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December 9th, 2023 34 comments

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Doctor Who The Giggle BBC1 6.30pm

The giggle of a mysterious puppet is driving the human race insane. When the Doctor discovers the return of an old enemy, he faces a fight he can never win. Neil Patrick Harris guest stars as 1960s villain the Toymaker and Ncuti Gatwa makes his debut as the latest incarnation of the Time Lord.



  • TardyTardis

    December 22nd, 2023 - 8:27am

    My gut reaction is they now have too big a budget! Just because they can, they did! Less is often more and it tried too hard, threw everything at it with CGI. And, from the clip for Christmas, looks like this one is basically a Disney animation. Will wait and see but I’m worried…

  • Anon

    December 12th, 2023 - 1:07pm

    I did enjoy the specials, but I have a question concerning the toymaker. It links to the revival of the master as well back in 2007. Harris was very good, he gave a great performance but why is the toymaker so loopy now? Gough was not insanely manic. His performance is of a cold, in control character so why is the toymaker now so different? I felt the same with the master, both simm and dhawan play him as this leering loony which is so far from the classic series portrayals of him by any of the actors. Gomez played missy as insane but as a cold insanity, rather than leaping around and going over the top she was menacing simply because she could turn around and kill purely on a whim without the need to gambol around chewing the scenery. It seems an odd change to both characters.

    • TimelordTim

      December 14th, 2023 - 5:46pm

      For the Master, the classic run ended with the Master having used up all their lives and then taking a host body and being dumped in the eye of harmony during the events of the movie. This could quite easily make anyone more insane.
      You also have the Master being resurrected by the Timelords for the Time War and given a new set of regenerations. So this could be viewed as new personality traits being added at this junction.
      Plus, the drumbeat that was out in the Masters head came about as a result of the Time War and sent back in time, so maybe the insanity caused by the drumbeat in their head only truly came out in their personality post-Time War when the new set of regenerations meant the Master became aware of, and driven mad by, the drumbeat.
      Besides all those options, each regeneration of a Timelord can have wildly different personalities. We may not see it as much with some Timelords, but for evil ones then maybe the different personalities of each regeneration are more accentuated.

      As for the Toymaker. They are a being of untold power from outside of the universe that has lived for however many eons and is also capable of changing bodies, akin to regeneration maybe. So it’s conceivable that they would change personality quite drastically over time periods we can’t truly comprehend.

      Just my thoughts. But ultimately, their personalities change to fit the narrative and to keep things changing and fresh. I don’t think a Master or Toymaker more akin to their classic personas (as good as they were, Delgado is still my favourite) would necessarily have been received as well in the modern era. The cold, calculating type did well in stories that played out over multiple parts in stories that were ultimately (often) longer than the stories they get these days.

  • Pam

    December 11th, 2023 - 5:19pm

    A most interesting esipode to see the doctor regenerating but still existing in real life to continue his life without being the doctor anymore. So glad that Donna’s family are considering him as part of their family so he wont be alone.

  • Savo

    December 11th, 2023 - 5:11pm

    I thought it was really good up until the bi generation. Why would a game of catch ever make a compelling finale. I was thinking how the seventh was said to have carved chess pieces from bones to defeat fenric, surely a more fitting battle of wits. Then we have Ncuti already being smarter and more knowledgeable than Tennant even though they just split. I hope this isn’t a sign of the BBC and Disney doing their usual of making a character flawless and superior once they’ve cast a diverse actor. It’s never fair on the actor, no one can identify with perfect characters, they need room to grow, they need faults, vulnerabilities. Yet time and again we get perfect know it alls.

