(the first three episodes only exist in stills and video fragments) This serial is noteworthy for guest starring Michael Gough as The Toymaker.

E1 “The Celestial Toyroom”

 After the TARDIS arrives, The Doctor is rendered invisible by some outside force. Dodo pretty much whines and asks stupid questions while The Doctor barks orders to Steven, who tries to use to the scanner to see outside, to no avail. It seems The Doctor is intangible as well as invisible and needs Steven to activate the switches on the TARDIS console.

 Despite his protests, Steven opens the doors and they exit.

 We see a man in ornate robes sitting in a chair. He rises and moves to a dollhouse, removes two clown dolls from the house. He sets the dolls on the floor and they grow to life size.

 Outside the TARDIS, The Doctor is visible and tangible. Steven looks around and asks where they are. The Doctor isn’t sure but he says it seems familiar. Dodo wants to leave, but The Doctor says they have to face up to what is here – that what happened to him was an attack of sorts, and they were meant to come here.

 Steven points at a screen on a giant robot toy, where he sees himself on the planet Kembel, but Dodo sees nothing. This prompts The Doctor to announce he believes he knows where they are – the realm of the Celestial Toymaker, and the screen is a hypnotic tool trying to control Steven.

 The Doctor informs his companions that the Celestial Toymaker is “a power for evil”. While they talk, the TARDIS disappears, and in its place, the Toymaker appears. It seems they know each other, or are at least familiar.

 The Doctor warns Steven and Dodo that nothing is “just for fun” here and to be careful. While the companions are distracted by the “memory screen”, which shows hundreds of TARDISes, the Toymaker and The Doctor disappear. Steven and Dodo go searching and encounter the two clowns.

 The Toymaker appears and tells them they have to play games if they want to leave. He leaves them with the clowns to play their games, and we see the Toymaker and The Doctor talking. The Toymaker tells The Doctor that he is bored and seeks entertainment, and that he must play, and win, if he wants to leave. The first game is a trilogic game.

 Steven and Dodo are playing against the clowns. Clara, the female clown talks in an obnoxious voice and you can barely stand listening. Sigh. They’re taken into a booth and Joey (the male clown) is blindfolded and has to cross a game board without falling. Clara can only guide him by beeps from within the booth.

 The Doctor sends a communique to The Doctor to warn his companions, but The Toymaker cuts him off before his warning is complete. They return to their trilogic game. To keep The Doctor from contacting his companions again, he makes The Doctor intangible, except for one hand, os that he may keep playing.

 Joey has made it across the board safely and easily. It’s Steven’s turn to cross, with Dodo giving directions via the booth. Steven had memorised the board, but Joey moves things around on it. Steven ends up taking off his blindfold, and the clowns celebrate their victory, but Dodo finds Joey’s blindfold and discovers it’s see-through, so the game starts over with Joey using a real one. Joey falls, and Clara (in the booth) slumps over, and a TARDIS appears. They enter, but it’s a fake, inside is only a riddle and another exit. They pass through and the credits roll.

 I’m really not feeling this, despite Michael Gough being in it. Maybe it’ll get better. I do hope so.

 It does get better at the end, but it’s nowhere near a favourite of mine, even with the wonderful Michael Gough in it.

E2 “The Hall of Dolls”

 The companions come to a door with a series of locks and bolts. They open it and pass through.

 The Toymaker and The Doctor banter; The Doctor tries to warn his companions again, and The Toymaker punishes him for it by taking away his voice and accelerating The Doctor’s game – if The Doctor beats his game before the companions find the TARDIS, they all still lose.

 The companions meet their next opponents – The King and Queen of Hearts from a playing deck. They are looking for a throne. Steven and Dodo discuss the riddle, which obviously speaks of a chair, at least in the first half. They move on to the next room, thinking the playing cards are just there to distract them.

 The Joker and Knave show up as well, and there’s entirely too much silly banter between the four playing cards. The King and Queen hurry after Steven and Dodo, who have arrived at another throne room, with four chairs, and three in the previous room – the riddle clues them into that six of the chairs are dangerous, possibly deadly.

 In large cupboards, they find mannequins/life sized dolls. Dodo suggests using them in the chairs – there’s a total of seven. They see a counter and realise that The Doctor is over halfway through his game.

 The King and Queen of Hearts arrive. Dodo tells them what their plan to figure out the safe chair, which is really stupid of her. The King and Queen explain that they were once real people, like the companions.

