe as himself. (The Celestial Toymaker)

In yet other accounts, the Toymakeronce claimed to be an embodiment of one of the fundamental forces of the universe, much like the Guardians of Time. Whereas the White and Black Guardians personified the absolutes of morality, however, the Toymaker was the avatarof games and illusions, known as the Crystal Guardian. (The Quantum Archangel) Along with his fellow Guardians of Time, the Crystal Guardian was in attendance for the creation of the universe. (The Whoniverse) According to another account, however, the First Doctor described the Toymaker as having “only” lasted for “thousands of years” when he faced him with Dodo and Steven. (The Celestial Toymaker)

Whatever he really was, the Celestial Toymaker had a sister known as the Queen of Time. (The Queen of Time)


According to the First Doctor, the Toymaker succeeded in creating a universe of his own, “entirely in his own vision”, where he would “manipulate people and turn them into his playthings”: the Celestial Toyroom. The Toymaker and his games became “notorious throughout the universe” as he spread his influence to attract people into his world and try to make them part of it. (The Celestial Toymaker)


According to one source, The Doctor learned of the Toymaker when he was a youth at the Prydonian Academy. The Time Lords’ data banks described him only as a vague legend. Indeed, some of the reports in the Time Lords’ data banks claimed there may exist several Toymakers rather than just one. The Doctor and his friends Rallon and Millennia who, like The Doctor, belonged to a clique known as the Deca, investigated the legend, travelling to the Toyroom in a stolen TARDIS.

There, they were able to confirm that the Toymaker was a singular being rather than a species. They found him in a dormant, disembodied state, but on their arrival he possessed Rallon and made Millennia one of his living toys. The Doctor defeated him, and the Toymaker allowed him to leave, knowing that he would become an even more worthy opponent given time to mature. (Divided Loyalties)


During the latter days of his first incarnation, the Toymaker drew The Doctor’s TARDIS back to his realm and made The Doctor and his companions play his games again. This time the Toymaker arranged things so that even if they won, the Toyroom would vanish completely at their moment of victory, leaving him the only survivor and the Doctor and his companions his subjects forever. The Doctoroutwitted the Toymaker again and escaped, leaving his realm in chaos. (The Celestial Toymaker) Rallon had been keeping the Toymaker’s powers in check since he was first possessed. He made the Toymaker abide by the rules of his games to allow The Doctor to escape. (Divided Loyalties) At the end of this adventure, The Doctor believed, incorrectly, that since he had won, the Toyroom no longer existed. (The Celestial Toymaker)


After the Fourteenth Doctor used the concept of salt to hold back the Not-things while at the edge of the universe, (Wild Blue Yonder) the initiation of a game resulted in the Toymaker being released from his domain and allowed to reign free in the universe. (The Giggl)

The Toymaker played games with players across the universe, including the Guardians of Time and Space, and claimed that he had rewritten The Doctor’s past into a “jigsaw puzzle.” He encountered The Master on the verge of death, (The Giggle following a botched plan to hijack The Doctor’s body through a forced regeneration. (The Power of the Doctor) The Master lost their game, so the Toymaker imprisoned him in the form of a single gold tooth that the Toymaker would keep in his mouth. The only person the Toymaker avoided playing against was an entity he called “The One Who Waits”. (The Giggle)

The Toymaker, now taking on a new appearance, was the subject of the Fourteenth Doctor’s request of a human to figure out the differences between two versions of reality following a rupture in time by examining two pictures. (Double Danger)

The Toymaker settled on Earth due to believing it and humanity were the “ultimate playground”. In 1925, he set up a toy store and manipulated events which resulted in one of his dolls, Stooky Bill, becoming the first image viewed on a television screen. He also trapped Charles Banajee in his domain after the latter lost a game with him, turning him partially into a doll. The Toymaker animated and immortalised the sound of Stooky Bill’s laugh to spread insanity in the 21st century, as by then technology and communication had reached a point where the giggle could be heard subliminally across all screens across the planet.

The Toymaker in 1925 soon met the Fourteenth Doctor and Donna, luring them into his domain. He taunted The Doctor with the number of people who had died because of him over the years, which enraged The Doctor enough to challenge him to a game. The Toymaker won, however, he was stopped from claiming his prize when The Doctor pointed out that, as he had beaten the Toymaker once before, this only counted as one all in a best of three. The Toymaker then swiftly disappeared to 2023, crumpling his toyshop into a box, with The Doctor and Donna in hot pursuit.

The Toymaker arrived at UNIT HQ, entirely unthreatened by UNIT as he danced and lip-synced whilst slaughtering anybody who attempted to stop him. He took control of the galvanic beam UNIT had used to destroy the satellite broadcasting the giggle, and fired on The Doctor and his friends. When The Doctor attempted to persuade him to leave Earth and take his games elsewhere, the Toymaker refused, and then shot The Doctor with the beam, stating that the rules of the game state that he should play the final round with the next Doctor. The Toymaker watched in glee as The Doctor began to regenerate, but was dumbfounded when he instead bi-generated.

After causing the Fourteenth Doctor’s bi-generation, the Toymaker engaged in an intense game of catch with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Doctors. Finally, the Toymaker failed to catch a throw from the Fifteenth Doctor, and he was defeated. As his prize, the Fourteenth Doctor banished the Toymaker from existence forever. The Toymaker folded up into a suit that was contained in a box that Mel Bush pushed at him. As he was trapped, the Toymaker warned that “[his] legions [we]re coming.” Kate Lethbridge-Stewart took the box and ordered UNIT to take it to their deepest vault and bind it in salt. The Toymaker’s domain lingered for a short time afterwards which allowed the Fifteenth Doctor to cause a bi-generation of the TARDIS itself by claiming it as his own prize for defeating the Toymaker. (The Giggle)


According to one source, the Toymaker was so terrified of the universe outside of his Toyroom that he refused to allow himself to leave it.