  • Dalek Eye Stalk

    December 11th, 2023 - 3:52pm

    Me Ranking the brief 14th Doctor era from favourite to least favourite.
    1) The Giggle 9/10
    2) The Star Beast 8/10
    3) Wild Blue Yonder 7/10
    4) Destination Skaro 6/10

  • Anon

    December 11th, 2023 - 1:16pm

    The initial overnight viewing rating for Wild Blue Yonder was 4.83m, a drop of 0.25m (4.9%) on The Star Beast’s overnight. For context, that’s a remarkably low drop between first and second episodes in a weekly run.
    Overnight figures, released by BARB and made public by BBC News correspondent Lizo Mzimba, show that The Giggle had an average audience of 4.62m from 6:30pm on BBC One. This figure made Doctor Who the 3rd most-watched programme of the day across all channels, behind Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. This figure is UK only and does not include iPlayer viewers.
    In short, doctor who did very well in the ratings.

    • RPG74

      December 12th, 2023 - 9:01pm

      They stil haven’t released the consolidated +7 figures for Wide Blue Yonder. Odd. It’s been ten days now.

  • Obsie

    December 11th, 2023 - 10:49am

    Enjoyable for the most. My main annoyance is what takes place 20 minutes towards the end, more than than a huge dollop of Americanization. Please, any Americans no offence intended.

    To me then shifted between “Little House on the Prairie”, The Waltons”, “Highway to Heaven” and even “Benjie” thrown in and possibly a few that haven’t reached the UK yet. Sitting at the table having a meal after a jaunt somewhere and telling tales of their adventures, Sweetness and Saccharin. I dearly hope it moves away from that or just make it less evident.

  • Andy R

    December 10th, 2023 - 12:50pm

    I was quite jarring in places. I got a bit emotional despite myself when i thought Tennant was regenerating… and then he didn’t and Ncuti was there. It did feel like it robbed him of the impact of his first appearance. Neil Patrick Harris was awesome but you realise the Toymaker himself was a bit of a one note character. Supreme power and no way to fight him unless he was BOUND to the rules of the games.. which he can’t break. Yet we can break the regeneration rules. Hmmmm.

    Not sure we needed Mel to appear in the episode. She didn’t add anything other then being nice to see.

    Wondering if 14th not changing was to set up the Curator’s timeline?

    Oh and we can make a Tardis with a hit of the Toymaker’s hammer.. bit of a cheat.

  • Tin&Sonic

    December 10th, 2023 - 11:30am

    Really enjoyed the episode. The regen scene through me off. But on rewatch this morning, I think i’ve worked out a way that works for my head cannon.
    In the TARDIS 15 says “i’m fine because you fix yourself” and “we’re time lords. We’re doing rehab out of order”.
    This to me says 14 will eventually rejoin his old body once he has healed from all the trauma of all his lives. When that will be “who…knows”.
    I think it needs to be looked at as when the bi-generation happened the Doctor didn’t clone. He split temporarily to allow his mind to heal and the Doctor he split with is that healed Doctor.
    15 split the TARDIS so he can whizz off and when 14 is ready to go and healed he will fly off, find him and rejoin his body and become one living being again.
    So in a way a bi-generation is a prolonged regeneration. The regeneration heals the wounded body but the bi-generation allows him to heal the mind.

  • Nb7

    December 10th, 2023 - 11:07am

    I can understand the bi-regeneration, keep Tennant in as a plan b should the next couple of series viewing figures drop off a cliff, it’s understandable. Do I agree with it, no not really but I understand what they’re doing. Ncuti seemed pretty ok to me on first impressions but he’s far too attractive and glamorous for the role. In all honesty I found the climax in the sky pretty stupid and was so bored. The regeneration did nothing for me, I felt no emotion to it. I think regenerations have been overdone now and in my opinion I think the show needs a rest for a good while.
    With regards to these being anniversary episodes, they’re not, more nu who tribute to 2005. I don’t get why doctor who writers nowadays can’t do a decent anniversary story. Every one has been more of a 2005 anniversary, the 50th was too. I was not a fan of chibnall but he pulled it out the bag when he did Jodie’s final episode last year. That felt like an anniversary! I just don’t get why these writers now cant just be un selfish as that’s how it comes across.

