In Review: Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker (Blu Ray 4K)

The Celestial Toymaker sees the Doctor and his companions separated when they come up against the Toymaker.
Celestial

Synopsis: The Celestial Toymaker sees the Doctor and his companions separated when they come up against the Toymaker.

While the Doctor plays the Trilogic Game, Steven and Dodo are forced to play their own seemingly childish, but ultimately dangerous games, with the aim of being reunited and getting back to the TARDIS. Who will be the first to make a false move in this battle of wits, and will the TARDIS ever escape the Toymaker’s snare.

 

The Story

When the Doctor and his companions get separated they find themselves in the realm of a menacing person who calls himself the Toymaker. Throughout the story, The Doctor is forced to play a puzzle game called Trilogic in which he has to rebuild a pyramid in no less than 1023 moves. If he fails he will have to stay in the realm of the Toymaker indefinitely. Also playing some games are The Doctor’s companions Steven and Dodo who have to play four games and must win three of the four games for them and the Doctor to be reunited with The Tardis. However, the twist is that both the Doctor and his companions must win their games in order to get their freedom.

 

The Acting

 

 

Michael Gough is fantastically menacing in his role of The Toymaker and has some brilliant exchanges of dialogue with William Hartnell’s Doctor. The scenes throughout the four episodes see Toymaker persistently making the Doctor’s life more difficult by cutting him off from being able to communicate with his companions.

Peter Purves and Jackie Lane are fantastic as The Doctor’s companions Steven and Dodo. They have some great scenes where Dodo’s empathic nature threatens to undermine them both during the games that they are being made to play. There are several occasions where Steven has to remind Dodo that their opponents are playing to win and will likely cheat and do whatever they can to take advantage of her caring nature.

We also get great performances from the various characters that Steven and Dodo come up against. Campbell Singer and Carmen Silvera show remarkable flexibility by playing multiple roles throughout the various episodes. Their best characters are the two clowns in episode one and the King and Queen of Hearts in episode two.

 

Blu Ray Extras

This Blu-Ray set is loaded with interesting extras. First off you get both colour and black-and-white versions of the animated episodes as well as a restored version of the only actual surviving episode, which is episode four.

On top of all of that, you also get Audio Commentaries and photographic reconstructions of episodes 1,2, and 3. A Photo Gallery, and some documentaries called Escape Room: Team Doctor and A Making The Animation Featurette, An introduction by Sylvester McCoy, and an interview with Carmen Silvera (Audio Only) plus additional PDF materials.

 

Overall

The new style of animation used on this set is a little jarring at first, but by the time I got through the second episode I’d gotten used to it and began to really appreciate how well it fitted the story. The movements of the characters do a great job of conveying their body language. I particularly enjoyed the jerkier movements of the King and Queen of Harts and loved the designs of those characters.

Overall. I’m happy that I got a chance to purchase this set and quite enjoyed the story and the sense of jeopardy that The Doctor and his companions are in throughout the story.

The soundtrack as well as the audio on this set are brilliantly done.

 

7.4
Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker (Blu Ray 4K)
  • Packaging
    10
  • Story
    8.5
  • Acting
    9.7
  • Animation
    8,6
  • Extras
    9.0

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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