When the Toyroom became old and began to break down, the Toymaker feared that its contents would break out into the universe. He trapped the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald inside, wanting to steal The Doctor’s TARDIS in order to keep the Toyroom contained. The Doctor allowed him to take the TARDIS, then made his way into the console room and ejected the Toyroom. The Toymaker was then left with a contained Toyroom once more, “A lonely god, drifting through time and space in his magical toy box.” (Relative Dimensions)


The Toymaker discovered that after centuries of existence, Rallon’s body was dying. He set out to ensnare The Doctor again and hatched a complex plot to turn his companions against him and absorb The Doctor as a new host. He was thwarted when Rallon forced himself to undergo multiple regenerations consecutively. The trauma expelled the Toymaker from his body. A projection of Rallon’s potential future self merged with the Toymaker to ensure that the full powers of the immortal continued to be kept under control. While waiting for his Toyroom to repair itself, the Toymaker decided to take his servant Stefan to Earth to seek amusement. After seeing the idea in Tegan Jovanka’s mind, he decided to take him to Blackpool. (The Nightmare Fair)

Still calling himself the Mandarin, he escaped and played chess against Fenric during the latter’s imprisonment. The Mandarin found himself on the verge of being outplayed, but slowly realised that, in this case, playing for a stalemate would be a victory of sorts. (Games)


The Toymaker trapped the Eighth Doctor in a replica of the village of Stockbridge. Here he forced The Doctor to play games for control of a reality-warping alien device called the Imagineum. The Toymaker’s pawn this time was a replica of the Doctor himself. The Doctor persuaded his double to turn against his master. With the Toymaker distracted, The Doctor used the Imagineum to create a replica Toymaker, which he set against the original. A stalemate ensued. The Doctor destroyed the Imagineum and freed Stockbridge from the Toyroom. The Toymaker was trapped in apparently perpetual battle with himself. (Endgame)

The Toymaker later captured The Doctor’s TARDIS and took it to his Toyshop. He transformed the Eighth Doctor into a puppet. The Doctor’s companion, Charley, was forced by the Toymaker to take part in his riddle, but was tricked by the Toyshop which shrunk to 0% of its original size and the body he was using was destroyed within it. The Toymaker swore that when his new body had formed he would take his revenge upon The Doctor and Charley, who had escaped the Toyshop’s destruction. (Solitaire)


The Toymaker somehow regained full control of his powers and lured several people into his domain, including the Seventh Doctor and his companions Ace and Hex. Working under The Doctor’s leadership, the group of victims were successful in defeating the Toymaker and imprisoning his essence in a doll (or so it seemed). Each of them ate a piece of the doll, dividing the Toymaker so that he would no longer be capable of using his powers. The Doctor concocted an elaborate plan to keep control over the fragments of the Toymaker in the minds of each member of the group until the Toymaker withered away forever. As this plan involved The Doctor forgetting having made the plan in the first place, he wound up short-circuiting it. In the end, it was revealed that the Toymaker had been in control all along, allowing himself to be absorbed into humanity so that he could “feel what it was like to lose”. Finally, one of the people involved, the chessmaster Swapnil Khan, managed to trap the Toymaker in a perpetual stalemate in his own dimension, but not before the Toymaker had reduced everyone except The Doctor, Ace, Hex, and Khan’s daughter Queenie Glasscock to wooden dolls. (The Magic Mousetrap)


On anotheroccasion, The Master presented “what was once the Celestial Toymaker’s favourite toy” and trapped the Graak inside it. (estiny of the Doctors)

While trapping the Thirteenth Doctor aboard a space platform, Zellin told The Doctor that her dimension was like a board game for him of which “the Toymaker would approve”. (Can You Hear Me?)


In one of the infinite parallel universes of “possible space”, (Fire and Brimstone) The Doctor once encountered “the Toymaker”, described as an “evil force dominating a fantasy world”, in 2525. Barusa discovered that this Toymaker was actually under the control of the Master. (The Chronicles of Doctor Who?)


The Toymaker was a tall and imposing man with deep set, glittering eyes. He dressed as a Chinese mandarin, wearing a round black hat with gold thread and a silver, red and blue collarover a dragon-patterned black robe encrusted with rubies, emeralds, diamonds and pearls. (The Celestial Toymaker)


According to Donald Tosh, (BBC DVD: The Time Meddler) the commissioning script editor and (uncredited) co-authorof the Celestial Toymaker, the intention was that the Toymaker was, like The Monk who had predated him, a member of the Doctor’s own race.

In the novelisation of the Celestial Toymaker, which was based in part on concepts for the original TVstory which had to be abandoned due to a rushed production, The Doctor describes the Celestial Toymaker as native to the universe and several thousands of years old. Additionally, the Toymaker wields a sapphire ring which he uses when altering elements of his realm, such as shrinking toys to human size or making a wall vanish; this is reminiscent of the Doctor’s signet ring.

However, this fact has not explicitly been followed upon in any narratives featuring the Toymaker to this day, with other accounts instead positing the Toymaker was something quite different from a Time Lord. Notably, however, the audio story Faustian described the Time Lords as “a celestial race”.

Related Links

Back to Villains page

Lost in Time DVD

The Celestial Toymaker Episode guide

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