 Dodo is a fucking idiot. Steven and the King and Queen agree that each gets one doll to use to help weed out which chairs are dangerous. The playing cards are unaware that there are seven dolls, they think there are only four, and the thought is one per person. Dodo keeps trying to say “what about the other three?” and Steven has to REPEATEDLY tell her to shut up. Gah!

 Steven and Dodo take their dolls back to the first room, leaving the King and Queen in the second.

Charming couple, aren’t they, hmm?” – The King

It isn’t very charming to be told that you’re not real. We were NOT amused.” – The Queen. (Love it!)

 Steven and Dodo return to the first room, eliminating two of the three chairs using the dolls. The King and Queen have used up their two dolls as well, and decide to get The Fool to sit in a chair for them, and return to the first room.

 Dodo sneaks back to get the other dolls, but the cupboard won’t open. The King and Queen overhear and take the Joker back to room number two. Stupidly, Dodo sits down in the last chair when Steven isn’t looking. (I said she’s stupid.)

 The Toymaker is seen gloating to The Doctor that Dodo has chosen “the freezing chair” to sit in.

 She complains of getting cold, of freezing, and she can’t stand up. Steven tells her to stand up but she can’t. He tells her to fight the cold, she has to get out. (Yes, because concentrating will fight off extreme temperatures. This is proven science.) Finally he manages to pull her out of the chair, before the damage is done.

 Back in room two, the King and Queen ask which chair The Joker prefers. He picks chair six and they tell him to sit in it. The Knave starts laughing, and The Joker sees what is going on and runs off. The King turns on the Knave, who rushes off as well. The King and Queen try to trick each other into sitting in the chair, end up sitting in it together, and the chair collapses on them. Steven, having arrived with Dodo to see this, sits in the last chair and they win the game. A TARDIS appears, and Dodo starts celebrating (like an idiot), but it’s another fake.

 The phone in the fake TARDIS rings and they answer. Over the line, The Toymaker gives them another clue/riddle and the line goes dead. They go down a passage, calling out, “Dolls, dolls, wherever you are, come out!” and the credits roll.

E3 “The Dancing Floor”

 Urgh… I’m really not enjoying this serial. Had to take a break between episodes two and three.

 We start with the Toymaker congratulating The Doctor on his companions, having beaten two of the Toymaker’s teams thus far. He chooses two new characters to oppose Steven and Dodo.

 Dodo and Steven are at the next door; Dodo is worried because they’re being pursued (albeit slowly) by three ballerina dolls, the three from the cupboard that they could not find earlier. The dolls spread out to keep Steven and Dodo from turning back, so when the door opens on its own they must enter.

 They do so, to find themselves in a kitchen, where Mrs. Wiggs and Seregeant Rugg await them. Dodo gives them the clue (… really?) Mrs. Wiggs points her to a keyhole. Sgt Rugg tries to set Steven right, but he stands up to the Sgt.

 Steven gets irate with Sgt Rugg’s constant military talk of “the Iron Duke” and “shaping [Steven] up”, “turning [Steven] into a real man” and the like.

 The Doctor stops playing, hoping to give his companions more time, but the Toymaker advances the game to move 770. He still isn’t playing fast enough and the game is advanced again to 813(or 830?)

 Back at the kitchen, Dodo points out the kitchen boy, who looks like the Knave of Hearts. Dodo butters up Sgt Rugg, flattering his uniform, and he agrees to help, but for her, not for Steven. Rugg and Wiggs argue as he’s making a mess helping hear search for the key.

 “Soldiers never apologise. It’s a rule.” – Sgt Rugg

 The kitchen is turned into a complete mess, and Dodo finds the key in Mrs. Wiggs pie. The companions leave and the Toymaker appears, telling them to clean up and get to the dance floor to stop Steven and Dodo from getting to the TARDIS.

 On the dance floor we see a TARDIS. There are three ballerina dolls on the dance floor, dancing. Steven and Dodo watch as the dolls stop their dance and assume mannequin-like positions. The second part of the clue warns of escaping the rhythmic beat or being trapped forever moving their feet. When they near the dance floor, music begins, when they back away, it stops.

 Sgt Rugg and Mrs Wiggs show up, all friendly with each other, and talking of dancing at the ball. Steven steps onto the floor and begins dancing, unable to control himself.