  • Trenzalore

    December 10th, 2023 - 10:31am

    I loved it – I was like sobbing through the entire second half lol. I find it really hard to cry like that so I love when something makes me. I left the episode feeling a great love for doctor who, it heals and comforts me and nothing makes me cry or makes me as excited like doctor who does even now in my 20s.

    i’ve decided I really don’t care about writers adding new things to the show and doing crazy stuff like bi regeneration (wonder if anything else is bi with this new doctor ;), and even flux. It’s like ‘omg u can’t do that blah blah blah’ well actually they can and did soooo. Its easy to get bogged down in the idea that there is a ‘right way’ to do things like a regeneration. But its not true, it’s all made up. Regeneration was new once. a random idea that writers at the time came up with. Bigeneration is the same. New traditions should be created.
    Not to mention the woke stuff and yes i do look down on people who complain about woke i think their brains are smaller. joke. or is it.

    I enjoyed the broader themes of the 60th with the doctor’s story arc, an arc that spans from donna’s mind wipe to the present. That’s why Amy and Clara and Bill were all mentioned to demonstrate the doctors unresolved trauma. And Donna is there to resolve it. And it goes deeper in doctor who history by mentioning Adric. So it was a nice topic for the 60th. and the bi regeneration was necessary to help the doctor heal. Once he has healed with Donna it’s implied that it is at that point that he becomes the 15th doctor. as again it’s implied that 15 is pretty much healed and carefree and rejects this trauma.
    Interesting too that the idea of the drs unresolved trauma is also the theme of the 50th, except that was about the time war this is more broad.

    These 60th specials also made me like the flux more. My problem was always more that I thought Chibnall wasn’t someone who could pull off something like the Flux, like if i wanted the flux to happen it shouldn’t be written by Chibnall. but now i kind of look at it like it’s own distinctive part of doctor who that is part of a broader thing. It’s obvious rtd has been watching as a fan like the rest of us the whole time. unrelated but I had to go and watch the doctor falls after this ep cos i felt like crying some more. Oh and i also lurvvved the stuff with people going mad, like Kate questioning Shirley’s disability. people were literally doing that after the star beast aired, so I hope those people feel embarrassed

  • Anonymous

    December 10th, 2023 - 9:49am

    I really enjoyed this episode. It was great to see Mel back, it was nice when Tennant’s Doctor noticed her and was happy to see her. I was thrilled to see Kate return, I hope she returns in the future. I thought that Tennant’s doctor got a happy ending. I feel after everything he’s gone through and everyone he has lost, he deserves a happy ending. Thank You Mr. Tennant for your time in the series. Also Thank You to everyone who has worked on the series, over the last sixty years.

  • Pats86

    December 10th, 2023 - 9:13am

    Will have to watch again a couple of time to really get to grips with how I feel about what has happened.
    I do think Neil Patrick Harris was very good as The Toy Maker.
    I liked the story as a whole but unsure about the Bi-Regeneration?
    Nice nod to the Classic Flash Gordon movie at the end with the tooth that held the Master captive being picked up and the laughter in the background.
    One question I would like answered if possible, can Tennant’s 14 still regenerate?
    This was the best of the three Anniversary specials for me, and unless I missed it I didn’t notice any woke agenda being pushed?

    • Anon

      December 11th, 2023 - 5:12am

      Judging by what Russell said on unleashed the 14th doctor will live out his remaining life on earth until his body dies. He has already regenerated into the next doctor so he will not regenerate again.

    • The Moffat Paradox

      December 13th, 2023 - 9:14pm

      But then again with or without a little infusion of time lord energy as this plot can of worms has now been opened why not the potential for single regeneration into someone else again and another bi regeneration even further down the line?

      Getting to be a bit like Spartacus; “I’m the Doctor. No I’M the Doctor!”