 Meanwhile, The Doctor’s hand keeps playing. The Toymaker turns on a monitor, and Steven is shown dancing.

 One of the ballerinas begins dancing with Steven. As Rugg and Wiggs get on the dance floor, dance partners change, eventually so that Dodo and Steven are dancing together, and dance into the TARDIS, which is another fake.

 Dodo and Steven argue – he thinks they’re just phantoms, where Dodo sees them as individuals. Outside the fake TARDIS, Sgt Rugg and Mrs Wiggs are shrunk down to doll size. The Doctor is apparently laughing as he and the Toymaker watch on the monitor, and the Toymaker tells him he is laughing too soon.

 The Toymaker throws the clown dolls, playing cards in a chest, and then chooses “the most deadliest character, because he seems so innocent – a fat, jolly schoolboy”. And then we see The Doctor is already on move 900.

 Inside the fake TARDIS, they find a clue on paper and one of the walls gives way. They’re spooked by Cyril, a school boy who offers Steven his hand. When Steven shakes his head, he’s shocked by a buzzer.

 In a video scene, Dodo notes that The Doctor is on move 902; they ask Cyril where the next game is, and he points the way, telling them that “this time it won’t be so easy – because you’ll be playing against me.” the last words in a menacing tone… and the credits roll.

E4 (Oh, thank goodness, it’s) “The Final Test”

 (And the one episode that still has video)

 The Doctor is up to move 905 now.

 Cyril leads Dodo and Steven into the next game chamber; a TARDIS is visible on the opposite side. The game is TARDIS hopscotch; the floor is electrified and they have to jump from number to number for safety.

 The Toymaker taunts The Doctor, then speeds it up to move 930.

 Cyril didn’t explain all the rules to Steven and Dodo, of course. Steven is sent back to the start, and Cyril is right behind Dodo. Of all the games, this one actually is really neat.

 The Doctor has only 72 moves left. The Toymaker gloats some more.

 Steven gets frustrated with the game – he claims Cyril is making up rules as they go along. He decides to head to the finish line, and Dodo follows, but they encounter an invisible barrier that prevents them from going any further, and an image of the Toymaker appears and he informs them they must play by the rules.

 Cyril is defeated when he slips on a slippery powder he left on one of the tiles, intending for Steven or Dodo to slip and fall. He tumbles to the floor and is killed. Dodo rolls the right number and makes it to the TARDIS, Steven behind her, but fears it’s just another fake.

 The Doctor has made it properly, but before his final move, he checks to see that Steven and Dodo have made it to the TARDIS. The Toymaker agrees that The Doctor and his companions have won their games. They reunite at the TARDIS, but the Toymaker appears on a screen to say that they may still lose.

 The Toymaker appears and Steven tries to punch him, but the Toymaker’s mind turns Steven’s strength against him. The Doctor sends his companions into the TARDIS, and the Toymaker offers The Doctor power and the chance to be at his side. The Doctor dismisses him and steps inside, saying the Toymaker has lost.

 “We shall see, old man. The game is not yet over. We shall see.” – The Toymaker.

 The Doctor storms out of the TARDIS – because he has not made the final move in the trilogic game, he cannot leave. The Doctor is about to make the last move when he says he must not – if he does and wins, the place they are in will vanish, and everything inside included – especially they and the TARDIS!

 He returns to the TARDIS and tells Dodo and Steven what will happen. The Toymaker will survive and build a new world. The Doctor tries to get him to let them go, but the Toymaker is adamant.

 “I’m bored with this (world). But I’m a bad loser, Doctor. I always destroy the destroyer!” – The Toymaker

 The Doctor refuses to make the move; Steven offers to make the move so Dodo and The Doctor can escape in the TARDIS, but The Doctor refuses. Steven says they can’t just talk their way out of it, but The Doctor is inspired and says they can.

 He tells Steven to present for dematerialisation, and he calls out “Go to move 1023!” and orders Steven to throw the switch. The Doctor reveals that he used the Toymaker’s tone of voice to give the command to the game to forward to the final move.

 Dodo suggests celebrating with the sweets she got from Cyril, and The Doctor takes one, then cries out in pain and falls into Steven’s arms. The last shot we see is the candy scattered on the floor and the credits roll.

 It ended better than it was through most of it, but it’s just a terribly silly story filled with too much nonsensical claptrap, I feel. I’m glad it’s over.

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