    • RPG74

      December 14th, 2023 - 1:36pm

      Davies missed a trick with this, I think. The whole bigeneration nonsense was an accident, but if The Toymaster had arranged it himself on purpose-“I’m so confidant I will triumph, I’ll take on two of you simultaneously, “-and it was made clear this could never have happened before, and will never happen again, then I think a lot of us older fans would have accepted it. But the way it stands now, it’s a bit of a mess, prompting awkward questions and likely causing problems down the line.

  • Jim

    December 10th, 2023 - 5:00am

    Yeah I pretty much enjoyed that one after all the preachy wokeness of the first two episodes… 15th doc seems pretty likable so I’ll give it a whirl. It does seem odd to have Tenant still around though. Not sure where that’s going! Kind of a Benedict and Francis situation?


    December 9th, 2023 - 11:35pm

    Simply excellent and 15 looks like he’s going to be something new and different, I’m looking forward to it.

  • Young J

    December 9th, 2023 - 10:06pm

    this last doctor who 60th anniversary special the giggle was amazing and I like this vision of the toymaker and i also like it when the 14th doctor bi regeneration into the 15th doctor which is ncuti gatwa

  • Anomie

    December 9th, 2023 - 9:20pm

    I did enjoy the episodes but have to admit I’m not convinced they screamed 60th anniversary. Jodie’s final episode had multiple doctors, multiple companions and multiple big villains. These three stories had a remake of a 43 year old comic strip an episode featuring two actors for most of the story and the return of a villain seen once 57 years ago. The return of Donna, wilf (bless him), mel and Kate was very welcome but I just felt it was lacking in celebration of who. That said I did enjoy them and roll on Christmas.

  • Scott Short

    December 9th, 2023 - 9:04pm

    Really enjoyed it, the toymaker was brilliant and the whole new spin on regeneration was really clever. Can’t wait to see what they do going forward

  • Anonymous

    December 9th, 2023 - 9:03pm

    The End.

    • Kone112

      December 9th, 2023 - 10:11pm

      It died years ago. You just watch it now to laugh at it.

  • mark kavanagh

    December 9th, 2023 - 8:31pm

    First half fine, then went full on self-indulgent RTD CRINGE!!!!
    Just not feeling it with Ncuti yet.
    Yes, I know its early, but Matt Smith I got immediately, it can happen.

  • Bicky

    December 9th, 2023 - 8:30pm

    Fantastic episode. Ncuti is going to be great. 14th Doctor and Donna spinoff on the way…..

    • Anon

      December 9th, 2023 - 8:36pm

      Oh god no please. Give tcuti his chance to shine. I think hes great. I was dreading the rumours with regard to the bi regeneration as it is. Now Tennants on tbe sub bench just in case.

    • Anon

      December 9th, 2023 - 9:14pm

      No spinoffs please… just let the new doctor have his time.

  • Doctor Stu

    December 9th, 2023 - 7:55pm

    I’m usually such a negative Nigel but that was SOOO good. He redeemed himself after all the anti Davros, non subtle messaging and lack of cameos. Still would have loved multi Doctor and some more blasts from the past. Surely the dolls could have been the real actors but. I was satisfied and will mourn that another day

  • Pablo

    December 9th, 2023 - 7:55pm

    Unfortunately, I found this episode total garbage.

  • type40

    December 9th, 2023 - 7:38pm

    oh dear

    • RPG74

      December 9th, 2023 - 8:58pm

      I got as far as the bi-generation then switched it off. It’s no longer Doctor Who but The David Tennant Show; canon broken so he can degenerate and remain the Doctor forever. Actor’s vanity trumps a sixty year franchise.

    • Anon

      December 9th, 2023 - 9:15pm

      The whole point of the regeneration is to convey a sense of loss but also excitement and how we react to the new person who has taken their place.
      Tcuti is instantly charming and charismatic so it felt like he was cheated his great moment.

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